Discover Smallmouth Bass Fishing on the Nith River in Southern Ontario

If planning a day of smallmouth bass fishing, the Nith River should be included. It is easily accessible from the 401 and 403 highways near Paris. It is within a one hour range of over five million people and yet hardly fished at all. The river starts somewhere out in Nithburg and flows one hundred miles to the forks of the Grand River in Paris.

The Nith River is shallow and narrow with excessive winding. The water is clear and the pools are 3-8ft deep. The bottom is gravel-strewn with clay banks that are prone to creating murk with rain. The Nith floods easily so it is wise to go online to view flow rates to insure an enjoyable fishing trip. The Grand River Conservation Authority offers an online service of real-time water level and flow data. It can be found by visiting and selecting “River Data”. The data posted is updated every hour.

Along the river, public access is often restricted to bridge crossings because the land is privately owned and posted. The river is best fished by canoe, kayak or platform rafts. In late summer the river becomes shallow and walking is required through some sections regardless of the boat used. Canoes and kayaks can be rented locally in Paris or guided platform rafting services can be hired. Guided services are recommended on this river.

This is a river of swifts and pools with fallen trees… the perfect habitat for lurking smallmouth bass. The bass in this river are almost green in colour and worm free because of the number of inflowing cold springs. The smallmouth bass dominate the river but there are water lily sloughs containing good populations of pike with some bullhead catfish. In the deeper holes pickerel or walleye can be located. There are no barbless or baitless restrictions on this river.

A fishing trip on the Nith River is timeless. Not because of how good the fishing is… but because of how much the river winds. This is definitely a river to enjoy but keep an eye on the hour glass.

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