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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


If you have never flown in a modern floatplane 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 the owners of Ignace Outposts, one of Ontario's premier operations. "By flying into your own lake, you can escape the fishing pressure. As a matter of fact, many of the guests tell us that 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 this means is that guests are free to enjoy small and medium-sized fish for shore lunches and dinners -- they're the best "eaters" anyway -- while carefully releasing the bigger fish after taking photos. Also, nothing is kept to be taken home.

It is the recipe for fishing that is beyond belief. Indeed, 40, 50, and 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.

Ignace Outposts' camp lakes are located within the Arctic watershed, so the water never warms up to the point that the fish become sluggish. As a matter of fact, 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 that most of the lakes offer an amazing variety of fish species. So you can angle for smallmouth bass in the morning, catch walleye for shore lunch, target lake trout in the afternoon and catch trophy pike in the evening. Or, whatever combination you prefer.

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)

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 the weather is rarely an issue.

Cabins can be on a range of lake sizes anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 acres all the way up to 30,000 acres. But, even the biggest lakes are full of islands, bays and coves so it is actually one of the easiest to get around on, regardless of the weather.

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.

Ignace Outposts has outpost cabins on 8 different lake systems. On the smaller lakes, a cabin is typically the only one, while on the bigger lakes there are full-time staff people 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. Ignace Outposts, 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".

Things to Remember

  • Be weight conscience as you're flying in on a pontoon-equipped floatplane
  • Bring the things you absolutely need, like special medications, and leave behind the non-essential landing nets and paddles that are already supplied
  • Don't be a tackle junkie: just bring the rods, reels and items you need

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

How to Pack

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
  • Leave the flimsy paper bags and coffin-sized coolers at home
  • Stick with sturdy small and medium-sized cardboard boxes
  • 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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