About Us - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

About Us

Welcome to Wilderness North – we offer Canada Fly In Fishing at its best. Fly in fishing means no crowded or over-fished waterways. Our collection of cabins and lodges are remote and in most cases the only destination in the vast wilderness of Northwestern Ontario.

Our guests tell us that fly-in fishing in Ontario is great for both the beginner and for the fisherman who lives, eats and sleeps fishing. With our collection of full-service lodges, housekeeping lodges and outpost camps, we have a location that is right for you. At our Albany and Ogoki river destinations, you’ll discover feisty Northern Pike, big, beautiful Walleye and world class Brook Trout.

Let us help you make your big fish dreams a reality.

Who We Are

Wilderness North began as a passion project of our original founder – John J. Mark – an aviation enthusiast and Air Force veteran from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In 1960, Jack (as he was affectionately known) first discovered his passion for the region while flying his own planes. Over the next 30 years Jack returned to the area to get his “nature fix”, exploring the boreal forest and reveling in the unsurpassed beauty and wide open spaces of Northern Ontario.

In 1990 – with the purchase of his first outpost cabin – Wilderness North was born. Jack’s vision of sharing this unspoiled region with like minded nature and fishing enthusiasts has remained our goal to this day.

After working for Wilderness North for several years, Alan and Krista Cheeseman bought into Wilderness North in late 2000 and took over operations. Additional properties were added to the portfolio over the years and today we are proud to have 3 full service lodges, 2 housekeeping lodges and 10 outpost cabins available for our guests to explore the boreal forest. They have also expanded their air service in NWO and internationally.

Alan and Krista purchased Jack’s remaining stake in Wilderness North in 2019 and with the help of their daughters – Megan and Sierra along with the dedicated staff have continued to offer guests from around the world an opportunity to explore, fish and rejuvenate in the wonders of Canada’s only boreal forest.

Fishing is What We Do

At Wilderness North, our passion for the great outdoors began with our love of fishing. Adventuring into the unknown to look for the next big catch is an experience we have always wanted to share with visitors from around the globe. With more than 250,000 lakes and 60,000 miles of river teeming with walleye, northern pike, lake trout and brook trout, Northern Ontario is the number one fishing destination in North America.

In Wilderness North’s rivers and lakes you are sure to find some of the best of Canadian sport fish. From prolific walleyes to trophy pike and trout, you won’t be disappointed in the species our waters have to offer.

Fishing for Canadian northern pike is an adventure class all on its own. This adaptable and agile hunter has the ability to remain stationary in the water, stealing bait without even a ripple. The northern pike will dash and strike at it’s prey with short bursts of strength, providing anglers with a unique experience. Being solitary and highly territorial, toothy northerns make for an exciting day out on the water. As an opportunist omnivorous carnivore, Pike tend to lurk at the edge of weed beds unsuspectingly attacking fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, muskrats, and even young waterfowl, with a powerful striking dash.

The name walleye originates from the ability of their eyes to reflect white light, allowing them to hunt in low light situations. The best time to fish for walleyes is during dawn and dusk when they make the most of their traits and get a jump on their prey. While “walleye chop” or overcast days with rough water are the best conditions to fish for walleye, there is a new belief that bright sky fishing is just as productive. While other fish may run and hide out from the storm, walleye are the most active. In the spring walleye are more often located past the shoreline drop-off and around the bases of shore slopes. As the summer heats up, walleye head for deeper water.

Brook trout live in small streams, big rivers, ponds, and inland lakes. Brook trout are a member of the salmon family. Brookies are most active in the spring and fall when cooler water allows them to cruise the shorelines on their hunt for food. Angler’s looking to land a colourful trophy will most likely find success near overhanging trees, submerged wood, rocky points, and shoals. As waters warm, brookies in the lakes move deeper, becoming less aggressive. Brook trout in rivers holdout in cold aerated pools at the base of falls and rapids throughout summer, but spread out over the river in the spring and fall. In spring-fed creeks, anglers can ply the pools and shady areas caused by overhanging vegetation.


Embark on a scenic flight over the breathtaking boreal forests of Northern Ontario with our iconic Canadian bush planes. We pride ourselves on being a fully licensed aircraft carrier that not only meets but exceeds Transport Canada’s regulations.

Our experienced pilots, bring a unique touch to your journey. With a wealth of knowledge about fishing, hunting, and the intricacies of the local lakes and rivers, they serve as your expert guides through the skies.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the landscape below as you travel to your chosen destination. We're committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience, making every flight a memorable adventure. These bush planes have been servicing remote lodges for decades, bringing guests to northern Canada on fishing trips that are as iconic as the planes themselves.

Our pilots, who are all locals from Northern Ontario, enhance your experience with their unique insights into fishing Canada. They possess extensive knowledge about fly in fishing, hunting, and the detailed characteristics of the region's lakes and rivers, guiding you expertly through the air. Our sister company, Wilderness North Air, operates a fully licensed open air charter accessing our remote fishing lodges in Canada and other far north outfitters. Our experienced pilots are part of the full-time team that operate the air business servicing remote fly in communities on a year-round basis, in addition to our Canadian fishing lodges. We're committed to providing you a safe and enjoyable experience, making every flight a memorable adventure

DeHavilland Beaver


The DHC-2 Beaver, renowned as the best bush plane ever built, captivates with its powerful engine and rugged airframe, providing world-class short takeoff and landing capabilities making any fishing resorts in Canada accessible. The resounding roar of its 400 hp Pratt and Whitney engine has been a melody over Northern Ontario for more than 77 years, narrating tales of adventure.

Our Beaver, “NZO,” (serial #399) isn’t just an aircraft; it’s a spirited adventurer in our fleet, a workhorse for over 30 years, gracefully soaring over the untouched landscapes of Wabakimi Provincial Park. It’s not merely a plane; it’s a gateway to boundless adventures, symbolizing the spirit of Canadian fishing trips in the vast northern wilderness.

Read more about CG-NZOs history here: 399 (dhc-2.com)

DeHavilland Turbine Otter


Established in 1951 and dubbed the “King Beaver,” YCX, our turbine otter, is a robust bush plane, succeeding the DHC-2. Known for its exceptional Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) prowess, YCX (serial #44) continues to lead in its class. In 1998, it underwent a significant transformation, shifting to a Pratt and Whitney PT6 Turbine engine, boasting an impressive 750 horsepower. Skillfully executed by Springer Air in 1998, this upgrade not only increased YCX’s power but also enhanced its practicality.

More than just a plane, YCX embodies adventure. Picture soaring into the wild, surrounded by the powerful hum of the turbine. With room for nine passengers and a crew member, YCX invites you to explore the untamed beauty, offering an adventure where the thrill of fly-in fishing meets the comfort of a powerful aircraft. Discover the perfect fusion of exhilarating fly-in fishing adventures and the luxury of a robust aircraft as YCX takes you to exclusive fishing resorts nestled in the heart of nature.

Learn more about YCX’s history here: 44 (dhc-3archive.com)

Cessna Grand Caravan


The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, a standout in the world of aviation, is not just an aircraft; it’s a gateway to unforgettable fishing and tourism experiences. With its spacious cabin designed for comfort, this versatile turboprop plane is tailor-made for scenic flights. The C208B’s Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine ensures a smooth journey, even in challenging terrains, making it ideal for exploring breathtaking landscapes and reaching fishing lodges in Canada. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan elevates tourism, promising a journey filled with both comfort and discovery for up to 9 passengers.

Embark on exceptional Canadian northern fly-ins, where the Cessna 208B becomes your ticket to remote and captivating destinations, blending the thrill of aviation with the allure of the northern wilderness.

Cessna 185


The humble yet robust Cessna 185 holds a crucial position in our fleet, playing a vital role in the seamless maintenance of our fishing resorts. This mighty aircraft dedicates its days crisscrossing from resort to resort, ensuring that every nook and cranny receives the attention it deserves. In the realm of fishing resorts, where the delicate balance between man-made comfort and the raw beauty of nature is maintained, the Cessna 185 emerges as a stalwart guardian. Its tireless rounds ensure that general maintenance remains a top priority, preventing these havens from reverting back to the untouched embrace of the wild. In the skies and on the ground, the Cessna 185 stands as a symbol of reliability, ensuring that our fishing resorts continue to offer an escape into nature without sacrificing the comforts we cherish.

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