I remember when I was young, before I became a steelheader and my days were spent exploring small headwaters of Lake Ontario tributaries for pan-size Brook Trout. Some of these streams were small enough to jump across, but several also produced Brook Trout up to 12″ long which is a big brook trout for southern Ontario waters.
Gary Shaw was out fishing a similar stream and caught these very colorful small Brookies that are native and can be commonly found in many of the smaller in-land streams if you are prepared to do some bushwhacking. Easy access streams will be fished out. If you want to find some descent-size southern Ontario Brook Trout you have to be prepared to face poison ivy and biting insects. Sometimes you have to walk a half a kilometer or more through thick brush to find stretches that few anglers have fished. That’s where you look for beaver ponds, log jams, submerged tree roots on the bends of deeper pools and undercut banks. Those are all “‘honey-holes” that can produce Brook Trout up to 12″ long. No fancy gear needed, just a small hook a split-shot sinker and a small garden worm. If the water is a little murky from recent rains small #1 size spinners and tiny ultralight crankbaits can also work well. These fish may be small, but the color they show makes it worth the effort!