Walleye and Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lady Evelyn Lake

Part of the fun of fishing any lake is learning all about the lake itself. Lady Evelyn Lake is no exception and is located within a geographical area that is steeped in such a rugged and spectacular history that it is far too encompassing to give complete details here. I'm going to concentrate on the items that will be important to gaining knowledge that will be helpful in fishing Lady Evelyn Lake itself. However, doing a bit of research using Google Search about this area of Ontario can be extremely rewarding in appreciating the area's rich historical value.

Lady Evelyn Lake Geographical Information

Lady Evelyn Lake in Timiskaming District of Northeastern Ontario is located on the namesake Lady Evelyn River which is a tributary of the Montreal River which is a tributary of the Ottawa River. The lake is directly east of the Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park and also the Obabika River Provincial Park which includes the southeast corner of the lake. Lady Evelyn Lake is 36 miles long located in Ontario's Near Northeastern Region and it is surrounded completely by Crown land with 675 miles of pristine shoreline and has no vehicle access roads. The lake currently has only three fishing camps and two fishing lodges in operation which are each located on their own separate islands.

Mattawapika Dam on Lady Evelyn Lake

Special Note: Garden Island guests are picked up by our crew at Mowatt Landing at 10am on Saturday mornings where guests and their luggage are then transported around the dam to boats that deliver guests to Garden Island Lodge. Read all the details about the entire process by clicking on Mowatt Landing to Garden Island Lodge.

Instead of thinking of this lake as a typical deep clear water lake, Lady Evelyn anglers should think of it in its original river setting before it was flooded. Rivers, streams, foundations, paths, burial areas and even old dirt roadways are all underwater. Since the original damming was done without government permission the area was never officially cleared or prepared for the flooding. Areas that were once rapids or portages like the Obisaga Narrows are now open water passages. It is fascinating to know that you might be fishing over top of a rotted out two century old wood hut or an old small lake bed that now lies in 50 foot of water. By the way, the deepest spot anglers have found in Lady Evelyn is 98' when the lake is at full pool. Lady Evelyn Lake has nearly every kind of natural structure imaginable with its rock islands, sand islands, grass bays, long grass shoals, rock walls, stream and river beds, water falls and streams bubbling noisely as they enter the lake with fresh cool oxygenated water. It's a beautiful pristine and colorful place to spend your next fishing vacation!

Lady Evelyn Lake Fish Species

The most popular fish species for anglers on Lady Evelyn Lake are walleye (pickerel to Canadians), smallmouth bass and northern pike. However the lake also has lake trout (specks or speckled trout to Canadians), whitefish, yellow perch and bluegill. There are also species of smaller baitfish like cisco but experienced anglers in Lady Evelyn will find that although baitfish are present they do not play a key role in the ecosystem. One theory is that this lake is so prolific with yellow perch in shallow water and immature smallmouth bass along the edges of the deep water that these two species are filling out that necessary food source for the many larger trophy fish Lady Evelyn has to offer.

  • Garden Island Lodge angler holding trophy Ontario walleye for a picture before releasing it.
  • Really big smallmouth bass held out for a picture before getting released.
  • This Lady Evelyn Lake angler kept a couple northern pike to take home for dinner.
  • Fisherman holding trophy Lady Evelyn Lake walleye for a picture.
  • Successful Lady Evelyn angler holding beautifully colored trophy Ontario smallmouth bass.
  • This angler doesn't look all that happy about catching a Lady Evelyn Lake monster pike and then releasing it.
  • Fisherman catches trophy Ontario smallmouth bass.
  • Fisherman showing off another trophy Lady Evelyn Lake Ontario walleye.
  • Garden Island angler shows the large toothy mouth of a trophy Ontario northern pike.
  • Garden Island fisherlady with a beautifully colored Lady Evelyn Lake Ontario walleye just before it was released.

Lady Evelyn is a massive lake region which can be divided mentally into four distinctly different fishing sections. These four districts can be further divided into several adjacent unique sections within each of them. The four main sections are; the area located east of Obisaga Narrows, the main lake area west of Obisaga Narrows, Sucker Gut and Willow Lake. Knowing that each has its own individual characteristics will help to unlock their uniquely different fishing opportunities. I fish for walleye in each of these for zones differently based on season, depth, water temperature and past experience.

  •     Coming from the dam the first end you will come to is the area I call the East End. I include everything east of the Obisaga Narrows. Although there are some 50 foot deep areas in the East End I consider this the "shallow" end of Lady Evelyn Lake.
  •     Coming out of the Obisaga Narrows at its western end you enter the region I call the Main Lake. This area has a lot of deep water with some reaching 90 to 100 feet at its deepest. This part of Lady Evelyn typically heats up slower in the spring and cools off slower in the fall. The Main Lake has hundreds of islands and also plenty of areas where shallow water plunges quickly into deep water. It also has lots of underwater humps surrounded by deep water and many unmarked long shoals.
  •     In the northwest corner of the Main Lake you can carefully weave your way over to a section named the Sucker Gut which is also connected to an arm that runs to Frank Falls. The Sucker Gut is relatively narrow and can be fished in strong wind when the open water is out of the question but keep in mind that many anglers coming from the East End have fished a day in the Sucker Gut and then coming home found that getting across the Main Lake was treacherous during the afternoon's winds. The Sucker Gut has a lot of shallow weedy areas.
  •     Next is Willow Island Lake which is actually connected to Lady Evelyn. It can be a long trip from most of the resorts but it is the least heavily fished area on Lady Evelyn and can produce some real trophy walleye.

Some Angling Tactics That May Help on Lady Evelyn

Walleye (Tips)

  • Just about anywhere you go on Lady Evelyn Lake there will be walleye fishing available. It's rarely about whether or not the walleye are there. It's more about what methods you use to fish for them in the area you have selected to fish. What works well in one area may not work at all in others so it helps to better understand what the walleye expect in the section you are fishing.
  • Walleye in Lady Evelyn are definitely not boat shy. You can find massive schools of walleye in only 10' to 15' of water around deep weeds and catch them non-stop for hours.
  • Walleye feed best on the shorelines and bays that are receiving the wind and therefore blowing in the baitfish.
  • Trophy walleye in general on Lady Evelyn will bite best during the last hours of daylight.
  • The largest trophy walleye will be found somewhere near the deepest water in the immediate area when feeding.
  • Catch and release has worked incredibly on Lady Evelyn and the proof is in the fact that some of the best walleye fishing spots from thirty years ago are still just as good today.

Northern Pike (Tips)

  • Northern pike prefer hiding out near the grass flats which they can use for ambush cover.
  • Pike on Lady Evelyn feed best right at 68 degrees water surface temperature.
  • You can't scare a northern pike when they are feeding! In fact you can even attract a northern pike by throwing a large heavy spoon high in the air to make the loudest splash possible.
  • If you are catching perch in an area you can bet there will be northern pike somewhere in the vicinity.

Smallmouth Bass (Tips)

  • Smallmouth feed best near long points and islands that have lots of fist sized broken rocks.
  • Big smallmouth in Lady Evelyn love topwater baits.
  • Lady Evelyn smallmouth bass are so prolific you will probably need to scale up your tactics and lures to consistantly catch the trophies.
  • Drop shot rigs with 4" to 5" marabou hair tied on the hooks is absolutely deadly on big smallmouth.
Lady Evelyn Contour Map

Tip: If a large area (like Willow Island Lake and Whitefish Bay) has mostly shallow water and lots of weeds that end near a former stream bed 10' to 15", look for both walleye and northern pike mixed into the deeper edges of those weedlines feeding on the yellow perch.

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