Canadian Fly In Fishing
Canadian Fly In Fishing

Feels Great to be back!

Rena and I have been in Red Lake for almost 2 weeks and it feels great to be back!  The ice is still probably a week away from going out at least.  The weather has been perfect since we arrived.  Warm and sunny everyday.  We have been working around the base and doing jobs we normally don’t have time to do while we are operating in addition to the normal spring cleaning.  The base is great shape and the afternoon sun has been perfect on the deck.  Today though…. it is snowing after raining all day yesterday.  Everything will start to turn green next week if it warms up.

There a ton of birds back and since we have some of the only water around, there is a lot of activity in the river.  Geese, ducks, seagulls, loons, sandhill cranes, blue herons and tons of eagles are here as well as all the other land birds.  For a few days each spring the sound of all these birds is constant.  As it warms up they slowly carry on to the north as spring heads that way.

We remain hopeful that things will straighten out in time for us to have a season.  When it will begin is still up in the air.  We have moved a few guests around that were scheduled in May, we are waiting until we know more on when the border will open before making too many changes.  We have no choice right now than to be patient and be as ready as we can when the time comes.  Aaron and I will be heading north to get the camps ready when the ice goes.

There are many theories and opinions to what is happening to us right now and if you are afraid of what you are being told or not.  Just so we are clear on our stance, we are not afraid, we are open for business.  This virus does not scare us despite what the media and government are trying to tell us.  The time to stand up and say we have had enough is here.  We have been working with our network of Tourism Associations and Airline colleagues to pressure the government about opening up the border to tourism.  We are the Premier Social Distancing Vacation. πŸ™‚ Where else would you want to go?   There are still guests booking fishing trips for later in the season in some of our open dates, it is hard not to be optimistic when we have such great and loyal guests.  

Here are some pics I have taken recently.

Spring is the time to get the Tulibee’s smoked.  The smoker is at my Mom’s and we always have a day each spring where we get together, have a fire all day, maintain the smoker, roast hot dogs and possibly have a few drinks. 

Until yesterday this is what we had every day.  Perfect days for yard work.

Jack is back!  He is a year and a half now and spends all of his time following Aaron and I around.  This little bugger is going to be fun to have around.  We were raking leaves and he found a hockey stick in the shed to come and help with.

This is what we woke up to this morning.  Hopefully it is gone by this afternoon.  It is supposed to be sunshine for the next week at least.

 

We will be ready…….

Here we are, all in the same boat, waiting to see how this all plays out.  We have been in contact with our first few groups regarding this Covid Crisis and will continue to monitor what is happening with the Canada/USA Border as well as the spread of this virus.  As time marches on we will be in contact with more guests as we learn more.  We are optimistic that this event will go by and we will be able to resume our season at some point, but we have to be able to hit the ground running when it does.

When the border opens up again, we will be ready.  Our plan is to have the camps all ready to go when spring arrives.   I am sure we are not the only ones who would like to be in the remote wilderness during this time.  For us, self isolation is normal everyday life.   Especially when we are opening camps.  As soon as we have some open water we will be in the north getting the camps ready to go.  The airplanes have both had their winter work done and are eagerly waiting to be put in the water. 

Spring is slowly coming through the door.  The birds are back and we have had 2 snows since the crows.  One more and then hopefully spring will officially be here.  Most of the snow has finally melted and the water is still on the ice.  Once the water goes through the ice, there is about 2 weeks that you can still be out there before it gets dangerous.  Our winter fishing season ended one week early due to the lack of demand during this crisis.  Just as we were really starting to catch good again…..

Here are some pics I have taken recently.

The Otter is all ready to go, when the prop comes back from the overhaul shop it will be put back outside to wait for open water.  A pretty normal year for maintenance on the old girl.  I can’t wait to fire that beast up again!

The walleyes have made the move to shore with the melting snow and freshwater working its way into the lake. We had a good year for fishing, catching lots until X-mas and then slowed down until now.  Not a bad part time job.  3 days a week, work outside, eat fresh fish whenever you want, and get paid to feed people.  The weather can sometimes be a pain but we have been doing this so long that we only complain when it gets too warm. πŸ™‚

We haven’t caught many crawfish this year but did the other day.  Dustee sniffed it, got grabbed by the lip and threw the crawfish about 10 feet!

We had a new ice crack show up during the last couple weeks.  Most people would be nervous leaving the Bombardier parked right on the crack.  With 38 inches of ice you could park a tank there and it wouldn’t move.  

I have been isolating/ angling since our commercial fishing season ended.  I think I have been on the lake everyday for 2 weeks straight!  Dustee comes out on the nice days now.  She is bored since angling is kind of boring compared to pulling nets.

Please keep yourselves healthy as we get through these crazy times.  We will continue to monitor the situation and will contact each group leader individually to work through whatever lies ahead of us.  Stay positive, eat healthy, exercise, if you are at home, maybe go through your tackle box and lighten it up a little……

We are always available for any questions by phone 807-735-9968 or by email amikoutposts@gmail.com  

 

Beginning to turn the corner…

The melt is slowly starting…… March is coming in like a Lamb, I hope not out like a Lion.  I prefer to go with 3 snows after the crows πŸ™‚

We had a fairly nice and easy winter this year.  Cold (-25 to -30C) a few times but it didn’t stay for too long.  Moderate temperature for the most part by our standards.  We even had some calm stretches, which is the best part of all. There is quite a bit of snow in the north where the camps are but nothing excessive from what I have heard.  Red Lake has snow but not as much as up north.  Hopefully we have a nice spring to follow…….

My brother and I are still out commercial fishing on Lake Manitoba, it is pretty slow right now.  It has been pretty cold and the fish are just sitting there.  We are catching a few, enough to keep us out there getting some exercise as we say.  Dustee is out there with us for the last 8 years.  Only missing a stormy day here and there.  She used to be able to fit on top of a boat cushion.  

Now Dustee casts a pretty big shadow!

She is always with us out on the lake and is constantly watching and hunting.  Staying close on the stormy days and wandering pretty far on the calm days.

Here she is trying to get to an Otter, that is long gone but she thinks she can get it.

Our schedule is changing all the time as we book people.  We only have a few holes left here and there and then some openings later in the season as well as a date which opened up due to a cancellation.  Here are what we have open at this time.  Please feel free to ask for specific dates and we can do our best or add you to a waiting list in case of a cancellation.

Shearstone Lake, May 30 – June 3, 2020 (5day)

Cherrington Bay, May 28 – June 1, 2020 (4 day)

Shearstone Lake, July 2-7, 2020 (5 day)

Findlay Lake, July 22-28, 2020 (6 day)

Cherrington Point, August 3-8, 2020 (5 day)

Cobham River, July 30 – August 3, 2020 ( 4 day)

Jeanette Lake August 6-13, 2020 (7 day)

Please click here if you would like inquire about one of these dates.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for your Upcoming Trip

 

GAS is much more expensive in Canada. Remember to fill up your vehicle in International Falls before you cross the Border where it is cheaper. This should be enough to get you to Red Lake and in some vehicles, back to Dyden where the price is somewhat cheaper than Red Lake. If you are coming from the west and travelling through Manitoba, fill up in Prawda, MB where the price of gas is generally 10 cents less per litre than Ontario.

Weight: Flying an Otter, we try and accommodate every group and the gear they require for a great fishing trip, which should be no more than 100 pounds per person. We do have some flexibility regarding weight but if you and your party show up at our base hundreds of pounds over your allowed weight, you will be asked to get rid of a hundred pounds or more of gear, which is harder than you think. Plan ahead, weigh your personal gear before you buy groceries. You should have no more than 60 pounds of personal gear, including your tackle, depth finder, batteries, sleeping bag, clothes and anything that isn’t food. Have and shop from a menu.  You do not need to buy large quantities of anything and it helps to keep your weight down.  This should allow ample room for the food for your trip. We see a lot of people over pack on clothing, remember that when you are in camp, you will most likely wear the same clothes for most of the week. Another tip is to pack a seperate bag for travelling and leave it in your vehicle in Red Lake with your travelling shoes etc. Leaving anything unneccesary behind. We do our best to utilize our aircraft and your party is entitled to 100 pounds per person. You need to be close to your allowed weight so that the supplies needed can get to the outpost camp and so we can send a cooler of ice with you.

Travel insurance When ever you are travelling outside of your home country, you should have travel insurance. A visit to the doctor for any reason, could add up to big $ if you are not prepared, even in Canada for a simple fish hook removal. If you are injured at the outpost and need a flight out for medical attention immediately, we will arrange for an aircraft to take you out but YOU are responsible for the cost of that special charter. If you have insurance, it may be worth a call to verify that you are covered in Canada.

Ontario Outdoors Card and your fishing licence If you have a green or blue Ontario Outdoors card, even an expired card, make sure to bring it with you when you come to see us. If you have not fished in Ontario in the past or do not have one, we will issue a temporary Ontario Outdoors card here at our base for you. We can renew your card at our base as well and also issue you your fishing licence here in Red Lake.  If you have renewed your Outdoors card online be sure to bring a copy with you when you come.

Groceries and Bait If you need us to help with getting groceries, bait, or beverages for your trip, please remember to get your orders into us at least 2 weeks prior to your fishing trip.

Water  Being that water is very heavy, we are suggesting to our guests to bring a good quality water filter to cut down on flying in bottled water.  These filters are lightweight and can be a gravity feed system or a UV light system.  The water in the North is all natural water on deep moving watersheds.  Please look into this and keep it with your Canada gear to use each year.

Lifejackets We supply lifejackets at our outposts for our fishermen. But we suggest that if you are a large person and require a bigger lifejacket, please bring your own. Also, if you have children coming with you, please bring a lifejacket for them as well.

Your phone and Photos.  We love to get photos from our guests of their trip.  We also worry about our guests dropping their phone in the lake or losing it somewhere on your trip.  We would like to remind everyone who makes the trip north to back up their contacts and empty the photos to provide you with plenty of room for the picturesque vacation you will be on.

Times in and out We do our best to get all of our fishermen in and out of the outposts as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are the only outfitter that will give you a time that you are flying in to the camp and a time that we will be at the dock to pick you up. Barring weather, we are on time 90% of the flights. There are a few things to remember that may affect our time schedule. Here they are starting in the morning.

-We operate on a river and there are times where we have localized fog which backs us up for the day.

–Bad weather When flying on floats, we have to be able to maintain visual contact with the ground. Our aircraft are not equipped for flying into or above the clouds like other commercial jets. Rarely, but sometimes we are a day late getting you into camp and someone has to stay an extra day in the bush. We can only do what Nature allows us to do in regards to flying safely.

–Problems at a camp. If there is a problem at the camp with anything, John must take the time to repair it. It affects the rest of the day slightly.

Please remember that we offer personal service for your fishing vacation. We have 24 years of experience in the tourist business with Amik Outposts, almost since the companies inception. Rena is excellent at helping you pre-plan every aspect of your trip, right down to the last detail. Her experience is a great asset and she will do her best to ensure you have all your bases covered. John with 25 years of flying in the bush knows the country in which you will be flying like the back of his hand. Thousands of hours logged, all in the same area, showing people great vacations. Around the camp, he has been maintaining the equipment since day one.

In order to offer you this personal service we schedule our trips throughout the day. We cannot fly everyone at 5am but we do not send you out with a pilot who is new to the area and has no clue as to how to fix anything around the camp.

We are looking forward to seeing you this summer. We hope these tips help. Remember, you are on vacation. Enjoy it.

Updated Openings for this Season.

Our schedule is always changing as we book people and fill up the camps.  Here are some dates that we have open at this time for next summer.  Have you got your trip booked yet?

BlackBirch Lake May 23-30, 2020

Shearstone Lake May 29- June 3, 2020

Shearstone Lake June 28- July 2, 2020

Findlay Lake July 22-28, 2020

Cobham River July 30- August 3, 2020

Cherrington Point August 3-8, 2020

Cobham Daniel August 22-25, 2020

Loree Lake August 21-26, 2020

 

Please click here to inquire about any of these dates and let the anticipation begin!!!

Why Choose Amik Outposts?

With all of the Outfitters in Ontario, why pick us?  Here is a blog I wrote a few years ago which tells our story. 

Since I wrote this we have added some key people to our business.  Our Oldest daughter Taina and our son in-law Aaron have started to work with us.  We are excited to show them the ropes and teach them all we can to be successful.

This should help you make a good decision on who you want your outfitter to be.  We want everyone to have a great trip each and every time they visit us.  Click on the link below to check out a previous blog.

https://www.canadianflyinfishing.com/2016/01/why-choose-amik-outposts/

Open Dates for 2020

2020 is here and we are looking forward to the year ahead.  Our booking sheet is beginning  to fill up but there are always a few open dates here and there as our schedule is constantly changing.  Here are a few dates for you to consider:

Cherrington Bay June 1-6, 2020

Loree Lake June 30- July 7, 2020

Vee Lake July 14-19, 2020

Findlay Lake July 22-28, 2020

Cobham River July 30- August 3, 2020

Black Birch Lake August 19-24, 2020

Cobham Daniel August 22-30, 2020 (8 day trip for 7 day price) 

We set some nets out on one of the reefs 5 miles out from shore.  The ice really piled this year!  It was mostly 12-14 inches thick and piled probably 40 feet.  We thought the fish might have stayed near the reef…. They didn’t πŸ™‚ trial and error that’s the only way to find the fish.

Please let us now if you have any questions regarding dates or your upcoming trip.  Click here to email us.

Merry Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching.  We hope that everyone is getting ready for Santa and that you plan to spend some quality time with family and friends.  

Our days are very short now.  The sun doesn’t get up until well after 8am and is down just after 4pm.  

We started out cold this fall, but as the entire USA was in the grips of winter for awhile, we were warm and dry.  Once we had about 8-9 inches of ice on the lake and very little snow it stayed beautiful for 2-3 weeks.  It was almost too warm for working out on the lake.  Especially when you are catching 6-900 pounds of fish a day.  Each one has to be handled numerous times before it even gets to town and then to market.  

 

It has since cooled off (-25 C) and we are snowing now.  It was beginning to look like a brown Christmas up here.  The lake has 13-14 inches of ice and fishing is still good.  Our third man, the Bombardier is out on the lake now.  Our lives just got easier, it pulls the nets out for us and then back in once we have taken the fish out of the net, keeps our fish warm,  gives us shelter from the wind and has a radio πŸ™‚

Dustee is out there with us each day.  She loves to run, eat frozen fish and try to catch the ravens.  A couple of weeks ago, she went off on an adventure near Long Point and awhile later we heard a weird howl from where she went.  I took off on the snowmobile to find her.  She fell through the ice near the point.  We never go near the point as the ice is always unpredictable there.  I walked towards her to help, and it started cracking under me.  I was still 15 yards away.  I told her I couldn’t help her.  She had to do it.  She tried one more time and then she popped up and came to me.  She had broke through the ice for about 30-40 yards before she called for help.  She has used up a few lives on that point.  But she was right back there the next day!  She was soaked but scrubbed herself dry on the snow.  She had a ice cold bath!

Dustee also gives new meaning to the term sled dog…  “let’s go”  she jumps on the sled and rides.  We bounce across the lake at 35-50 mph.  She hangs on as best she can.  She hasn’t fallen off yet πŸ™‚  The orange thing behind her is the Jigger.  That is what we use to get our lines under the ice.

The ice makes for some great pictures.  

We went to talk with our mechanic the other day and plan the winter maintenance.  I just could not resist taking a picture of the old girl at rest.  It will come into the hangar in the New Year and the inspection will be done.

 

We continue to book people for 2020 and if you are interested in an excellent fishing vacation next season, please contact us.  If you have never fished with us before and are on the fence about which outfitter to choose.  The only thing we will say is that we have more experience at showing people a good time than any outfitter in the area.  Our fishing is first class, we are very organized, everything at our camps is in great shape and works, and most of all, we appreciate our guests and treat them like family.  We know what we are doing.  

Our schedule is ever changing with dates and numbers of fishermen, so please enquire about any dates you may be interested in and we will let you know if we have anything open.  Here are some dates that we have open for our 2020 season.  We look forward to hearing from you.  Please click here to email us.

Cherrington Bay June 1-6, 2020

Jeanette Lake June 6-9, 2020

Shearstone Lake June 28- July 2, 2020

Loree Lake June 30- July 5, 2020

Vee Lake July 5-9, 2020

Cherrington Point July 4-8, 2020

Black Birch Lake July 18-21, 2020

Loree Lake July 21-27, 2020

Findlay Lake July 22-28, 2020

Cobham River July 30- August 3, 2020

That is all of the holes that we have at this time.  Please let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to reserve one of these dates.  We do have some availability in later August if you need some alternate dates.

 

Take care of yourselves. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us.

John and Rena

Aaron, Taina and Jack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall is here.

We are down to the last few groups of fall fishermen headed to the bush.  It is always bitter sweet to see the end of another season.  Lots of work to do and camps to close up before moose hunting.  We will see how Mother Nature treats us this fall.  We have gone from hot and dry to cool and damp.  We have had a fair bit of rain which has brought up the lake levels which is nice to see.  Fishing has been good, just deep, walleyes are down in 18-30 feet of water but the big pike have started to move into the bays and are feeding heavier as fall approaches.  The sizes have gotten bigger in the last week or two with many 26-28 inch walleyes being caught and released as well a more 40 plus inch pike.  Our guests continue to have a great time, no matter the weather or depth of the fish.  Just being in the bush away from the rest of the world should be your main reason for getting away, the great fishing is a bonus.  The silence and solitude are good for your soul and waking up with no alarm clock in such a place resets your mind.  I always look forward to fall.  It is my time of year……

 

Here are a few pictures from our last trip up north after getting some work done and closing the first couple of camps.

I had a ticket to the Packer game in Winnipeg but I had a bunch of flying to do that day.  Then was delayed by fog in the morning.  It wasn’t looking good to make it to the game.  Once we finally got going, there was just enough time.  We got the flying done and made the flight to Winnipeg.  Aaron and I were walking up to the stadium just as they were playing O’Canada.  Met up with my buddies who are also in the tourist business and had a great time. πŸ™‚

The time of year where I disappear into the bush is upon us.  Working in the bush is nice.   You only have the task at hand to contend with and then move on to the next one.  We have accomplished a bunch of jobs already and have a couple of weeks to get some others done before we start our Moose hunt.

Lulu has become a good flying dog once she got used to it.  She jumps right in the Otter now and doesn’t mind it at all.  She is more needy than Dustee as you can see by this picture. Inside Aaron’s personal space….

You have never seen a dog as happy as Dustee when fall comes around.  It is nice and cool, she has mice to hunt and is always watching out for us.  She feels like she is our guardian I think. 

We work hard all day so that we can go fishing in the evening.  Always taking plenty of food but end up eating fish more times than not.  It is so good when it is fresh.

Dates for next year are booking up fast.  We seem to see a high demand for trips in 2020.  Please do not delay in getting your trip booked for next year.  You can inquire about dates for 2020 by clicking here.

More pictures

The days are getting shorter and it has finally cooled off a little bit.  I think I saw some Birch trees with leaves on it that were already starting to fade, but that could be just from it being so dry most of the summer.  We haven’t had much rain in the north where the water levels are low.  Further south we had a few more rains which translates into normal water levels for this time of year.

Fishing has been consistent, our guests have been happy.  Lots of fish and plenty of big ones to go around.  Walleyes have been caught up to 29 inches recently with most groups catching multiples in the 24-26 inch range.  Big pike were slower during the hot weather we had with most fishermen catching a number of pike in the 38-40 inch range.  Since it cooled off recently, the bigger ones are coming back to life with more of our guests reporting some 42-43 inch pike.  The largest caught so far has come from Cobham Morley.  48 inches!!!

Here are some more pictures from our guests who have been up recently.

The McGill party looks forward to their trip to Loree Lake every second year.  They always enjoy the peace and quiet and the time away from Cell service and the Internet.  A trip to the bush is the best reset a person could ask for…..

The Master Angler!!!!

The Clark party always fish the same lake, at the same time, every year.  The stakes are high and bragging rights for an entire year are at stake.  This year it was decided on the last night.  When James caught the last fish he needed to take home the Heavyweight belt in 2019.  Here are some of the pictures that they shared with us of their excursion to the Cobham.

Daryl B. took this great rainbow picture on Vee Lake after a good rain.  Golden walleyes at both ends of that rainbow I bet.

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