Our Fly Fishing and Guiding Service is second to none in Southern Ontario – Leave us with greater skills than when you began!

“Many people have been intimidated by the art of Fly Fishing or possibly by other fly fishermen. The First Cast’s vision is to guide and teach people how to Fly Fish without the arrogance too often associated with our sport. Your day is about you and nature not about us!” 

Our Customer Gallery will speak for itself. We have clients from all over Canada as well as the United States who use our services on a regular basis. Click here to see our gallery.

As a leader in Fly Fishing instruction / lessons and guiding in the immediate and surrounding area, our Guiding Services targets Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout and Smallmouth Bass and we concentrate our Fly Fishing Education on the Grand River, the Credit River, and the Conestogo River.

Dave Potwin Guided Trip

On Dave’s Guided Trip, he landed this beautiful Grand River Brown Trout.

Great Lakes Migratory Brown Trout.[/caption]

Our Fly Fishing shop is located just minutes from the world famous Tailwater Fly Fishing Fishery – The Grand River. A blue ribbon tail water trout stream, the Grand River attracts anglers from all corners of the world to the finest brown trout fishery in Ontario. Brown trout up to 28 inches are possible due to the abundant supply of aquatic and terrestrial food. The average size brown trout is 12-16 inches, with fish in the 20-24 inch class being common.

Being centrally located between Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, we also guide for Steelhead and migratory Browns, Chinook and Coho Salmon on the tributaries of these Great Lakes.

Aside from the Upper Grand and Credit Rivers, the other Ontario Rivers that we guide include: the Lower Grand River, the Bighead River, the Saugeen River, the Nottawasaga River, the Maitland River, the Lower Credit River, the Niagara River and a few other less known lakes and streams.

Early Fall Spey Fishing on the Nottawasaga River for Chinook Salmon & Steelhead.

 Fly Fishing and Guiding Service – Early Fall Spey Fishing on the Nottawasaga River for Chinook Salmon & Steelhead.

“TFC was created with the goal of providing clients from beginner to advanced, young to old, a high quality fly fishing experience. We are not boat jockeys trying to prove to you our prowess with rod, reel and fly. We are patient, knowledgeable instructors and guides that work very hard to get you into fish and have you leave a better angler at the end of your time with us.

Clients come back because they trust our judgment and know that we will put them over quality fish. What’s a quality fish? One that an angler has a hope of catching given their experience and skill level. We try hard to place customers in front of fish that will challenge their ability. Not everyone has the knack to catch a monster, but it doesn’t take us long to figure out which areas of the river will give our client an opportunity to catch his/her personal best! If they don’t, then they will still have learned enough to increase the likelihood of having more consistent results the next time they venture out on their own.”

See here for some of our Clients’ GREAT Brown Trout.

See here for some of our Clients’ GREAT Steelhead.

Read some testimonials from our customers and clients: Testimonials.

Luke Bryant Guide on the Grand River AA

Luke Bryant – Guided Fly Fishing Day on the Grand River.

 

Personal references available upon request.

The greatest compliment anyone could give us is the referral of a friend, family, or business associate.  We sincerely appreciate your referrals. We help you to create memories that will last for life!

Our Team
Ken Chandler with an upper Saugeen River Musky on a Hobo Spey

Ken Chandler

Peter Charles Bio Picture BB
Joe-Penich-BIO-Picture-Resized-for-Web
Arron-Varga-BIO

Arron Varga

Our Our Fly Fishing – Guiding Service

Our Fly Fishing – Guiding Service includes the Grand River, Conestogo River, Credit River, and Saugeen River, for Brown Trout, Brook Trout and Rainbow Trout. For Migratory Salmon and Steelhead, as we are centrally located, with access to all the Great Lakes and their Tributaries.

Though there are currently no certification requirements for guides in Ontario, we are CPR/First Aid Certified and fully Insured.

References available upon request.

Contact us by phone 519-766-HOOK(4665) or email.

To read testimonials from our past customers and clients, click here.

Walk and Wade - The Grand River, The Credit River, & The Conestogo River

1 Person 1/2 day guide (4 hours)……$ 150.00
2 People 1/2 day guide (4 hours)……$ 225.00
1 Person full day guide (7 hours)……$ 250.00
2 People full day guide (7 hours)……$ 300.00; extra person $ 75.00 (max 3. people)
Night fishing add $50

Walk and Wade (Non-local Rivers) - The Saugeen River, The Bighead River, The Nottowasaga River, & The Lower Grand River

1 Person full day guide only……$ 300.00
2 People 1/2 day guide)……$ 300.00
2 People full day guide……$ 350.00

Night Fishing - Grand River Only

We have some of the best all round guides in our region.

We have become renowned for our “Night-time Guiding ” for Big Grand River Browns where catches like this from our clients are the norm.

Flavio & Brian Guided Night Fly Fishing on the Grand

 Guided Night Fly Fishing on the Grand River.

Contact us to reserve your window as the time frame is short when consistent Grand River Browns like that in the above and following pictures will come out to feed !!

Here is an article on the art of Night-Time Fly Fishing for Brown Trout:

Night Fishing – Your New Horizon (by Brian Primeau)

“If the man who fishes hard-fished public waters and prefers to fish with flies wants to number his lifetime catch of trophy sized fish on a tally sheet instead of on one hand, he should consider night fishing.”  Quote from Jim Bashline’s book “The Final Frontier – Night Fishing for Trout” 1987.

When you look at the number of books written about the sport of fly-fishing there are relatively few which discuss night fishing.  It surprises me that more people have not taken to off-hours fly-fishing especially since the large fish on heavily fished waters often become nocturnal.  It is my hope to encourage some of you to add this new dimension to your fishing and at the same time open your eyes to a way of pursuing quality fishing while escaping the crowds.

Between guiding and fishing in 2003 – 2005 I spent an average of 5 days per week on the Grand River.  Those who know me would agree that I am probably the first person on the river in the morning and often the last person off the river.  This is not because I am there all day but rather that I choose to fish the less popular hours.  During the 2003 season I learned more than any other year I have fished and I still learn more every year!  Those who chose to fish beside me on occasion were well rewarded for their efforts as well.

Lets start off with the rewards for fishing in the dark:

The average size fish is bigger.
You can fish all the best spots without crowds.
You will learn new techniques.
You will become more familiar with your equipment.

The average size fish is bigger than during the daytime.
My average fish caught during the nighttime was 17 inches in 2003, 19 inches in 2004 and 21 inches in 2005 and all my biggest fish were caught at night.  It seems to me that the smaller fish have not developed the habit of night feeding.  Older fish are under much pressure and I guess, not unlike Pavlov’s dogs, older fish have learned that when they eat in the daytime they get hurt.  On the times that fish have fed at night they haven’t felt the sting of our metal.  It probably takes a few years for them to come to this conclusion, but they do nonetheless.

You can fish the most popular holes of any river or stream.
A few years ago during the second week of June, I went by myself to the Beaverkill River at Roscoe NY.  The Beaverkill is a famous river and June is a popular month.  What I found was that I really never saw other fisher folk on the river until sometime between 8 Am and 9:30.  I got up at 4:30 to 5Am and was on any hole by 6 at the latest and had the whole place to myself.  I would leave by 10 or 11Am and eat breakfast, mill around Roscoe or the countryside for a few hours and then sleep until 5 or 6 in the evening.  By the time I got back to the river after my nap all the folks who had gotten there at 8 or 9Am were leaving – again I had the place to myself and evenings in June are long.  The same rule held true on the Big Horn River in Montana.

You will learn new techniques.
It is seldom necessary to cast 30 or even twenty feet at night.  As a matter of fact most of the fish I catch at night are taken within the first 10 feet of the shore, and often the fish are tight to the banks.  The challenge is in placing yourself within range so that you can: a) use what little ambient light is available to find rising fish, and b) get close to the fish without stepping on them or scaring other fish in the area.  This requires an entirely different approach because you can seldom see fish that are more than one or two rod lengths away.

You will become more familiar with your equipment.  Things like casting and finding your forceps take on a new dimension during the witching hours.
One night as I was heading to a favorite spot I met a fellow who was parked where I usually park.  As I got my things ready I said hello and asked him if he was finishing or just starting to fish.  He stated that he was just getting there and wanted to get an hour in before he lost light.  I said, “you’re fishing should only be getting good in an hour.”  I asked which hole he was going to fish.  As it turned out he was going to fish the same spot I wanted to fish.  I told him to enjoy his hour of fishing but suggested that he stay another hour and sit on the bank and watch the current seam along the bank as the ambient light turned the ripples to silver.  I gave him a few fly suggestions and told him that I would go further downstream and fish.

I started well downstream of the fellow and fished my way upstream and when I got to the hole that he was supposed to be fishing he was still sitting on the bank.  I shouted “How’s it going?” and he shrugged.  I had been there a few nights before and it seemed unusual that the fish weren’t up and that time in the evening.  I waded through the frog water to a point behind where I though the fish would be and sure enough there they were.  I summoned him over and pointed to the edge of the current seam.  “Look there”

“I don’t see anything”

“There”

“Nope”

“OK, just relax, they are hard to see, all you will see is the tip of a tail…watch here”

“Hey, I saw one!”

“Ya”

“There he is again”

These fish were in three feet of water; there were no heads visible and no sound.  They were taking sunken spinners right at the surface but only the tips of their tails belied their stealth, just like the Bonefish on the flats.

“Let me see your leader.”  I turned my headlight on…. Try this.”  I gave him a fly.

“No you take him, this is great!” He stated.

“I will have more fun if you take him.” I replied.

Well to make a long story a little shorter, he was not used to fishing at this late hour and had his leader wound up after a few false casts.  I helped him untangle the leader.  It reminded me of myself learning to cast a center pin reel at night.

He tried again but this time his leader looked more like a gill net.  I offered my rod but he wouldn’t have it.

“I want to see you get that fish!” he whispered with spirit.

Since gill netting was not legal he put away his leader and observed as I complied.

“OK” and I cast and landed a 16-inch fish.  Then another, and one huge fish raced up stream sulked then broke me off.  “Did you see that, I couldn’t turn him?”  I shouted in excitement.  We both laughed like kids with a secret, nudging each other.

This is typical of the type of fishing that occurs after all have gone home and it is very similar in the early morning.  During the height of summer you can see at 4:30Am and on the full moon you can see all night, sometimes you even have to watch your shadow on the water for fear of spooking fish.

To me this is exciting fishing.  Even the act of casting is different in the twilight zone.  Please don’t conclude that my new friend was not a good fisher or caster.  Try false casting with your eyes closed; casting at night does take practice.

There is one last thing to bear in mind.  If more of us are fishing at night, some poachers will have to find a new place to kill fish!

Some facts about night fishing: (2003) Average size fish – 17” Average number – 3 – 5
(2004)Average size fish – 19” Average number – 2 – 3
(2004)Average size fish – 21” Average number – 1 –3

Type of fly used – dries – spent caddis (black), the usual (yellow, white), Cahill emergers, spinners (Hendrickson, Cahill, Hex, BWO’s, Ants and the Kitchen Sink)

Equipment – 4wt rod 5X tippet

Water type – Slow pools and tails-outs, flat water, frog water, near-shore ledges.

Necessary tools  – Head light, net, Bifocals, Wading staff, Midge/fly threader, and a net with a large hoop!

Cheers and have fun!

Brian

Occasionally Brian sneaks away for a few hours when he’s not guiding….Here are some of the results. He knows where they are …. This could be YOU !

Night Time Grand River Brown Trout on a Bamboo Rod

Brian's Night Time Grand River Brown Trout

Brian’s Night Time Grand River Brown Trout.

Specialty Guiding Programs

SPECIAL GUIDING PROGRAMS:

“The First Cast Tie and Fly”

Your day begins with a tying lesson where you will learn the basics of fly tying and will tie a dry fly, streamer, nymph and wet fly. After the lesson we will gear up and hit the river for a full-out lesson. You will get the opportunity to catch a fish with your newly tied fly! Price $ 200

“The First Cast Short List!”

Add $ 50 to your booking and get short listed for a last minute call (1 day or less) when we know the action is outrageous. That means that we were out fishing and a blizzard of fly/fish activity got us so excited that we had to give you a call! You have to get here right away!

“The First Cast Split Guide”

Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. That means that a great morning of fishing ends with an afternoon of blistering heat and fish with lockjaw. Not any more!
$ 300 for one person and $ 425 for two people ensures that you fish the best part either side of the day.
For example:

Start at 7am fishing the early risers until 10 or 11am and take a siesta for a few hours, take the partner shopping or go for a brew at one of our local watering holes and then meet your guide to complete the rest of your 7 hour guide from 5 to 8pm when it’s cooler.

“The First Cast Supersize Your Guide”

You have had a great day on the river but the fish are still very hungry and your guide time is up. Do we drive back home or stay on the river? Provided the guide is not booked right after your booking you can “Supersize Your Guide” Additional hours can be added to your day at a rate of $ 35 per hour.

Drift Boat - The Upper and Lower Saugeen River or The Maitland River

“One of the best ways to truly fully experience the Upper Saugeen or Maitland River, is on a guided float trip. From learning how to read water, to executing the perfect cast, a day in a drift boat is not only an adventure but the perfect environment to learn the art of fly fishing. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, a float trip is one of the best experiences money can buy.! Even the seasoned angler will learn how to read water quickly and how to get a drift to a fish rather than simply casting to some random spot on the river. “

We are proud to have Ken Chandler Fly Fishing Adventures ( Ontario Driftboat Guides ) as a part or our Team of Guides and Instructors.

As one of Ontario’s few FULL-TIME guides, Ken a has been a Team Member for 15 years and is truly the best at what he does in the surrounding area.

“The Southern Ontario peninsula has much to offer the fly fisherman. While relatively close to major population centers in both Canada and the USA, we have many healthy rivers sporting strong populations of wild fish. There are variety of species, from brook and brown trout to steelhead and salmon in cold water, and smallmouth, pike, carp and muskie in warm water. The southern Ontario river system is one of the few places on the planet where muskie can be targeted and consistently caught on the fly.”

Call us for details, or visit Ken’s site by clicking here.

Drift Boat - The Lower Grand River

“One of the best ways to experience the Lower Grand River is on a guided float trip. From learning how to read water, to executing the perfect cast, a day in a drift boat is not only an adventure but the perfect environment to learn the art of fly fishing. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, a float trip is one of the best experiences money can buy. Even the seasoned angler will learn how to read water quickly and how to get a drift to a fish rather than simply casting to some random spot on the river. “

Corporate guiding/instruction quoted on an individual basis as additional guides and service are required. The event is tailored to your group requirements.

* Taxes, gratuities and license fees (if required) extra. All prices are in Canadian funds.

** It is important for us to note that our instructors and guides receive 100% of any gratuities paid.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

  • Should The First Cast Fly Shop or any guide sub-contracted by TFC cancel the Guided Day for any reason, a full refund of the deposit will be given or the deposit may be held and applied to secure an alternative date in the same calendar year at your discretion.
  • If for any reason the Guided Day is cancelled due to a clients request, a full refund of the deposit is only made with seven (7) business days notice. Alternatively, the deposit may be applied to a future booking in the same calendar year when less than seven (7) days notice is given.

We are the leading provider of Fly Fishing Lessons, Corporate Team Building, and Guiding Services on the Upper Grand River, the Upper Credit River, and the Conestogo River.

No Guelph, Fergus, Kitchener or Cambridge Fishing Tackle Retailer will boast as complete and diverse a store inventory, including a vast selection of Fly Fishing Rods, Fly Fishing Reels, Fishing Waders, Wading Boots and Streamside Accessories.

Order a HLS or TFC Gift Card – We will put one in the mail for FREE!

Clearance Sale Fly Shop Flyshop Flyfish Grand River Fly fish Grand River Guide Grand River Lesson Grand River Fergus Ontario Canada