Tree River, Nunavut
Credit: Wayne Lynch / Getty Images

Only four miles from the Arctic Ocean, this ferocious river is a playground for wily arctic char, who like to ignore and taunt the 250 or so fishermen who make it to the ancestral home of the Copper Inuit each year. Morris, an avid conservationist who won the Teddy Roosevelt International Conservation Award, not only approves of the catch-and-release policy (each group is allowed to take only one arctic char and is encouraged to cook it up immediately), but he also likes the fish themselves. Outwitting the splatter-painted 20 pounders takes a good deal of thought and a lot of muscle. The current 32-pound record holder was pulled from this icy river that's more than 1,000 miles north of Edmonton, Alberta.

"The Tree River," says Johnny, "holds the biggest and most aggressive arctic char in the world. Catching one on a fly can be difficult, but it's a very thrilling experience."

Iconic Plummer's Arctic Lodges is the only operation on Tree River and the only way to get there unless you want to take an ATV or boat 85 miles from Kugluktuk, the nearest settlement. [Overnights from $995;]