In a vast and mysterious land brimming with remote angling opportunities, one of the best ways to experience Nunavut sport fishing is to visit a lodge where guides, transportation and accommodation are provided. With variety that ranges from the tree-lined lake trout and arctic grayling waters of the Kivalliq Region north of the Manitoba border, to the arctic char-rich rivers of the Kitikmeot Region, anglers stay in comfort and stillness a stone’s throw from some of the best fishing you will ever experience.
Community Based Sport Fishing
Visiting one of Nunavut’s 26 communities is a great way to get a true taste of angling in the North. Nunavut communities range in size from a handful of people to several thousand, the majority of who are Inuit. Inuktitut is the first language but most services are available in English. Many communities have outfitters and guides to take you to the best fishing spots and most have locals who will point you in the right direction. Sport fishing out of a Nunavut community is a cultural experience, where you can see how the Inuit live day-to-day. Fishing the ocean, rivers and lakes is part of the rhythm of life in coastal communities, where fishing boats line the beaches and racks of arctic char are left to dry in the sun.
Community-based outfitters offer custom-tailored fishing expeditions that can include activities like dogsledding, snowmobile expeditions, whale watching or polar bear viewing. From the barren lands to the precipitous saltwater fjords of the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut outfitters will assist with choosing your arctic adventure.
While flying insects come with the territory, they are not as bad as you might imagine in the far north. Bug season only lasts about a month and cooler temperatures mean small bugs that really don’t pack much of a punch. Bug jackets and bug spray have their place but the prevalence of wind blowing across the open and rolling terrain means bugs are often not as bad as you would think.
With summer fishing opportunities as broad and vast as the land itself what you bring will depend on your adventure, here are some things to consider: measuring tape, scale, insulated chest waders, wading staff for navigating swift rivers, cotton glove for gentle handling of fish, landing net, fish cradle, haemostat pliers, map, GPS, tide chart, bear deterrents, polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, rain gear, hat and camera.
For a true northern experience, try visiting a community or outfitter to ice fish by snowmobile and traditional wooden sled known as a qamutik. Inuit regularly travel long distances to catch fish through the ice but in some communities you can catch fish within walking distance of town. Little fishing is done in the dead of winter but as the temperatures rise and days get longer in April and May, Inuit take to the sea ice for cod and the lakes for arctic char and lake trout. Getting through thick Nunavut ice requires a powered ice auger with extensions. Ice chisels are used to re-open old holes and slush is removed with sieve-like ice scoops. Waterproof neoprene gloves are great for handling wet fish in winter and layered Arctic winter clothing will protect against temperatures that still reach below zero, even in spring. Ice fishing can be combined with one-of-a-kind experiences such as floe-edge tours, dog sledding and snowmobiling expeditions.