Let's face it, winter can stretch on for what seems like forever in most parts of Canada.  And notwithstanding Wiarton Willies recent prediction on Groundhog Day, that spring is going to come early this year, all the winter storms and cold weather that have been sweeping across the country lately, have left a lot of Canadian anglers pining for a fishing trip to the south.   

Well, believe it or not, that may be a heck of a lot easier to plan and execute than you ever thought possible.  Especially if you add the Lower Niagara River to your list of southern fishing destinations.   

That is right ... the Niagara River!  

Right now the fishing conditions are absolutely perfect for rainbows, browns and lake trout because the river is crystal clear.  Ironically, the reason for the ideal conditions is because Lake Erie is ice covered at the eastern end, so westerly winds can't blow in, create waves, stir up the bottom and affect the water quality.   

Now, I can hear you thinking, "Man does that ever sound great.  I'd love to catch a bunch of eye-popping rainbows and browns.  But I put the boat in the garage for the winter and it is way too much trouble taking it out now, unwrapping it and pulling it down a slushy, salty highway."  

Listen, even if I had a boat at the ready, I'd leave it in the garage.  That is because there is a much better option that is guarantee to put big fish in the boat without any of the work or hassle.  Simply get in touch with Niagara River guide, Frank DiMarcantonio and get him to take you out for a day or two on the water.  It will be the winter trip of a lifetime.  

 I've fished the Niagara River for steelhead and browns, below the famous Whirlpool, with Frank in the past and I count the experience among the most exciting and fun-filled adventures I've ever been on, and I've had the chance to fish around the world.  Honest, truth, I love fishing in the Niagara River gorge and count it among the top two or three trout spots in the country.  Maybe the best anywhere for browns.  

And the advantage of fishing with a skilled river rat like Frank is that he knows where all the subtle runs are located and where the trout stack up.  I remember one time fishing with Frank, I enjoyed hook up after hook up after hook up on repeated drifts down one particular stretch of river.  I may have caught the fish, but none of it would have been possible without Frank's intimate knowledge of where the drifts, runs and eddies were located.   It is the reason you hire a guide - so you can catch fish.

According to Frank, drifting tiny yarn flies, small egg sacks and finesse plastics right now is producing some awesome trout.  K7 and K8 Kwikfish are also working well.  For the fly fisherman, on the other hand, stripping small flies and nymph patterns is producing fish.   

On a good day with Frank, you can catch upwards of 20 or more hard fighting steelhead and browns.  And the brownies that Frank is catching right now are true giants in 14- and 15-pounds.  I am drooling just thinking about hooking into one of those immense, hard fighting, beer belly browns.  

By the way, if you spend a day with Frank fishing for trout, take the time to "talk muskies" with him.  He is one of the best muskie anglers on the continent, catching 30- and 40-pound fish every year in the Niagara River and out in Lake Erie.  And his exquisite, handmade, 'Frankie Baits' are works of art that are coveted by muskie anglers everywhere.  

I remember the very first time I fished with one of Frank's muskie lures, my partner hooked and landed a 50-inch northern pike on my home lake, Lake of the Woods, within the first hour of casting it.  That pike still remains the biggest northern I've seen on Lake of the Woods.  

So, quit pining and dreaming about an open water fishing trip to the south and give Frank a call at (905) 788-9384 or contact him via his website   If you live in southern Ontario, you can be fishing with him within an hour or two of leaving your house.  All you need to do is get dressed and meet him at the launch ramp.  I guarantee you'll catch some of the biggest and hardest fighting trout of your life, without any of the airport hassles and expenses of a more long distance southern getaway.

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