Sunday, November 2, 2008

What Can I do in Ontario's Sunset Country?

What can I do up there in Canada?

For someone from the USA who's never been here before, that is a really good question to ask. The simple answer is LOTS! Our part of Canada is an outdoor paradise plain and simple! With our 70,000 freshwater lakes and thousands of square miles of Boreal forest, you'll see some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in North America.

The family will love a trip to our area. Go fishing on Canadian lakes where you can catch trout, walleye, bass, crappie, muskie and pike. The fishing is truly legendary and you can stay at a beautiful Canadian lodge or resort while you're here.

If you happen to own your own camper or RV, then Sunset Country is the "promised land" for the family or couple who love to camp. There are many campgrounds and RV Parks to choose from. Another option for the camper is to stay at one of our many Provincial Parks in the region.

Speaking of our Provincial Parks, if you always wanted to go on a wilderness canoe trip in Ontario then they are the destinations you should have in mind. There are many excellent Canadian canoe routes that wind their way through Sunset Country. Don't forget to bring your fishing pole and your camera!

If you love the lake and have always wanted to go on an extended cruise then you can realize that dream by taking advantage of the many houseboat rental businesses that are members of our Travel Association. This is the equivalent of renting a lakeside cottage with the exception that it floats and you get a different view from your deck every night of the week.

There are many interesting towns and cities you can visit in Northwestern Ontario. While visiting, make sure you take in all the action at a local festival or event as there is always something going on. Spend a few nights in town and stay at a local hotel, motel or B&B. Make sure you stop in at the local gift and souvenir shops so you can take home that special momento of your visit. There are also many good restaurants and eating establishments to please any palette.

These are just a few examples of the things you can do when you take a vacation in Ontario. We can help you plan your trip and answer any questions you may have. The best place to start is by ordering your free Ontario, Canada Travel Guide and Map. You can also call us on our toll free vacation information line at 1-800-665-7567.

See you next summer up in Sunset Country!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summertime is camping time

Go on a Camping Trip to Northwestern Ontario

With the height of summer it's time to get outdoors and go camping. Northwestern Ontario offers easily some of the most accessible campgrounds to people in Man
itoba and the U.S. Midwest. These camping sites cozy right up to a wilderness lake and offer excellent fishing and watersports for the kids. Take in the fresh air experience we offer and enjoy the comfortable and well-serviced campgrounds you can stay at. Hook-ups for larger Recreational Vehicles (RVs) will be available at the majority of locations some capable of taking the biggest of rigs. You can also pitch a tent or use one of these campsites as a base from which you can canoe, boat or fish.

Provincial Parks

With Provincial Parks such as Quetico, Woodlan
d Caribou and Wabakimi, Northwestern Ontario is truly a wilderness canoeists paradise. You can get full canoe outfitting from our members to safely access these wilderness gems. Route planning, canoe rentals and even guides are available. See wildlife such as moose or whitetail deer, bald eagles, great blue herons and much more. Access areas along the lake shoreline with native American rock paintings that are many centuries old. Imagine the stories they were trying to tell so many years ago. For family campers there's parks like Rushing River near Kenora, Blue Lake north of Vermilion Bay, Aaron near Dryden, Ojibway near Sioux Lookout and Pakwash near Red Lake. All these Parks have shower and toilet facilities and some even have interpetive programs and exhibits you can go see.

Please use this link for a complete list of Northwestern Ontario Campgrounds. With summer here now is the time to make the trip. Be sure to stop in town for shopping and to pick up needed supplies such as fishing tackle, groceries, camping supplies and souvenirs. Eat at local restaurant or come in for a full day of shopping. The people in Northwestern Ontario are very friendly folks so get to know us better! Create great vacation memories with your entire family this year. We're only a few hours drive so why not get in the car and come stay for awhile?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ice-out trout fishing - a ritual of Spring in Northwestern Ontario

Get out and Spin Cast for Lakers

As the ice slowly melts away (and boy is it taking its time this year), the ritual known as ice-out trout fishing is set to commence. Arguably one of the seasons most enjoyable fishing pursuits, fishing for lake trout just after the ice goes out is a real treat. Normally, these fish are down deep below the first and often second thermocline any where from 50-100 feet below the surface. While you can still catch them fairly easily at these depths (with the right equipment and a little know-how), it is just not the same as spin casting for them in 10 feet of water.

The charm of this time of year is there is NO thermocline on the lake right after ice out - the temperature of the water is uniform throughout the water column and the lake trout can roam at any depth they choose. At this time of year you don't even need a boat to catch lakers, just cast your line from shore and you may have a 10-pounder bite your hook. While what lure to use is often a personal choice, we recommend you have lots of "flash" in your presentation - silver and gold are probably the best choices but bright yellow or black and silver combos also seem to work well. You may also want to rig up a spinner "train" and put a frozen cisco on the end of the line - the lake trout just can't seem to resist it!

Whatever rig you decide to use, the idea is to just get out on the lake for the first time after a long winter, enjoy the warmth of the sun and catch a big fish. These ice-out lakers have beautiful firm meat and they taste excellent when you have them for shore lunch. There are many great trout lakes in Ontario's Sunset Country so finding a place to go fishing will not be a problem. Many camp owners still have good cabin availability in the latter part of May so it is not too late to book your ice-out trip for 2008. If you want to access some great trout lakes then we recommend you check out this list of tourist outfitters who can set you up quickly so you can catch these critters.

Ice-out trout fishing is just one of the many reasons anglers from across North America and even Europe visit Sunset Country. We really are Canada's premier fishing destination when you consider the number of lakes we have (70,000+), the multiple species of fish you can catch here - trout, walleye, bass, muskie, pike, crappie, whitefish, sturgeon - and the natural beauty of the area. We are relatively close to home for all you fishermen from the U.S. Midwest so if yyou've got the time this spring we've got the fish - c'mon up!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Winter fun in Northwestern Ontario

March is a Great Time to Visit

It's early March and still no real signs of spring in Northwestern Ontario. Yes, the sun is warmer and the days longer which is great, but the temperatures have not been very spring like so far. February's average temperature was almost 3 degrees celsius colder than normal - which is what they said it would be. No matter, March is the best winter month to visit Ontario's Sunset Country. The weather is usually ideal for outdoor activities like ice fishing, snowmobiling skiing or just taking a winter hike. The white glitter of winter is still here, but it is actually nice and comfortable to be outside.

The fishing is really "hot" at this time of year and the cold water makes those walleye taste even better than usual. Get out on the ice, catch some fish and enjoy time with your friends or family. We have pretty good snow depths in most parts of the region - a little below normal but not too bad for the snowmobiler. You can run your machine for miles and miles on our great wilderness snowmobile trails. The cross-country ski trails are also in prime shape if you like to get out and see the wilderness in winter.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rent a Houseboat and Explore Magnificent Lakes

Houseboat Rentals

Northwestern Ontario is home to 70,000 freshwater lakes and three of them, Lake of the Woods, La
c Seul and Dog Lake have houseboat rentals. These lakes are all large in size. Lake of the Woods for example has a surface area of 1 million acres and is dotted with over 14,000 islands. Measure the shoreline of Lake of the Woods and all its islands and it exceeds Lake Superior. It's true, the lake is a paradise for a houseboat vacation. You can rent boats out of Morson, Sioux Narrows or Kenora and chart your way through this maze of forests and water. Wildlife is every where as you'll see white pelicans, bald eagles, whitetail deer, bears and maybe even a moose!

Lac Seul is another immense lake as well stretching from Ear Falls in the west all the way to Hudson and Sioux Lookout on the east. Lac Seul is a massive reservoir of the English River which eventually flows we
st into the Winnipeg River and then Lake Winnipeg. Fishing on Lac Seul is some of the finest in Ontario. Walleye fishing is almost legendary and the muskie fishing on the east end of the Lake may be the best anywhere. You can rent houseboats from operators in Hudson or Ear Falls. Enjoy a week on the water that you'll never forget.

Dog Lake near Thunder Bay is not of the scale of Lac Seul or Lake of the Woods, but is still a huge lake that has major channels that are great to explore. A week isn't long enough to explore the entire lake but you will see wildlife and enjoy great fishing, swimming or just relaxing. Houseboats are often booked by groups of friends or family and make for a very memorable vacation choice.

Remember that you can order our Free Travel Guide and Fishing Map a great trip planning tool for your Ontario vacation.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Canadian Canoe Trips - Outfitters in Northwestern Ontario

Northwestern Ontario is without a doubt one of North America's premier paddling destinations. The many thousands of lakes dotting the wilderness of the Canadian Shield make it a mecca for canoeists. Provincial Parks such as Quetico, Wabakimi, Woodland Caribou and the Turtle River-White Otter Wilderness park offer thousands of miles of canoe routes. Wildlife is abundant in these regions of Ontario and you may see a moose, bear, deer, otter or other creature. Fishing is spectacular especally for walleye, bass and pike. Bring your camera, as you'll paddle by some of the continents most beautiful landscapes, untouched and pristine.

Get Outfitted!

The best thing is you can get fully-outfitted for your trip and it is highly recommended that you seek the services of a qualified canoe outfitter. They will be able to ensure you a safe and high quality canoe trip experience. With equipment packages that meet your specific needs, an outfitter offers trip planning assistance, maps of the canoe routes, obtaining your park permits and getting you to and out of the park are all looked after. With an outfitter there's no worries - put their knowledge and experience to good use.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Vacation Idea # 2 - Big Game Hunts

With 65,000 square miles of forest lands, Sunset Country offers some of Ontario's finest big game hunting opportunities. Up here there are the "big three" species you can hunt - whitetail deer, moose and black bear. Local outfitters offer guided or unguided hunts depending on the species. For non-residents of Canada, some Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) require that you hunt with a guide but this varies across the region.

Whitetail Deer

Over the past few years, Northwestern Ontario has become one of the Canada's premier destinations for whitetail deer hunters. The bucks up here are large-bodied with big racks and many hunters have probably heard of the famous Dryden Buck harvested illegally in 2003. This deer scored gross 217 7/8 and had a net score of 192 7/8 - a truly remarkable animal. Since news of this animal came out, our region has become a very popular destination for Americans who love whitetail deer hunting. Yet with our vast size and extensive hunting land available, you can still come up here and hunt in relative isolation in most areas. Click on this link if you want to find out more about the great Ontario whitetail deer hunting we have to offer.

Black Bear

It is estimated that the black bear population in Northern Ontario is anywhere between 75,000 to 100,000 animals and the Sunset Country region is probably home to at least half of the population. Bear hunting is done primarily from baited stands done with either archery or rifle -depending on the hunter's preference. Big boars can weigh up to 700 pounds - belly draggers for sure - but more commonly mature males are around 400-450 pounds. Unfortunately, the Ontario Government cancelled the Spring Bear hunt in 1999 so the season now runs from August 15th through to October. Local outfitters manage large hunting spaces called Bear Management Areas (BMAs) which have a set number of animals available for harvesting. Careful management ensures a sustainable population and excellent success rates for visiting hunters. Click on this link if you want to learn more about bear hunting in Ontario, Canada.


Moose hunting in Ontario is often a once in a lifetime activity for a big game hunter from the United States. While the increase in the whitetail deer population has put some pressure on moose numbers in recent years, there are still plenty of animals available. Most popular are hunts for bulls and these grow to very large sizes in the Northwest. Moose and calf tags are also available. Non-residents are required to be guided by a local outfitter who is allocated tags by the Ministry of Natural Resources. If you want to participate in a moose hunt - especially if you are after a big bull - then we advise you to book your trip early - a year or more in advance - as the number of bull tags available is limited. Just click on this link if you want to visit Ontario on a moose hunting trip.

Duck and Grouse Hunts

While not in the big game category, Northwestern Ontario is also a great destination for duck hunters or for those who like to hunt grouse. Our many lakes offer excellent resting areas for many different species of waterfowl on their annual migration south. For the upland bird hunter, the numerous abandoned logging roads in Sunset Country allow you to access areas loaded with ruffed grouse. Click on this link if you want to embark on an Ontario duck or grouse hunting trip.

You can also visit this website for more information on Hunting trips in Ontario, Canada.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Vacation Idea # 1: A Canadian Fishing Trip

Fishing you say? Well with 70,000 freshwater lakes, rivers and streams, Ontario's Sunset Country can only be described as an angler's paradise! That's right folks our area of Ontario encompasses about 60,000 square miles of wilderness landscapes. Within that area live approximately 65,000 people. With 70,000 lakes you can do the math - that makes more lakes than people! Now that is a situation any serious angler would want to find themselves in. We know the State of Minnesota for example, is very proud of the fact it has 10,000 lakes and that is quite a thing. But in Sunset Country, we are even prouder to boast one of our Provincial Parks alone - Wabakimi - has almost 12,000 lakes in it and is about the same size as the State of Connecticut. It's all a matter of scale then isn't it?

Not only do we have tens of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams, but we also have an excellent variety of fish species you can go after. For most (but not all) anglers, walleye is the fish of greatest interest and for good reason. These beautifully colored fish are great fighters and they probably taste as good as it gets. The Canadian shorelunch was built on fresh walleye and it is a treat you do not want to miss. Go out in the morning and catch your dinner, pull your boat up on an island in the middle of the lake and start cooking - mmm..... we bet you can taste those fillets right now and along with the beans and potatoes, it is truly a quintessential Canadian fishing experience. For more information on our great Ontario walleye fishing, visit our walleye website at

Large and smallmouth bass are probably number two on the list and we have an excellent population of both species in Sunset Country. We are at the northern limits of this species' range so the fish grow slower but live longer in our waters. Smallies average in the 2-3 pound range but fish between 4 and 6 pounds are definitely available - and in numbers you won't believe. Largemouth bass are found in a smaller number of lakes but they can grow a little larger than the smallies - probably 7 pounds is the upper range for this fish. Use the same baits you use back home including plastics such as twister tails, tube jigs or flukes. Spinner baits also work well under many conditions and many resident anglers use live bait such as minnows, leeches or nightcrawlers with a great deal of success. Don't take our word for it, just read the In-Fisherman Magazine to see what their Pro Staff think of Northwestern Ontario as a bass fishing destination. To find out more visit our Ontario bass fishing website at

There of course, are many big northern pike lurking in our waters and Sunset Country is definitely a "Grade A" pike fishing destination. Northern pike are distributed across the region and they grow big up here. Fish over 45 inches long and 30 pounds in weight may just bite your hook and if they do, be prepared for a long and arduous battle as northerns are great fighters. Just about any lake up here has a good population of northerns so come on up and enjoy the experience of catching them. Find out more about our fantastic pike fishing by visiting

For the trout angler, Sunset Country really has no equals unless of course, you are willing to travel just south of the North pole or somewhere close to that. Seriously, our region has several thousand spring-fed, clear deep trout lakes that are loaded with lakers. Catching them is also relatively easy if you know what you are doing. In the early part of the season, just spin cast along the shore line and since the ice-out occurred just a few weeks ago, the lake trout are in shallow and they are very hungry. This "ice-out trout fishing" is something every serious trout angler should try. During the summer, lake trout hold in large schools in much deeper water so if you want to catch them, you'll need to bring tackle and equipment that can get you down anywhere between 40 and 100 feet of water - downriggers work great for this when slow-trolling over a big school of trout. For fly fishermen, the treat that awaits you in our arctic watershed rivers are trophy native brook trout, with fish averaging 3-4 pounds and trophies hitting the 8 and maybe even 9 pound range - truly spectacular! Find out more about the excellent lake and brook trout fishing we have to offer by visiting

Last but certainly not least is the mighty muskie - the species some people call "the fish of 10,000 casts." While that line may be the case in many areas it certainly does NOT apply when you fish the lakes in Ontario's Sunset Country. Northwestern Ontario is probably the number one muskie destination in Canada if not all of North America and famous musky hunters like Joe Bucher would be quick to agree with that statement. Fish over 50 inches and weighing in at over forty pounds are, if you can believe it, not uncommon. So if you are a muskie fishing addict or you just want to try catching one of these monsters for the first time then Sunset Country in Northern Ontario is where you should go to wet your line. Find out more by visiting

After all is said and done, if you have always wanted to experience the super freshwater fishing that Canada has to offer then the place you should do it in is Ontario's Sunset Country. You can visit any of the websites we have provided here to find out more info and to link to the many lodges and resorts that you can stay at while on your Canadian fishing trip. Alternatively you can also visit our general fishing website at