One of southern Ontario’s premiere trout streams, Duffins Creek is a popular location for anglers in search of rainbow trout, brown trout, coho salmon and chinook salmon.
Fishing for migratory rainbow trout is excellent between the CNR railway line and Lake Ontario from ice-out (usually in mid- to late February) until the fish complete spawning and return to the big lake (normally in late May). Upstream of the CNR line, anglers must wait for the opening of regular trout season on the 4th Saturday in April before fishing. Most fish are caught by anglers fishing from shore or wading, drifting with roe or its imitations, by fly fishing, or by using small spinners or wobbling crankbaits. Hooking these fish is a challenge, and landing them is even more difficult as they take advantage of every form of in-stream cover imaginable. Most run from four to eight pounds, but trophy rainbows approaching 20 pounds are caught every year.
The lower section of Duffins Creek is fairly quiet through the summer months, in spite of offering good fishing for smallmouth bass. Drifting with worms, or casting and retrieving small spinners can produce good action. Most fish weigh a pound or less, but fight well and provide great fun.
The busiest period for fishing pressure comes in the fall, when rainbow trout return to Duffins Creek joined by runs of brown trout, coho salmon and chinook salmon. The action starts following the first cold late summer thunderstorms in late August, and lasts until the river freezes over (usually in late December). The section of river between Highway 2 and the CNR line is subject to an extended fall trout season, closing on December 31 rather than the end of September.
Narrow and clear, Duffins can sometimes be a challenge to fish. Water level and clarity are key – the best action always comes a day or two after rain has raised and coloured the water, enticing fresh fish upstream. Waders are advantageous, but are not essential.
Duffins Creek is easily accessed at multiple points, either by car or public transit.