Ritchies Back Lake Specks – Episode 512

Originally published: April 17th, 2020

This Fish’n Canada episode is somewhat of a nostalgic one for me. Nostalgic in the sense of the quarry I’m after, the Brook Trout, or as they’re sometimes called, Speckled Trout. These gorgeous little creatures have always been a high priority in the Bowman family fishing adventures. To this day, my dad still tells stories of his times running the rapids on the Nipigon River, or simply walking a brush-filled creek bank, always on the lookout for the elusive Brookies.

Mr. Gordon Bowman with probably his favourite fish ever, a 6 ¾ pound Brook Trout from the Nipigon River.

Eventually he started taking me on his Brook Trout adventures and, in the process, taught me his tricks of the trade, and more importantly, just how amazing these treks in the Canadian wilderness are.

I have fished the Nipigon River in the past, however, this trip didn’t take place there. Nor was I on a crystal-clear stream like I used to fish. On this trip, it was fishing a small back-lake, north of the town of Massey, in Ontario’s Algoma region. Angelo and I have experienced some “amazing” Brookie fishing in the lakes of Algoma. To be able to sustain such a stable population of these colourful critters and to grow some true giants, everything must be perfect!

The drive up on Hwy 69 didn’t go without incident. A tandem trailer most comes in handy at times.


I accessed the suggested little lake with the assistance of the staff from Richie Falls Resort. They specialize in both fishing and hunting adventures in the vicinity.

As with most new bodies of water I fish, if there’s any Intel to be had, I gladly go through some fish talk with guides, lodge owners or locals. These people know their area. Often it is the subtle things that put you onto fish.

Since the lake was small, I wanted to cover the “best” areas by either casting the shoreline or by trolling adjacent to the shoreline as well as some offshore spots.

I love the walk through “the bush” when I know that there’s a possible pot of gold at the end of the trail.


I often hear anglers being intimidated when going on their first Brook Trout fishing adventure on a lake. I tell them, the way I execute is a tactical combination of Bass and Walleye techniques. That usually draws an easy picture to understand.

When I cast for Brookies, it’s almost to the “T” in the way I work a shoreline for Largemouth or Smallmouth. Of course, the bait choices are at times different, but the execution is pretty much the same.

If you know how to fan-cast for bass, and troll for Walleye, you’ll be fine on any Brook Trout lake.

When I’m trolling, it’s just like I’m Walleye fishing. I’ll vary my length of line behind the boat, speed up, slow down and even stall my speed, in order to find that perfect presentation for that day.

Fishing line on a spinning reel set against a Mercury outboard motor
Pete got to test out the new Mercury propane-powered outboard. He loved the idea of not worrying about spilling gasoline into a pristine Brook Trout lake.


Trial and error are the only effective ways for me to figure out what the fish want on a particular day. Sometimes I find magic, sometimes I don’t.

On this trip, a Little Cleo spoon was the deal. Cleo’s are great casting and trolling, simply put they’re a great Brookie lure.

She’s a beat-up little spoon, but this colour did the trick at Ritchie’s.


The area I fished was directly north of Massey Ontario. Looking on a map, you’ll see it’s in the heart of fishing country. It’s situated north and in between Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie, south of Timmins. It is flanked by an array of true north-country, heavily forested provincial parks. And best of all, it’s only about a 6-hour drive for those travelling from the Toronto area.

Small Brook Trout lakes dot the Algoma region of Ontario.

I will say though, the dirt road in is quite the trek. It’s not that far, but it is slow. Make sure you have an ample amount of gas in your vehicle’s tank before you venture in.

This place offers great fishing, with drive-to access.


When I said that Brook Trout fishing was very similar to Bass or even Walleye fishing, the next couple of images will show you what I mean.

This image shows tree branches draping over and into the water. This is classic shallow water Brookie cover. They sit in the shade and wait for their prey to swim close.

In this image, we see “structure” in the form of boulders or rocks under the water’s surface. Again, this is a perfect element for a Brook Trout to either hide near or forage around to get a meal.

Remember cover and structure are classed differently, go here for a great explanation.


In keeping with the Bowman family, Brook Trout fishing tradition, this adventure lived up to all the anticipation. I ended up having to scramble to find the fish, but in the end, I caught some stunning trout.

All trout were released, this is crucial to sustaining a great fishery for others, especially if you’re fishing a natural spawning lake.

It’s a Fish’n Canada episode, that I know my mentor, teacher and Brook Trout crazy dad Gordie Bowman, will be proud to watch.

What Brook Trout fishing is all about!


This resort is in the process of renovating its cabins. So far, they have done an amazing job. The main lodge, along with I believe 4 cabins essentially are brand new. Absolutely perfect out in the bush.

The resort sits adjacent to a boat launch on the River aux Sables, which attaches to Ritchie Lake and Lac aux Sables. This is a great body of water for Smallmouth Bass and Lake Trout. With the location being so far off of Hwy 69, the fishing pressure here is to a minimum.

It’s like a piece of heaven here.

Hunting here is outstanding as well. The lodge’s website gives you many options.

Every northern Ontario camp has a mascot!


Ritchie Falls Resort is located on the south end of the River aux Sables.

  • This river has free-flowing drainage and impressive white-water sections. The natural corridor provides accessible paddling opportunities that are directly linked to Chutes Provincial Park. The southern portion of the river is renowned for white-water kayaking.
  • The park encompasses outstanding recreational water routes and is meant to provide both high quality recreational and educational opportunities.
  • Location: The River aux Sables originates at Lac aux Sables and flows for 85 kilometers south to Chutes Provincial Park. River aux Sables Provincial Park is located in Tennyson, Mandamin, Boon, Salter, Teasdale, Prescott, Strain, and Monestine townships.

General Park Information:

Phone: (705) 865-2021
Size: 3423.00 ha
Year established: 2006
Park Classification: Waterway
This is a non-operating park. There are no activities or facilities at this park.