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Rainy Lake Rocks

Smallmouth bass caught on Rainy Lake in Fort Frances, Ontario. • Credit: Karl Kalonka
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Rainy Lake Rocks

Fishing for Smallmouth Bass at Camp Narrows Lodge in Fort Frances



Another bucket list lake checked off my wish list, and boy was it a worthwhile trip to Fort Frances, Ontario fishing Rainy Lake from Camp Narrows Lodge.

I have been very fortunate and blessed to be able to fish on some very unique lakes and river systems that have produced some pretty good catches over the years, but my first impression of Rainy Lake was once that will remain in the memory bank for some time.

After arriving at the lodge in the early afternoon and after unpacking our gear, lodge owner Tom Pearson suggested we "just go fishing".

The three of us, Tom, full-time guide Scott Hamilton and I loaded up a few rods and some tackle into a bag and head out for a laid-back evening of fishing on beautiful Rainy Lake. Surprisingly, Tom didn't even get the boat on the plane for very long when he pulled back on the throttle and said 'here we are', spot number one". No long runs from the lodge to catch fish he said. And he was right.

Picturesque Camp Narrows Lodge on Rainy Lake in Sunset Country, Ontario
Picturesque Camp Narrows Lodge on Rainy Lake in Sunset Country, Ontario (Photo credit: Karl Kalonka)

Not five minutes into fishing a small back bay with scattered gravel, boulders and sparse cabbage weed, I felt that familiar 'tick' from fish number one, a nice over-the-slot-sized walleye ate my rage tail grub on the fall.

We continued to fish that bay and several others with a mixed bag of walleye, northern pike and of course those legendary thick-bodied smallmouth bass that Rainy Lake is famous for with hardly any effort whatsoever. With so many visual targets to cast to, it's actually hard not to get bit on Rainy lake due to the sheer numbers of fish that hold to almost every island point, gravel bar, rock pile, bounder or weed bed. Yes, it really is that good. Was I impressed, you bet I was.

Tom set us up on the American Plan meaning he made sure we were fed and well-nourished for the upcoming days of nothing but fishing and filming the show on this awesome fishery that hardly sees another boat in any of the locations we fished!

One of the most pleasant elements of staying at a lodge-like Camp Narrows is the angling camaraderie shared by other guests at the lodge during our visits and this trip was no different from all the others. We had the opportunity to share fish stories and meals with the guests and with the laid-back atmosphere here at Camp Narrows it almost felt like you were away at a friend's cabin for the weekend and could put your feet up, enjoy the pleasant surroundings, great fishing and just relax!

Our time fishing on Rainy Lake was as memorable as one can ever imagine. Spending time in the boat with Tom catching big smallmouth bass and trophy-sized walleye in the thirty-inch range or casting small grubs on gravel shorelines and points for walleye as well as hooking those big gator sized northern pike with Scott on the deeper point edges were simply as 'good as it gets."

The fishing was truly spectacular, but the sheer rugged beauty of Ontario's Sunset Country and the untamed wildlife sightings of deer, moose, lynx, white pelicans and the many bald eagles that soar above your boat is breathtaking.

Bald Eagle's Pictured in Ontario's Sunset Country
Pictured: Bald Eagles in Ontario's Sunset Country. Photo credit: Carl Kalonka)

I can guarantee if you visit Sunset Country and Camp Narrows Lodge on Rainy Lake I am certain it is a place you will not want to leave and count the days until your return visit. I know I'm counting them right now. Visit Camp Narrows Lodge at www.campnarrows.com or phone 1-866-294-5067 toll-free.

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