Dubawnt Lake, Nunavut, Canada
For one of the more challenging fishing experiences of your life, head to Dubawnt Lake in Nunavut, Canada’s most northern province. At 350,000 acres, the lake is one of the largest in Canada and is listed as the 16th largest in North America. Known for huge trophy fish, lakes in Nunavut (translated, “our land”) Territory are fished by those who truly love the sport. As reward for a challenging arrival, you will experience excellent fishing and some of the most pristine and untouched scenery in the world. Located north of the tree line, Dubawnt Lake is icebound over 10 months of the year, making it one of the most secluded lakes in North America.
Known for its trout fishing, Dubawnt Lake has been designated “trophy fishing only,” meaning all fishing is catch and release. Take note that all hooks are to be single barbless to minimize the impact on the fish. For an overnight stay, there are a few outposts on the lake that are open for only six weeks during the summer when the ice is out. Since the only access to the lake is via flight, an average of only 50 anglers visit Dubawnt Lake each summer. The outposts supply boats, lodging, guides, meals, and satellite telephones.
The Dubawnt River flows through Dubawnt Lake, which is located 774 feet above sea level and only 217 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The lake, which has irregular shorelines and numerous islands, is surrounded by slopes of glacial till. Vegetation is low arctic tundra with heath and lichens and some stunted spruce on the south end. Located on the migration route of 500,000 Qamanirjuaq caribou herd, Dubawnt Lake is also home to muskoxen, wolves, foxes, and grizzly bears. Wildlife watchers should expect to see muskoxen, especially to the west in the Thelon Game Sanctuary, a 26,000-square mile wildlife sanctuary on the west side of Nunavut Territory. Touted as the largest and most remote wildlife refuge in North America, Thelon Game Sanctuary is like stepping back into time, when there were large stretches of uninhabited land that housed only wildlife.
Dubawnt Lake is at the contact point between two native peoples, the Chipewyan and the inland Inuit. Inuit is a term used for a group of indigenous peoples that inhabit the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, and Alaska. There are no permanent settlements on the lake, which was initially discovered in 1770 by Samuel Hearne. The entire province of Nunavut has a population of around 29,500, making it the least populated province and territory in Canada. Nunavut is also the largest of the Canadian provinces, roughly equivalent in size to Western Europe. It is home to Alert, the northernmost permanently-inhabited place in the world. With five permanent inhabitants (according to the 2006 census), Alert has a number of temporary inhabitants that work the Canadian Forces Station Alert, the Environmental Canada weather station, and a Global Atmosphere Watch monitoring laboratory.
Fly up to Dubawnt Lake for one of the most unique fishing experiences of a lifetime. Where else can you catch 40 plus trout, many in the 30- to 40-pound range, on one of the largest lakes in Canada with only two or three of your closest friends?
Things to do at Dubawnt Lake
- Wildlife Viewing
Fish species found at Dubawnt Lake
Dubawnt Lake Photo Gallery
Dubawnt Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Spread the word! Share our Dubawnt Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!