In this area, South of Georgian Bay we are very fortunate in that we have a number of rivers that offer the opportunity to canoe, kayak and fish, as well as adding beauty to the area. As you travel along the Escarpment between the Collingwood Area and through Clearview Township you will discover two little known rivers, the Mad and the Noisy Neither on of them live up to their names except possibly in some areas during spring run off or after a heavy rain. In most areas they are inclined to resemble small bubbling streams with numerous pools that are home to a large number of trout, rather than fierce rivers. This is what makes them ideal locations to spend quiet hours in peaceful fishing. In fact it is said you could spend a whole week in the area and not fish the same spot twice, but find success every day. They are both affluents of the Nottawasaga River, starting in the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Minesing Swamp.
The Mad River which is probably the better known of the two, is believed to have been given its name by a woman in Angus who fell into it and nearly drowned, it is not clear though whether it was the river or the woman that was mad! It is considered to be one of the prettiest freestone rivers in Southern Ontario with numerous pools, relatively steep grade and no angling pressure. It starts as a narrow stream with high mud banks near Angus, and continues north past Creemore and Glen Huron where it powers a feed mill. The water rises in various places as it meets various streams along its course and drops in others as it travels along the Niagara Escarpment area. In Devil’s Glen Provincial Park there is a steep-sided bedrock gorge that the Mad River carved during its angry days but you will also find it turns into a shallow stream with cedars and rare ferns along it shore, that is home to brook trout. The upper reaches near Singhampton babbles over a gravel bed and is shallow enough in spots that you can cross it in rubber boots without getting your feet wet.
The Noisy River is not very well known, even to some ardent fly fishers. It leaves the Nottawasaga River and travels north of Shelburne through the Noisy River Provincial Park, Dunedin and Lavender to join the Mad River near Creemore. There are numerous productive pools along it route.