Canada Fishing A Go-Go
August 1, 2012
“If you not trekked to fish the Great White North in the summer, then now is the time.”
By Don Kirk
Larger than the land mass of the US, our northern neighbor is a huge place with far more places to fish than there are Canadians to fish them. Tourism, the art of attracting US sportsmen to the country is big business here. There is a river, lake, lodge and vacation package for every taste and budget. Unlike hunting, which has become a bit pricey there for non-Canadians, there is lots of fishing that remains very affordable, especially for do-it-yourselfers.
At the top of the food chain of fishing vacations in Canada are the three- to five-day fly-in wilderness stays at lodges. These trips put you in lightly fished waters like Cree Lake in Saskatchewan where nearly every cast of a Daredevil spoon puts you toe-to-toe with a 20-pound northern pike. These are the crème de le crème trips where everything from boats and guides, to meals and an open bar are available. Air travel to reach fishing spots in the road-less north of Canada can add up to fifty percent to the overall cost of these trips that typically cost up to $2,000 for a five-day stay.
Next in line are fishing camps and lodges where road or even railway travel is possible. The biggest savings here is not having to spend $500 or more for a bush plane flight out of some northern outpost like Schefferville, Quebec. Most of these places are located 50 to 300 miles north of the US border, and usually require at least half of the driving on well-maintained, hard packed, but nevertheless dirt roads.
What these establishments offer varies greatly depending on what they offer in terms of fishing and services. Some camps located on incredibly productive lakes have lodges, meal services and lots of fishing guides available. Others provide only cabins where you do your own cooking, outdoor showers and johns, and boats with motors. Most of these will provide a guide for one day to show you a handful of places to catch walleye, lake trout, or pike,
Costs of these vary as much as do the locations, driving time needed to reach them, and the species of game fish that are available. Many times you can get cabins with a kitchen, a boat with a motor, and a one-day guide for just a touch over $1000 with no extra fees for additional people in the cabin with you. Of course you bring your own food, do you own cooking, and buy your own gas. However, it can be pretty economical if you are on a budget and a real savings if you can split it two or three ways. Some of the best places to look for these trips is in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Alberta.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer with the skills not only to camp comfortably in the wild, but also experienced enough at fishing to take on unknown waters, Canada is waiting for you. One of my favorite such destinations is the La Vérendrye Reserve. A large, water-rich park located about 3 hours drive from Montreal. It has many campground, and great fishing for trout, walleye, and northern pike.
Even closer to home is The Boundary Waters is a region of wilderness straddling the Canada–United States border between Ontario and Minnesota, a sprawling publicly owned tract located region just west of Lake Superior. The Boundary Waters region is a vast network of waterways and bogs within a glacially-carved landscape of common US and Canada border. It is a popular tourism destination for camping, canoeing, fishing, as well as for those simply looking for natural scenery and relaxation.
Canada has millions of acres of such provincial and national parks within hours of the US border where all manner of great fishing and camping are available. These can cost as little as gas money, food and supply cost, and fees charged for campsites and fishing licenses. You can even bring it all from home if you wish, but be advised drivers, that you cannot carry your favorite handguns into Canada. They are funny that way.
There’s dozens of different ways to set-up a fishing or plan your own to Canada. Two things you need to know before beginning the search is where do you want to go, and what can you spend. The Internet contains thousands of websites of outfitters, lodges, camp ground, and parks in Canada. If you really want to find the one that meets your needs and budget, spend a few nights perusing these. Even if it is a last minute lark on your part, you just might find a steal of a deal due to a cancellation. So send those emails and try your hand. You drive hard for a living, and you deserve a quality break this summer.
For more fishing for the professional driver, listen to visit Don Kirk’s web site at www.southerntrout.com. He is also on the Interstate Sportsman show on Sirius/XM (Open Road Channels 161) each Thursday morning a 7:30am ET, and Saturdays at 8:00 am ET.