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Guest Reviews

Brook Trout Paradise

I’ve fished all over the world – from minnows to great whites, I’ve been lucky enough to catch most of the world’s sport fish species.

The brook trout experience offered by Wilderness North is right up there with the best trips I’ve experienced. Genuine wild fish from remote, wild places – this stuff is the real deal. And all on the fly too! I simply adore fly fishing for brook trout and Wilderness North have added value by combining float planes and canoes that allow you to penetrate remote habitats containing virgin fish. The guiding I enjoyed was first rate too – all in all a five star experience for fly fishing junkies!

~Matt H~

First Timers Success at Zig Zag

Krista and Alan: Our group’s experience at the Zig Zag lake Outpost during the last week of July was an Outstanding adventure…from the wildlife viewing to the tremendous fishing we encountered.


Fishing Hot-Spots:

1)      The South end of Crescent lake has a large weed bed. We typically would cast in this area and it produced many pike.

2)      Halfway from the Cabin to the South end of Crescent lake is a small creek on the Western shore. This creek flows out of a small lake that has very clear water. We found trolling about 75 yards out from the creek mouth (into Crescent), and 200 yards in either the North/South direction was very productive for Pike and Walleye. (Note: You can navigate into the small clear lake if you’re careful. It holds a lot of small pike)

3)      Slightly North East of the cabin at the mouth of the Jackfish River is a small Island. It has a steep shelf running away from it for most of its circumference. We caught several walleye and pike in this location while trolling theses shelves.

4)      About ¾ of a mile North West of the cabin on Zig Zag lake there is a large weed bed. We caught several pike there, with some in the 38-42 inch range.

5)      At the far North of Zig Zag lake is a large set of rapids that flow into Zig Zag from Moule lake. We did not catch many fish here, and these rapids are essentially impassable with the boats we had.

But there is a portage to an inlet with a view of a second set of rapids farther North, and then a trail along the Western shore that follows that small inlet and then leads to that second set of rapids. This is a ‘hike’, but we went there one afternoon and found some ‘holes’ on the lee side of the rapids that produced walleye on every cast (with jigs).

The most productive bait/lures that we used were as follows:

–          Casting for Pike: Red and White Daredevils with a copper back.

–          Trolling for Pike: Red and White Daredevils with a copper back.

–          Trolling for Walleye: Hot-N-Tots (Typically the Blue/Green/Yellow Bottom), and, the same Red and Whites used on Pike caught several walleye.

–          Jigging for Walleye: Pink Jig Head with a white twister tail, with a piece of worm or leech on the hook.

Note: Our group caught several hundred fish and released all but what we kept for shore lunches ‘unharmed’ back into the water. I attribute this to ‘pinching down’ the barb on all of the lures/hooks that we used.

Thanks for a great trip!

Mark & Group

Fly In fishing trophy walleye full service lodge Makokibatan

Walleyes Abound!

My thanks to Wilderness North and Makokibatan Lodge staff for a great week of fishing and on June 15th my personal best 30″ walleye. My cooler buddy Bob and I caught around 400 of those beautiful eyes in nonstop action. I had many exciting times using a light action rod, 8 lb test and a jig and twister tail, did I tell you I caught a 30″ walleye on that rig? We also caught many northern pike while fishing for eyes which was more than enough excitement on light tackle. Again our thanks to Meryl and the staff at Makokibatan Lodge.

Fly in Outpost Ogoki Lake Trophy Pike Father Son fishing

Return to Ogoki Lake

We returned to our much familiar Ogoki Lake late June after our short flight from Nakina. I don’t recall what year we technically first visited Ogoki other than to say it is likely best measured in decades than years, the former cabin is no more, and the fishing is at minimum unchanged – more likely better than ever.

While the fishing is the obvious daily “distraction”, the legacy of our party is more of a tradition that has now spanned across 3 generations and the richness of the bonding with the countless “fishing pals” who’ve joined us over the years -sometimes only able to enjoy the experience once but many others as rotating-regulars.

For a great number of the years, I was the junior generation in joining my father – who is now 87 – when he first brought me “North” at a young age of 11. In 2011, we bridged to that to include a 3rd generation when my dad’s three grandsons, son-in-law, and I made what culminated in being our “grandest voyage” to Ogoki. Dad elected to transition to retired status this year for health issues so I- after 39 years and nearly that many fishing trips later – officially became the new patriarch of the our Party – bringing those same three “grandsons” (two being my sons, ages 13 and 20, and the other my nephew, a graduate of U of M this past spring) back to Ogoki. While there were hollow moments not having my dad “up front” in the boat there were an equal, if not greater number, of new memories being cast with the rotation of my new fishing buddies taking his place – many of which we documented to bring back and share with him. As has been the case with prior years- regardless of whether we stayed at Camp 1, 2, or 3 (and we’ve done each multiple times) we found the accommodations to be stellar, boats and motors to be clean and reliable, and the transportation to and from the lake both safe and timely.

This year we had equally crisp fishing each day – highlighted by me catching consecutive 43″ and 44″ Northern just prior to and just after a lunch break – at nearly opposite ends of the lake. Talk about a fish “story”. This is honest testimony to what lies
below the surface in one of the premiere fisheries Ontario has to offer. Walleye activity was equally steady – as was necessary with 3 young men with hearty appetites – topping out with several 20+” catches over the course of the week…nearly all while trolling with spoons and dare devils! We equally find the beauty of Ogoki a major draw and this year was even treated to a particularly vibrant double rainbow after a light shower had passed over the lake. While water levels were high, we closed our week with the annual shore lunch were we pack the boats  with all the necessities and hit an island for an open fire fish fry, a cold Canadian brew or two, and some refreshing swimming. In closing, “hats off” to the entire WN crew for treating us special, serving up a memorable week, and re-certifying as the #1 outfitter in Ontario… needless to say, we’ve got our 2016 reservations locked and loaded.

As shared, “gone fishing” to Ogoki is so much more than just the fish caught!


Makokibatan Lodge Trophy Walleye Full Service Fly in

Gulp, live Bait? Not needed…

Another successful week has passed at Makokibatan Lodge. Again, I find myself simply using the letters we have received from you, our guests, to describe their experience while at Wilderness North. The note below is just another example of a great experience:

Let me first start with a BIG Thank You for all that you and your entire staff did in our support and the exceptional services provided during our recent visit. The service is equally as great as the fishing and the reason we return each year. As for the fishing itself, I consider it the best walleye fishery in Ontario, if not all of Canada. I have been blessed with the good fortune to have fished  across Canada for the past 50 years and after nearly 100 trips, Makokibatan is my/our favorite. I’ve fishing many lakes in the past where 100 fish days were possible. But, nowhere have I seen a fishery that produces 100 fish catches over multiple days and with this number of trophy walleyes. Makokibatan simply has no equal for quantity, quality and size of fish. During our 3.5 day stay, our group of 6  caught 13 Master Angler Award fish which is more than most Ontario lodges will produce in a season. And the best part, is that everyone of the trophies were released to grow even larger. Other groups this year have posted even greater numbers of trophies. However, our June, 2010 group record of 23 Master Anglers caught by 4 fishermen still stands as our benchmark to break.

This year, and as in the past, our favorite locations (Walleye Alley, the Cut and the back-lake falls) yielded the bulk of our catches. However, I did come across a new stretch of shoreline that produced a morning catch of 52 walleye’s in 2 hours. Literally every drop produced a strike and had it not been for a couple dozen cut-offs by northern pike, we could have easily caught 100 walleye over that time period. On Sunday June 7th, we were so tired of catching fish, that we cut our time short and headed back to camp at 2:30pm….worn out from fishing.  When the “bite is on”, it is non-stop action. Then, when it’s off or stops, and the fish move out, we simply search until we find them again. Location + presentation= success.

As for the presentation, we’ve had the best success vertical jigging with Berkley Gulp Alive Minnows, Power Ripple or Jerk Shad. It is the best non-live bait ever invented. The color of the jig head is meaningless. In fact, we only use unpainted lead-heads (barbs bent down), 1/8-3/8 oz, depending on wind conditions. l believe Gulp Alive will out-fish live bait. At least that has been our experience over these many years. Plus, Gulp Alive is nearly indestructible, allowing you to catch dozens of fish using the same minnow. And this year a group member posted a Master Angler Northern…40” / 18.4#’s, on 6# test. Also, released for future years.

In closing; since my first trip to Makokibatan back in 1997, the experience has always met or exceeded my expectations and is the reason why  we’ve already booked to return in June 2016.

Warmest regards,