Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Meeting the 2024 Canadian Angler Hall of Fame newest inductee Gord Ellis

Representing the north has served him well

By Luigi De Rose 

Turning one’s passion into a career has burned deep within many of us. Thunder Bay’s golden child Gord Ellis, a journalist, fishing guide, musician and conservation advocate has been one of the lucky ones. Through dedication and grit, Gord has made a career of writing and preaching the merits of pursuing adventure in the outdoors particularly in Canada’s north. 

At the Spring Fishing and Boat show at the Toronto International Centre in Toronto, on Friday, February 16, 2024, members of the Canadian fishing industry honoured Gord Ellis by inducting him into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame. 

Flanked by his wife Cheryl, Ontario OUT OF DOORS Editors Ray Blades and Jason Bain, and past inductees, Gord looked back on a career in fishing media spanning over 38 years. 

Beginning with an article in Angler and Hunter Magazine published by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) in the late 1980s. Those first years saw Ellis expand his craft while being published in numerous popular magazines. 

“I was writing quite a bit back then. I got $350 for my first cover on a magazine and I was like WOW! That was a lot of money for a kid back then.” recalls Ellis 

Soon after his career shifted gears when he was granted a position on the masthead of Ontario OUT OF DOORS Magazine in 1992.  He leap frogged seniority quickly and became Senior Editor in the early 2000s, a position he continues to hold. Ontario OUT OF DOORS Magazine has been a jewel in his crown but Gord continues to actively write and his work is published in various magazines across North America. 

Gord has been a symbol of the majesticness of the North. At one point in his career, Ellis was the icon of giant brook trout anglers and his passion focused on not only pursuing these majestic trout but conserving cold water species’ habitat. His conservation work is something that Gord takes great pride in. “I, along with many other people, have made changes. We’ve helped make very important decisions to help different fisheries.” states Gord.  “I am very much a historian and when anglers complain about fishing regulations, I like to remind them how poor the fishing was just a few decades ago.” 

A member of several fisheries groups, Gord, along with others,  advocated for great brooker trout sustainability through fishing regulations and focused on creating greater partnerships regarding water levels in the Nipigon River during key spawning times. 

Through his many media avenues, Gord created greater public awareness of the key obstacles that were hindering cold water species that live in the Nipigon. 

Since 2013, he has revealed the wonders of Northern Ontario while guiding the Nipigon in pursuit for world-class brook trout, pike, walleye and salmon. 

In 2018, Gord was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, in Hayward, Wisconsin. 

Now this new induction to the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame has left him humble and pleased as very few media members, especially from the north, are recognized for their efforts.  

Follow Gord Ellis via his many social media outlets like 

@ellisgord or or purchase a copy of Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine to see what he’s up to that month.

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