Indigenous Peoples have been fishing and managing coastal ecosystems for millennia. Part of a deep relationship with the land and water, fishing is a source of food, wealth and connection. Intricately tied to identity, these Indigenous guides and outfitters share more than just fish tales with guests.

Club Odanak is a lakeside camp located on the ancestral lands of the Atikamekw Nation near Croche River, Quebec. A traditional hunting and fishing camp, the resort welcomes both new and experienced anglers and provides everything from rowboats to fishing gear. After a successful morning on the water, ask the chef to cook up the brook trout you caught for your lunch. In the winter, ice fishing is available on the numerous small, boreal forest lakes. 

Spending the day with Drift Out West Fly Fishing on Calgary, Alberta’s Bow River offers anglers a chance to see the meandering river from a new perspective. For Cree guide Quinn Soonias, the river is a sacred place—and along with teaching guests how to cast for brook, brown, rainbow, bull, and cutthroat trout, he points out traditional sights including a fascinating buffalo jump. The catch and release trips are for all skill levels and include all required gear.

The 80-kilometre stretch of water between Mission and Hope, British Columbia known as ‘the heart of the Fraser River’ is one of the most productive river channels in the world. This is where guides with River Wrangler Sportfishing seek out salmon and the famous sturgeon, the largest fresh water fish in North America. Once vital to the local First Nations (its meat was delicious and the scutes had many uses) the hard fighting sturgeon is a catch and release fish.

Cast a line into the world-renowned Miramichi River system for an Atlantic salmon. Then discover the traditional ways to prepare your catch at Red Bank Lodge in Mi’kmaq country, New Brunswick. The cosy, 10-room Lodge offers getaways to guests interested in fishing and exploring Metepenagiag history. In addition to salmon, annual runs of smelt, gaspereau, shad, and striped bass were fished by the people who once lived in vibrant villages on the river banks.

One of the top salmon rivers in Canada, explore the Pinware River with Big Land Fishing Lodge and Tours. Located on the rugged southern coast of Labrador, the river sets you in a remote wilderness that’s been home to Indigenous cultures for at least 9,000 years. You’ll stay in comfortable cabins and take part in excursions fishing for salmon or trout, while also soaking up some of the region’s fascinating maritime and Indigenous history.

Frontier Lodge – Gateway to Thaidene Nene on the east arm of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories is an anglers dream. Home of the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nations, the protected Thaidene Nëné is a 6.5 million acre home to bears, wolves, moose, and muskox as well as trout, Arctic grayling and northern pike. Talented guides will help you fulfill your fishing goals, while the cook, who serves up trout chowder, smoked jackfish and trout sashimi will keep your belly full. 

Fish the canoe routes of the Anishnabek People of Manitoulin Island, in northeastern Ontario with Wasse-Giizhik Tours and Accommodations. Seasonal specialties include ‘hard water’ fishing on frozen in-land lakes for rainbow, lake trout or whitefish in winter; spring fishing on the famous rainbow trout run; and downrigging on Lake Huron for salmon or trout, or fishing for walleye, northern pike and musky on inland lakes in summer and fall. 

Independent anglers will love Secteur Tourilli, a 98,000-acre territory with some of the best fishing in the Québec City region. Located in the welcoming Huron-Wendat territory, anglers fishing for brook trout and arctic char have a choice of day trips, overnight camping, chalet lodging (minimum two nights) or luxury heli fishing expeditions with a knowledgeable guide. Independent trips include the use of a small boat and information about the 50 fishable lakes.

Fish Mistassini Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Québec, that’s been home to the Cree Nation since time immemorial. Pourvoirie Camp Louis Jolliet puts anglers in the heart of the boreal forest where you can fish for trophy-sized brook trout, lakers, pike and walleye. The camp’s rustic cottages offer a cozy base for days spent fishing on the lake or on Rupert River with an experienced Cree guide. Not only will you catch fish—but you may develop a richer connection to this abundant landscape.

Fishwheel Charter Services offers an immersive view of the Hän (People of the Yukon River) and the river that’s been their home for millennia. Tommy Taylor is a Yukon First Nation tour guide, skilled historian and storyteller. His boat tour starts in Dawson City, Yukon and includes Moosehide village and Fort Reliance. For most guests, the trip highlight is a visit to Tommy’s family fish camp, where you’ll learn about fishing traditions and see a fascinating salmon fishwheel in action.

Inuit-owned Aventures Arctiques – Payne River offers five-day trips to Nunavik, Quebec. Here you’ll spend your days fishing for Arctic char and rainbow trout. Your Inuit guides are expert anglers who will teach you how they followed the fish along the rugged coast of Ungava Bay. Whether fly-fishing from a freighter canoe or from the exposed shoreline, this trip promises great fishing action as well as evenings in the comfortable lodge with the promise of fish tales and hearty meals.Try your hand at catching one of the most remarkable fish in the world with Great River Fishing Adventures. You’ll explore British Columbia’s Fraser River while taking part in a catch and release sturgeon fishing trip: a fishery that’s contributing to the protection of the species. The hard fighting fish are not just a blast to catch—but the individuals are tagged and tracked; a process that’s produced data that’s beginning to unlock the mysteries of the ancient species.

Zane Buchanan

Zane Buchanan

Zane, a Métis writer, producer, and digital storyteller based in Vancouver, British Columbia, takes great pride in the diverse career path he has forged. Starting as a freelance journalist, he transitioned into travel media when he was appointed the 2019 Saskatchewanderer by Tourism Saskatchewan. This experience solidified his standing in the tourism sector and paved the way for his work with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). At ITAC, Zane contributes to the creative direction of The Original Original authentication program and Destination Indigenous (ITAC’s consumer-facing presence). He oversees content and brand integrity while also serving as the executive editor of Nations Magazine.Beyond ITAC, Zane regularly contributes to Canadian Geographic, focusing on ethical travel. His contributions have earned him the esteemed title of a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and he serves as a judge for the Travel Media Association of Canada Awards. His leadership includes a direct partnership with the Assembly of First Nations, with whom he attended the Historic Papal Visits in Rome in April 2022, in line with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.As a sought-after speaker, Zane has presented at renowned conferences and events such as South by Southwest (SXSW), The SEE Conference, The International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC), and The IMPACT Conference. His influence extends to other creative mediums, including presenting the Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year Award at the Juno Awards Ceremony annually.Beyond his various roles, Zane is the founder and creative director of CIVL Creative, a digital agency designed to meet the unique needs of nonprofits and social enterprises.