Want to experience the best Salmon fishing the Great Lakes has to offer..??  Join us on a trip to the Garden River..!!

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Garden River 2017 Trip

September 2017

 Our Garden River Camp

Were taking a trip and your invited to join us..!!  The past twelve years we have hosted a trip for a group of anglers to remote stream named the Garden River.  The Garden River flows thru Native American Lands near Sault  Ste Marie, in Ontario Canada. It hosts huge Salmon runs each September. The first nation reserve lands are private and you can only go with a sanctioned native guide.  Our group of anglers hires native guide Ben Belleau to outfit and guide our group on the private Garden River Reserve lands.

The Garden River is a fisherman's paradise.  At first it was just a group of fishing buddies. each year the group grew larger and larger.  Over the years we have forged a strong friendship with Native American Outfitter Ben Belleau and his family. They know the river well and provide us with a comfortable fishing camp for a very reasonable price.

    We are the only group that will be camping and fishing on one of the most productive section of the Garden River.  Most of our group  fly fish and the numbers of fish we land are almost unbelievable.  We have miles of river all to ourselves. 

 Joe with a monster 39 inch Garden River Chinook Salmon he caught 200 yards from the camp

Joe with a Garden River Hog.

It is the best fishing I have ever experienced. You can literally catch fish till your arms hurt..!!   I used to fish the Pere Marquette in Michigan and the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY and I honestly believe the Garden River gets a bigger run of Chinooks than either of those streams.  We seldom see another angler that isn't part of our group. Very few natives fish for the Salmon.   Fishing in such un-pressured conditions is impossible to find anywhere else in the Great Lakes area. Only a select few non natives have ever had the chance to fish the Garden River. 

Pink Salmon like this one number in the thousands near our Garden River camp 

 Sounds great, huh. Believe it or not the abundant Chinooks and Coho aren't the draw. There are literally LOADS of Pink Salmon in the Garden River.  It gets the biggest return of Pink salmon in the whole Great Lakes chain. We find that the Pink Salmon take the fly much better than their cousins.  Although the Chinooks and Pinks seem to overtake the river, It is a mixed bag fishery.  Last year our group of anglers caught Chinook, Pink, Coho, and Atlantic Salmon. Plus there are steelhead and resident rainbows and brookies to be had. Five line class world Record fish have been taken on this stream, that barely even gets fished.!!   The wild fish are big and plenty full. Some of the guys last year averaged 20 fish landed per day. The Pink Salmon are very aggressive fighters for their size.

on rare occasion the Pinks and Chinooks Cross-Breed.  They are known as Pinooks.  I caught this 40" Pinook while fly fishing


Jeff shows off a big Garden River King salmon he caught on the fly.

 The Garden is a beautiful stream it is mid sized, runs clear and is perfect for fly fishing. Heavy flooding in the spring clears the river banks of timber and brush. This makes it a very easy stream to walk and wade. These days finding fantastic Salmon fishing in solitude is almost unheard of.  Some of our group last year commented that the fishing was better than their past Alaskan experiences.  

Pink Salmon are great table fare.  

Sault Ste Marie is about a six hour drive from Toledo Ohio and Six hours from Niagara falls NY. We do not guide you on this trip.  We will be there fishing along side of you.  The Native American outfitter we hired gains us access to the best sections of the river. You will not have to hurry to your fishing spot in the morning. Our Native Guide has agreed to guide only our group during the peak of the run.  Our group will be the only ones there.  The rustic tent camp is located about thirty feet from the rivers edge on a exceptional section of river. You can fish feet from the camp and catch all the fish you desire too.  The scenery is breathtaking and the wildlife is everywhere you look.  Bald Eagles, Moose, Otter, or you may even get a glimpse of a Black Bear.

Garden River Ontario Bald Eagles 

We will NOT be guiding you on this trip, Your guide will be a Sanctioned Ogibaway Native Guide who lives on the reserve.  You will be fishing along side us. Of course we help each other out netting fish, taking pictures, ect. Your native American guide will gain you access rights to the stream and will know exactly where the fish are. From there you will be on your own. The guides are fluent at speaking English and are excellent woodsmen.  The fishing is easy and you will be very successful. .

View of the Valley our camp is in 

Lodging will be in large 10 by 20 wall style tents located right along the river bank. You will get a comfortable oversized cot to sleep on and the tents are heated with safe heaters. There are two hot water showers in camp.  Imagine waking  up to the smell of bacon cooking in a cast iron skillet,  just feet from the fishing action. Does it get much better than, sitting around a campfire in the evening sipping on some crown and conversing about the days adventures. At night in your bunk you will be able to hear the sounds of Salmon splashing in the river. Bens guides go to great lengths to make you comfortable. Even though the camp is remote we eat like kings. Three meals and deserts will be served each day. Meals like NY strip steak or fried butter flied shrimp and perch. Or how about apple cobbler in the dutch oven or homemade cherry pie. Everyone's waders fit a little tighter on the last day. Food will be first class and the scenery and fishing is awesome.

Don Mathews with a Garden River Chinook Salmon 

 It is a terrific world class  fishing experience and that's why we are head back every year..!! Most of the group going this year have been with us before.  Its a fun group of guys who love to catch fish. The package Ben has put together includes all of your meals, your native American guides, 4WD transport to the fishing grounds, reservation access fees, tent lodging ect.  You will need to provide your own travel to Sault Ste Marie Ontario. You will also need to bring a sleeping bag, your beverages of choice and fishing equipment (Spin or fly).  Cost of the 5 day fishing package is $1350 US and ten days in camp is just $2500 per man.  Give me a call for all the details if your interested in joining us on this trip of a lifetime.  Thank You..!!   Don Mathews   Phone  330-565-5457

  There arel LOADS of Pink Salmon in the Garden river



Relaxing at Dfishinfool's Garden River camp 


Check out this Youtube video of Leg #1 of the 2016 trip




Four nights in camp -five days fishing.  Includes all meals.  $ 1350 per angler. . Spots will fill up quickly for this trip.

Leg #1 Departing for camp 8:30 AM Sept 9th .

Leg #2 Departing for camp 8:30 AM Sept 13th .

Leg #3 Departing for camp 8:30 AM Sept 17th

Leg #4 Departing for camp 8:30 AM Sept 21st .

Leg #5 Departing for camp 8:30 AM Sept 25th

You may want to plan on arriving in Sault Ste Marie  the night before you leave for camp. Many hotels are available nearby.

Or Pick any two legs (8 nights) nine days for total cost $ 2500

Please call to confirm availability 330-565-5457 

 Fly rods ready to go on the Garden River

Hate to tie flies?  For a very reasonable fee, I will sell you all of the flies you need for your Garden River adventure. We have found many effective flies to use. 

A angler at dusk in the camp rapids

YOU GOTTA FISH THE GARDEN..!!  The Garden River is one that must be experienced to be believed. If fly fishing is your passion you have to go. If your schedule will not permit you to join our group during the peak of the run in September. Our Sanctioned Native Guide Ben Bellieu offers guided trips year round for many species of fish. 

Pink Salmon fly fishing on the Garden river is a blast.

Don Dfishinfool Mathews on the Garden River

Lets Go Fishin..!!

Garden River Ontario Salmon fishing  /  Ont salmon guideGarden River Pink Chinook salmon  /  fishing tripsOntario Salmon fishing  /  Ontario  /  Fly Fishing  /  Pink Salmon  / Links


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Save Time and buy your fishing license online.  Please check with your guide on what state you will be fishing.






In addition to our guided Ohio and Pennsylvania trips we offer a select number of trips each Fall to Western, NY and the Cattaraugus Creek. Steel headers often refer to the Catt as the "Crown Jewel" of our Great Lakes tributaries. We fish the Catt during the month of October. It is a beautiful stream and the early fall fishing is great. Give me a call and we will discuss a trip to the Catt. Don Mathews NY License #4348

We also have a presentation "Finding Fish on Steelhead Alley" available to put on at your seminar, event, or club meeting. We have assembled a awesome slide show and have all of our own equipment. We offer this presentation at a very minimal cost, and your audience will learn from it. So Please contact us....

Many lodging options exist along "Steelhead Alley" and Interstate I-90.  Here are a few lodging options located near to the streams that we fish.

Comfort Inn Elyria Ohio;  440-324-7676
EconoLodge Elyria Ohio; 440-324-3911
Howard Johnson's Geneva Ohio Exit#218; 440-466-1168
State Park Lodge Geneva Ohio Exit #218; 866-806-8066
Hampton Inn Ashtabula Ohio Exit #223; Call   440-275-2000
Comfort Inn Ashtabula Ohio Exit #223; Call   440-275-2711
Days Inn Conneaut Ohio Exit #241440-593-1226
Best Western Erie Pa exit#18 814-838-7646

Clarion Inn Erie Pa Exit#18 814-833-1116

Comfort Inn Dunkirk NY Exit#59 716-672-4450

White Inn Fredonia NY Exit#59 716-672-2103

Best Western Dunkirk NY Exit#59 716-366-7100

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