Why Choose a Fly In?

There are people who have never gone on a fly-in fishing trip. There are even people who really like fishing who haven’t do one. This is something I have a hard time understanding. A fly-in trip is truly one of the unique adventures an angler can do. It’s a chance to see the Canadian wilderness in way few other people do, and have crazy fun catching fish, at a cost that is still quite affordable. There are not a lot of life experiences that compare.

Here are 5 great reasons to take a fly in fishing trip: 

1. Unspoiled wilderness – I took my first fly-in fishing trip more than three decades ago. One of the things I will never forget was taking off from the seaplane base and watching the plane leave civilizations behind. The cars and trucks and buildings got smaller and smaller, then disappeared. After that it was miles of trees and rocks and water. When we finally  did see signs of humans, it was while we turned to land on Miminiska Lake. It was Miminiska Lodge that was my destination, and seeing that classic lodge nestled in the trees was a truly exciting sight. All around us was the untouched Canadian wilderness, in all its forested, rugged beauty. If you live a life that is full of the modern distractions of life, there is nothing like the smell of the air and the silence of the north woods. It’s amazing how healing the wilderness can be.

2. Family adventure – Although many fly-in trips are made up of groups of adults going fishing together, it can be more than that. Some of my very favourite memories of our young family were made on fly-in trips. From the moment the boys saw the float plane, to getting in it, then the experience of flying into the bush and then landing on a remote lake, the rest was gravy. Yet the time spent on a lake with no one else around – or hardly anyone – not only created great memories, but helped our young family bond. The boys would go canoeing while my wife and I would sit on the beach and watch them. Every morning and evening we went fishing, enjoying the fun of catching walleye and pike one after another. To this day, both my boys mention out family fly-in’s as highlights of their childhood. That tells me a lot.

3. Wildlife – The Canadian wilderness has many things going for it, but one of the best things about it is the wildlife. On any fly in trip, there are a multitude of creatures you might see. One of the most iconic animals is the moose, the largest member of the deer family and a frequent visitor along the remote lakes of the north. There are few  sights quite as enthralling as bull moose feeding in the water, its huge antlers dropping water and glistening in the sun. Other mammals commonly seen include beaver, snowshoe hare, mink and otter. You will also see a large number of different birds including the blue heron, kingfisher, ruffed grouse, mallard duck and bald eagle. The gorgeous loon is found on nearly every lake  in northern Canada, and its haunting call usually announces morning and evening in the northwoods.

4. The Night sky – When you get away from city lights, and the haze that goes along with it, the sky appears. In far northern Ontario, far from industry and street lights, the night sky is clear as crystal. Some of the most amazing northern lights displays  I’ve seen during my life have been during fly-in trips. The beauty of the Aurora Borealis is one of nature’s great marvels. On  a clear summer night, you can sit out by the fire and watch stars fall, and count the planets and see the milky way. It is truly a gift.

5. Great fishing – Ok, let’s be honest. This is the main course. If you like to fish, in places where  you won’t be racing to a spot, or trying to find fish that have been picked over, a fly-in trip is for you. That’s not to say you will catch fish on every cast – although you might! The reality of a fly-in trip is that you are on a lake far from roads and access and people. The fish are hungry and generally less fickle. You can fish at your own pace and wherever you want. At a fly in outpost camp, you will likely be the only people on the lake. It’s all yours. At a lodge on a larger lake, there might be a couple other boats on the best known hotspots, but there will be miles of water that’s untouched. Walleye, pike and brook trout are the primary focus of attention and they are all pretty willing to bite. It’s a beautiful thing to roll out of bed late, have a leisurely breakfast, and still hook a pile of walleye while the sun is beaming down. That is still the main reason why fly in fishing is so popular and appealing, and it really is the cherry on a delicious cake.

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