You’ve booked your trip and the excitement is building. Every day you go and look at the website of your chosen camp and look at pictures of past fishing triumphs wondering, no, expecting to catch more and bigger fish! You have been marking off the days on your calendar with a countdown until departure and an alarm on your cellphone that goes off every morning saying ‘Good morning, x days until you go fishing!’ In the midst of the excitement it is easy to forget things when it comes time to pack and the last place you want to be without that crucial item is in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. Today we are going to talk about what to bring on your next Canadian fishing trip and hopefully you will forget less than you did last year.
We have different kinds of trips that require different packing strategies. American Plan (all meals included) vs. Housekeeping (cook your own) vs. Fly-In Housekeeping each have their own advantages. With our American Plan package you just need to bring your personal gear and we do the rest, heck our guides will even bait your hook! On our Housekeeping package and at our Outposts you are on your own plan with your own schedule. There you will cook for yourself and fish on your schedule in quiet seclusion.
Clothes: A functioning rain suit is a must! If you haven’t tried your old suit on in years, try it on before you go. We have seen people rushing to put their suit on as the rain is falling only to find that the jacket won’t do up and the bibs won’t pull up and over a newly formed belly. You don’t have to break the bank for a new suit but you don’t want to be soaked every day if it rains during your whole trip. A layering jacket (again dependent upon temperatures), a hat, toque and a pair of gloves each will cover your outer layers. Layers, layers, layers. Put them on and then peel them off. You will want a full set of clothes for fishing and then at least one back up that we take in the boat in a sealed bag in case we fall in. If you have that, then it’s just another pair of underwear for each day and enough shirts to change into in case you get too ripe for camp and your fishing buddies make you sleep outside.
Footwear: Another temperature based item. Our hardiest fishing guides wear Keen sandals from June 1st until September but their feet are used to the northern temperatures. We recommend an insulated waterproof boot for spring and fall fishing and a waterproof shoe/boot for summer fishing. If you can handle it, trade out the waterproof shoe for a sandal in the summer. However, the nice thing about the waterproof shoe is no biting bugs will get through when you take a walk in the woods!
Fishing Rods & Reels: Another space based item. We prefer to have one rod per species that you are going to target but we will adapt when space is at a premium. For walleye and bass we suggest one 6’3” medium spinning rod with a spinning reel with 8 lb. mono line and bring the same rod as a back up. We suggest a 7’ medium/heavy baitcasting rod with a baitcasting reel with 50 or 65 lb. braid that would be used for northern pike, lake trout and musky. If you prefer to use a spinning rod & reel, then go with what you know, just make sure you have the right line spooled up. If you are going to target northern pike, lakers and musky a bunch on your trip then you should definitely bring a back up 7’+ rod as well.
Fishing Tackle: We produce an information piece called Tackle Talk that we send to our guests as soon as they confirm their reservation to fish with us. It breaks down the equipment and tackle that is recommended for tackling each of the five species we have to offer. If you would like a copy send us an email at email@example.com and we will be happy to send you one.
Fishing Gear: Provided in your package are walleye nets, paddles, minnow buckets, safety kits, life jackets, boat cushions and fish measuring boards. At our outpost we even have musky nets if you want to try your hand at some musky hunting. The life jackets we supply are a ‘keyhole’ style that is legal, but not something you would want to wear all day. If you feel more comfortable wearing a life jacket in the boat, we recommend you bring your own from home for the comfort factor. We don’t supply fish locators, GPS units or anchors, so if you feel more comfortable with that equipment, you should bring it with you.
Fishing Accessories: polarized sunglasses, fillet knife with sharpener, needle nose pliers, hook cutter, jig-eye buster, hand sanitizer, toilet paper & sanitizer in a Zip Loc bag, and a fish towel (any old hand towel that you wouldn’t put out when your mother-in-law is coming will do.)
Toiletries and Linens: at our main lodge, your standard toiletry kit will get the job done. At our outposts you will need garbage bags, dish soap, dish cloths, dish towels, hand towels, bathing towels, a pillow & pillow case, sheets and or blankets. Don’t forget spices for cooking including salt & pepper, any sauces or condiments, paper towels, aluminum foil and saran wrap and toilet paper. Most of our guests just bring a pillow in a case wrapped inside a clean sleeping bag to put on the bed for sleeping.
Other Items: A good idea is to put this gear into ziploc bags, especially if you are flying in or traveling over water to get to your camp. Pack any medication you take, tylenol/advil, camera with spare batteries, or phone with a charger, flashlight or headlamp, sunscreen, bug spray, Afterbite, lighter & matches, and a thermos. If you wear glasses, bring a backup pair. The same goes if you wear contacts. A deck of cards is an easy to pack item for nighttime entertainment as well. We also recommend bringing a portable First Aid kit that you can supplement with extra waterproof bandaids and some hockey tape. Works like a charm!
Groceries: if you are on an American Plan Package you will probably be getting your meals at camp besides that delicious shore lunch! If so, then think about bringing snacks and drinks for the boat and in the evening. Apples, jerky, raisin boxes, granola bars, mini chocolate bars and Pringles chips make great one handed snacks for the boat. If you are on a Housekeeping Package, then you will want to have organized meal plans before you pack so that you make sure you have meals covered. Make meals up ahead of time that you can prepackage and freeze; meals that you can quickly prepare in an oven or on a grill. For those of you that may be coming to Canada from the US, be sure to check with Canadian Food Inspection Agency website here: What Food Can I Bring Into Canada? If you are wondering about bringing anything else into Canada, including children (yes there are rules for them too) then you can check out the following document from the Canada Border Services Agency: What Else Can I Bring Into Canada?
There you have it, our recommendations on packing for your next trip to Anderson’s Lodge. If you have questions regarding this blog feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-465-1098 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.