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Fly-in Fishing Adventures

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Fly-in Fishing Adventures

There's no better than to fly into one of the many remote outpost camps located across Northern Ontario. • Credit: Gord Pyzer

Northern Ontario's Outstanding Outpost Opportunities



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If you have never flown in a modern float plane into an outpost camp located on a picture postcard lake in Northern Ontario, you owe it to yourself to do it this year.  It is simply one of the most thrilling and exciting ways to go fishing. And it is remarkably affordable.

"It is fishing the way people imagine it to be," says Brad Greaves, who along with his wife Karen, own Ignace Outpost Camps, one of Ontario's premier operations. "By flying in to your own lake, you can escape the fishing pressure. As a matter of fact, many of guests tell us the fishing today is better than it was 20 or 25 years ago. That is because we manage our lakes carefully on a "catch-and-consume" basis."

What Greaves means is that guests are free to enjoy small and medium size fish for shorelunches and dinners -- they're the best "eaters" anyway -- while carefully releasing the bigger fish after taking photos. Also, nothing is killed to be taken home.

It is the recipe for fishing that is beyond belief. Indeed, 40, 50, even 100 fish days are common. And what surprises many anglers who may never have flown into a remote outpost camp is that the action typically peaks in the middle of summer, during the nicest weather, when the sun rises early in the morning and it is still light enough to read a newspaper on the cabin porch at ten o'clock in the evening.

If you want to catch the fish of a lifetime, there is no better way to do it, than flying into one of the many remote outpost camps located across Northern Ontario. (Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

Taking youngsters on a fly-in fishing trip to a Northern Ontario outpost camp will build life-long memories – and not only for the youngster. (Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)
Most Northern Ontario outpost camps are located on small to medium size secluded waters where you’re the only boat on the lake and the fish are always biting. (Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

"Our outpost camp lakes are located within the Arctic watershed," says Greaves, who is located about two hours north of Duluth, Minnesota, "so the water never warms up to the point that the fish become sluggish. As a matter of fact, our guests commonly catch the biggest fish in July and August."

One of the reasons I enjoy flying into an outpost camp in Northern Ontario is because most of the lakes offer an amazing variety of fish species. So you can angle for smallmouth bass in the morning, catch walleye for shorelunch, target lake trout in the afternoon and catch trophy pike in the evening. Or, whatever combination you prefer.

And outpost camp lakes tend to be manageable in terms of size, so getting to know where the hotspots are located is never time consuming and weather is rarely an issue.

"Our cabins are on a range of lake sizes," says Greaves, "from 2,000 to 4,000 acres all the way up to 30,000 acres. But, even our biggest lake is full of islands, bays and coves so it is actually one of the easiest to get around on, regardless of the weather."

Ignace Outposts Ltd. camp locations

In addition, to offering a range of fish species and lake sizes, Northern Ontario outpost camp operators also typically provide a variety of cabin options.

"We have 14 outpost cabins on 8 different lake systems," says Greaves. "On the smaller lakes, our cabin is typically the only one, while on the bigger lakes we have a full-time staff person to assist the guests if they need help operating equipment or advice on the best fishing locations and tactics. So, you can tailor your outpost experience the way you want it."

And if your perception of an outpost camp is reminiscent of a quaint log trapper's shack with a canoe pulled up on shore, better think again. Greave's cabins, like most outposts in Northern Ontario, come with modern boats and motors, propane refrigerators, solar lighting, radio phones and on-demand hot water for a refreshing shower in the morning. Trust me -- it is roughing it in velvet. And it is also why most first time outpost camp anglers bring far too much "stuff".

"Remember, you're going to be flying into your lake in a pontoon-equipped float plane," says Greaves, "so you need to be weight conscience. Bring along the things you absolutely need, like special medications, but leave behind the non-essential landing nets and paddles that we already supply."

Anglers, by nature, are also tackle junkies so it pays to go through your equipment and remove the rods, reels and items you won't need. And don't double up on things.


When you’re flying into a Northern Ontario outpost camp it is best to pack your gear in small, sturdy, easy to carry bags and boxes. (Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

(Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

(Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

Indeed, Greaves suggests since each person can bring 100-pounds of food, clothing and fishing tackle that they pack 60-pounds of personal gear and 40-pounds of "group items" to be shared with other members of the party.

And since everything must be carried and placed inside an airplane -- and removed and carried up to the outpost camp when you arrive -- stick with cans, not bottles and leave the flimsy paper bags and coffin-size coolers at home. Instead, stick with sturdy small and medium size cardboard boxes and don't pack them so full that you have to strain to carry them.

After all, you're going to want to save your strength for all the fish you're going to be landing when you visit one of Northern Ontario's spectacular fly-in fishing outpost camps this summer.

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