A family fishing vacation in Ontario Canada is a great idea. There is a lot going for it. You’ll be getting everyone away from the stresses of your everyday lives and the distractors that keep you all from connecting with each other. Additionally, Wildewood on Lake Savant in northwestern Ontario is in super pristine wilderness. Letting you really enjoy nature while enjoying some of the best fishing on the planet. In fact, it is such a great idea that we have selected 10 tips to help you plan that fishing vacation here in Ontario. We also put them in the order in which you should check them off your list because of the different lead times involved.
1. Plan early.
We invite you to explore this website. We are as proud of it as we are of Wildewood itself. When you do and discuss it with your family, we hope you all will be excited to visit us for your next adventure. Getting everything ready will take some time, so allow yourself plenty. Right now is not too early to get started.
2. Get your travel documents early.
This will save a lot of stress, since they cannot be rushed. If you are American, not having them in time to cross the US/Canadian border will wreck all your other plans. This is priority one.
Passports are the recommended travel documents and they usually take several weeks to arrive, plus there is a process to getting them. There are several things to know about this, so go the US State Department website here. Or, you can cross the border both ways with an enhanced driver’s license by car, but not by air. These are not the same as ordinary licenses. To learn more about them, go to the US Customs and Border Protection website here.
American children under the age of 16 can travel with their parents and a birth certificate. Again, there are additional options and exceptions, so do some homework and allow plenty of time. If you are a different nationality, apply for a passport with the agency appropriate for your country.
3. Reserve accommodations for your family fishing vacation in Ontario in advance.
My dad rarely did this. When we reached our destination, he would ask desk clerks one after another until he found a vacancy. This was always unpleasant and often unsatisfactory. But you can leave home already knowing you have a comfortable modern or rustic cabin waiting for you right on the lake where you will be fishing. Make your reservations with Wildewood on Lake Savant here. Or you can check to see if the dates you want are available here.
4. Get your fishing license early as well.
In case you were wondering if you will need a license to fish in the Canadian wilderness, yes you do. And you need an Outdoors Card to go with it. However, it is super easy to get them both online by going to Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Service website here. Then just answer questions about yourself. This will be made into an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry ID card, called an Outdoors Card. Then you can buy the fishing license you want. You will need these for each person 18 years or older who wants to fish. Children younger than that can fish accompanied by a licensed person, however, their fish kept will count towards the possession limit of the licensed adult. When these arrive, you will have all the documents you need for a great fishing adventure with your family in pristine northwestern Ontario.
5. Consider travel insurance.
You do not actually have to have it. You may already have insurance when traveling stateside, but you should check to see if it covers you while traveling in Canada. It can be expensive for a non-Canadian to get medical services here. Be prepared for health emergencies. Accidents happen suddenly.
6. Help those awesome fish get into your boat by bringing the right fishing gear with you.
We will supply some of the basic items that you would not be able to bring, like the boat, etc. Because we are a remote camp, you need to bring your own fishing tackle and the food you will eat, except for the fish you will catch. Click here for our recommendations on fishing gear, by species. Click here for everything else you will need to pack.
7. Fill up your gas tank and buy groceries before you reach the Canadian Point of Entry.
Gasoline is much more expensive in Canada. As a comparison, gas prices in Ontario in January 2019 were $1.50 to $2.50 per gallon more expensive (after converting liters to gallons) than gas in Minnesota. Wildewood on Lake Savant is within driving distance of some of the US/Canadian Points of Entry, so it can help your budget to fill your gas tank in Grand Portage, MN or International Falls, MN. Buy most of your groceries before crossing the border or in the larger towns just across it. Services and selection dwindle, and prices increase as you head north.
8. Don’t over-pack.
Pack two types of luggage: travel and adventuring. For example, when you are traveling, you will need items to entertain the kids. Remember, we are remote, and you’ll be unplugged from cell phone service and internet is limited in camp so plan your entertainment accordingly. If you choose to travel with electronics, keep it light and pack it so it’ll be safe when you don’t need it at the camp.
For your adventuring luggage, pack for each weather situation. Remember that your stay on the lake will be 7 days in the wilderness, so keep your gear efficient and light. Layer your clothing each day (i.e. wear more when it’s cool and less when it’s warmer). Several items, like sweaters or jackets, can be worn more than once. This strategy will help you manage the volume of stuff you to get to lug around.
9. Bring an open mind.
We are not going to just put you in a boat and wish you luck. We know Lake Savant better than we know the towns we live in the off-season. And we know how each species of fish behaves in it. We will show you the hotspots on the lake for each and give you tips on how to catch them from our own personal experience. Bring your knowledge and skill (at whatever level) and we will add to it.
10. Now relax because the planning and work is done!
As soon as you pull out of the driveway, your awesome Ontario family fishing adventure will begin. We are looking forward to meeting you and will have everything ready for you. See you soon!