Bryan Rutledge





Brian-Rutledge-Rutty-River-Guiding-Co. Photo by: Pete Paterson


Flyfishing with Bryan, a trained environmentalist, is never just fishing: it’s an endless education in ecosystems, cougars (yes, we have some), why trout need our cold, cold streams up here, and much, much more.


You grew up right on the Grand River.

ishing since I was 4, fly fishing since I was 10. I’ve never owned a video game system.


Everybody says fishing takes patience.

It’s more like meditation, a concentration thing: you’re so concentrated on the act, the time and place, that it forces you to think only about currents, depths, where the weeds are… and work, customers, it all goes away.


What is it about Headwaters that’s so special, environment-wise?

It’s one of the last accessible places that’s got a lot more wild, untouched areas. There’s still trees instead of clear-cut lands where the rivers are. We saw a great-horned owl last year, and he eventually started following us down the river. If you’re fishing in Mississauga or even Cobourg, you don’t have that kind of opportunity because it’s all houses and highways.

Plus, we’ve got the Escarpment and landforms, but we also actually appreciate them. Look at the proposed quarry getting protested as much as it did. We know what we have is important and awesome so we try
to protect it.


Tell me a real natural place I can go.

Anywhere along the Nottawasaga River. There’s a little trail access there near the 3rd Line, walk up west, there’s gorgeous untouched areas there.


And you must have a top-secret private fishing hole…

Yes… but I don’t know if I’m willing to take somebody there.


Ha! I get it.

I thought you would.