Fishing the Lake of Many Bays

A fly-in fishing adventure on Big Kaby Lake at Pine Portage Lodge



Located in Northern Ontario on Kaby (Kabinakagami) Lake, Pine Portage Lodge has been operated by the Watson family for over 70 years! Since the beginning, they’ve lived by the philosophy of serving those who love the outdoors.

Pine Portage Lodge is steeped in history. After returning a hero from World War II, Dick Watson Sr. opened the lodge in 1946 with just a three-room cabin. He flew 90 missions and was shot down three times while serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

In the decades since, the Watson family has expanded their operation from its humble beginnings to over the 13 guest cabins and a 6,000 square foot main lodge.

We arrived smoothly and in style on a DeHavilland Turbine Otter. Watson's Skyways offers flights to the lodge through their airbase in Wawa.

dick and edna watson

pine portage camps photo

Kaby Lake covers 30,000 acres of beautiful Ontario wilderness. The name of the lake comes from the Oji-Cree indigenous language that translates to lake of many bays. The waters provide top-notch fly-in walleye fishing, as well northern pike, whitefish and perch. It is the largest lake in the Algoma District, with 147 islands and endless fishing. Pine Portage even offers hunting for moose, bear and birds.

I had the opportunity to spend a few hours fishing with owner Betty (Watson) McGie. She knows the lake well, and it didn't take long before we were catching some nice 'eyes. She shared many amazing stories about her father and what life was like growing up in the lodge business.

2 anglers fishing walleye

Besides your favorite walleye tackle, be sure to bring your appetite. Each evening there’s a huge salad bar buffet, which features over a dozen delicious dishes like steamed mussels and bacon-wrapped dates (yum!). And no Ontario trip is complete without the obligatory shore lunch! That alone is almost worth the visit!

salad bar

appetizers

shore lunch pine portage lodge

The lodge hill provides sunset viewing and vistas you just can’t get anywhere else. And, at night, it’s like sitting in a planetarium—there’s a good chance you’ll witness the blazing greens, reds and purples of dancing Northern Lights. Lodge founders, Dick Watson Sr. and wife, Edna, are buried on the hill, as if still smiling on the beauty of the surroundings.

What more can I say? Pine Portage Lodge is a wonderful place: awesome fishing, deluxe accommodations, stellar food, friendly people, and remarkable natural beauty. Indeed, they live up to mission statement of serving those who love the great outdoors. I know I’d come back in a heartbeat.

And yes, I even met a few unforgettable characters—like this groundhog, which I just couldn’t resist hand feeding! 

troy lindner and ground hog

(Photo credit: Lindner Media)

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