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July 27, 2006

Canadian Walleye Trips: "Fishing Outpost" and "Comfort" Don’t Have to Be Exclusionary Terms

Camp_2 So you want the classic Canadian fly-out experience?  To start, you must have the will to guide yourself. Secondly, you need the patience to tolerate a week of bugs, tar-paper shacks, old motors, and leaky boats. In return, you’ll net some excellent angling for around $1,400. 

That’s a realistic view of what many Canadian walleye fishing outposts offer. But in the past few years, some outfitters have been setting new standards in wilderness camps with some impressive amenities, like electricity, hot and cold running water, showers, toilets, full kitchens, two bedroom cabins, and new motors every year. 

Pipestone Outfitters, in Emo, Ontario, meets that description (807-482-1143; www.pfo.net).  They operate a fly-out service to five different lakeside cabins in Wabakimi Provincial Park in central Ontario.  Groups of six to 10 people pay prices starting at $1000 per person for six days.

After a 16-hour drive from my home in Missouri to Emo, six of us unloaded the truck’s gear into a 1950’s twin engine Beech float plane and landed at camp an hour and half later. For five days, we caught our share of walleye ranging from 10 to24 inches, lost and landed a few huge pike, observed the northern lights three nights in a row, saw eagles and caribou, found a lost canoeist, and watched a raging forest fire that almost forced us to evacuate. It was a memorable excursion, but what made it that much more enjoyable was the comfort. I got a good evening rest every night, ate well, and even took a couple of showers. A tar-paper shack would suffice with just one other angler, but with a large group, I recommend springing for a camp like this.


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