The Bounty Up North

Treeline Lodge, Killarney Park, & Payne River Fishing Camp

Apr 27, 2004
Outside Magazine
canada parks, adventures

A Quebec Regular    Photo: Corel

Lake Fishing
Treeline Lodge

When I want to see envy plastered on the faces of my fishing pals, I mention that I'm heading to Treeline Lodge, on Nueltin Lake in the roadless Manitoba wilderness, to land trout and pike longer than my legs on a body of water that's longer than the drive from Tampa to Orlando. There's no better lake than Nueltin for catching northern pike and lake trout, and there's no better lodge than Treeline from which to launch a fishing expedition. The log outpost and its surrounding clapboard cabins sit atop a sand esker 230 miles from the nearest road. It's so remote that it has its own private airstrip and flies its guests in every four days via turboprop from Winnipeg.

Treeline's registered guides are among the country's best, and in 1978 it instituted a catch-and-release policy (everyone fishes with single barbless hooks to facilitate the release of fish, unharmed, although keeping a five-pound or smaller fish for daily shore lunch is permitted), making Nueltin the first lake in Canada with such a distinction.

After a day fighting pike, anglers can return to private cabins for a shower before gathering at the lodge. First, cocktails are served around a blaze in the stone fireplace, the warmth enhanced by floor-to-ceiling lake views and the wolf-and-bearskin-rug decor. Then there's roast turkey or grilled steak for dinner. Afterward, most visitors choose to wind down the way I do: lounging on the deck and basking in the memory of the day's action while watching the faint glow of a sun that never sets. —Ken Schultz

DETAILS: The cost for a five-day trip is $1,964 per person (all-inclusive) from Winnipeg. Treeline Lodge (800-361-7177, also runs three self-guided mini lodges on Nueltin and Shannon lakes ($1,510 for five days).

New Park
Killarney Provincial Park

Ontario's hottest expedition-kayaking spot may soon almost double in size, but you don't have to wait: A $7.50 permit gives you access to Killarney, as well as about 74,000 acres of surrounding public lands that officials hope to add to the park soon. Put in at the George Lake campground, then explore 40 interconnected lakes and the thousands of islands scattered around Lake Huron.—P.V.

DETAILS: 705-287-2900,

Char Fishing
Payne River Fishing Camp

Almost 1,000 miles north of Montreal, you'll find Ungava Bay, home to some of the most plentiful arctic char in the world. After flying to Kuujjuaq, board a Twin Otter for the 45-minute flight to the Payne River Fishing Camp, a four-cabin spread with a lodge overlooking the tundra.

Your Inuit guides will show you to Payne Bay Fjord, where low tides improve your chances of landing a lunker. Nearby Payne River is the ideal spot to motor out in the lodge's 24-foot freighter canoe and test your angling skills against the native brookies. Spend your sun-filled nights watching herds of caribou before crashing in an oil-heated cabin.—T. N.

DETAILS: Arctic Adventures (800-465-9474, runs six-night trips for $4,350 (including flight from Montreal).