Nunavut's a paradise for fishers, no matter the season

Up here, Arctic Char has served as a crucial staple of the local diet as long as anyone can remember.

It’s no wonder why many settlements—and later communities—developed near waters where the fishing was good. Town names like Iqaluit (‘place of many fish’ in Inuktitut) and Iqaluktuttiaq (Cambridge Bay, or ‘good fishing place’ in Inuinnaqtun) reflect the importance of Arctic Char to some of Nunavut’s largest communities.

Freshly caught Arctic Char

Nearly every community in Nunavut has its own secret spots to catch the Arctic Char—a beautiful pink-red-purple salmonid that migrates to freshwater in the spring or summer to spawn.

No matter the season, there’s no lack of options to get out to fish for Arctic Char and experience an integral part of life in Nunavut by indulging in its people’s favourite pastime.

By boat

In most communities, visitors should be able to find a tour operator or outfitter to guide them on an exciting Arctic fishing expedition.

Boats in open water

Igloo Tourism and Outfitting offers customized eight-hour fishing trips out of Igloolik, which also double as wildlife photography adventures. Be on the lookout for walruses, bowhead whales, bearded seals and even the odd polar bear.

Kivalliq Wildlife Adventures provides fishing tours out of Arviat and Pirursiak Arctic Tours offers excursions from Hall Beach. In Iqaluit, Tikippugut Outfitting lets you leave the city behind to get out on the water for the day and fish for feisty Arctic Char at Nunngarut, the serene Bay of Two Rivers—a favourite for local fishers.

From shore

In Iqaluit, one of the most popular weekend and after-work summer activities is a brisk hike out to the Sylvia Grinnell River to cast for Arctic Char from shore.

Freshly caught Arctic Char

For a more unique experience, Iqaluit’s Inukpak Outfitting offers fly-fishing tutorials and tours for guests, showing them the ins and outs of luring in a monster.

Further north, in the picturesque community of Pond Inlet, Atii (Let’s go!) Tours provide the rods so guests can try to reel in Arctic Char from scenic Salmon Creek.

Fresh Catch

Through the ice

Don’t let a little ice stop you.

Inukpak Outfitting provides snowmobile and ice-fishing trips out of Iqaluit, one of many Nunavut operators offering comfortable winter fishing excursions.

For an unforgettable experience, Arctic Bay Adventures brings guests out on multi-day trips to the floe edge—a temporary and astounding ecosystem teeming with wildlife. Here, the company’s expert guides will bring people out on day-trips to proven fishing spots on northern Baffin Island, with an opportunity to sample traditional dried char.

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