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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I've never heard of the Atikokan area. Why go there rather than places further north in Ontario?
Atikokan is definitely not as well known as many areas in North West Ontario like Lac Seul , Eagle Lake, Lake of the Woods etc etc. Make no mistake, all these areas offer terrific fishing and hunting and vacation opportunities. The Atikokan area is best known for Quetico Park - and it's the Canoeing Capital of Canada (we do canoe outfitting too!). But Atikokan also has thousands of lakes and amazing fishing & hunting - on par with anywhere in Canada - with less people! Species wise, we offer everything but musky and largemouth bass, but we have terrific walleye, pike, crappie, perch and lake trout fishing and our smallmouth bass is literally world class! Plus we're only 70 miles east of the International Falls border. Why drive further?

One thing that differentiates Atikokan from these other areas is that there tends to be mostly smaller and medium sized fishing and hunting lodges….none of the large operations that you see in other areas. There are some great lodges in Sunset Country - but we hope you choose ours!

When is the best time for fishing?
Of course, this is a loaded question….fishing is so dependent on so many things - water temperature, water levels, wind, current, time of year, spawning, weather etc etc….The fact is, it's a matter of personal preference. If you were to survey our regular guests, you'd get answers that cover the entire season from May - September. Generally, any time can be great for fishing…the difference is how you fish. You'd fish differently in May than you would in August …and June is definitely different than September. We try and help with advice whenever you choose to come - and take into account all of the factors noted above and more. It's more about technique, presentation etc…adjusting how you fish will allow you to adapt to all times of the year!

Check out our monthly fishing description pages for more info on fishing during the different months.

What do your cabins include and what are they like?
Our cabins are all fully equipped….we call them "modern" and "housekeeping" - basically because that seems to be the current industry description that fits.

Of course, you'll get more info from our "cabins" page (and there's some videos on our YouTube page), but in a nutshell, we have 9 cabins ranging from 1 - 4 bedrooms - and that sleep between 2 - 10 people depending on the actual cabin.

They're all in a row alongside Banning Lake. They all have decks (the newer ones have decks being built). Some have picnic tables on the deck and others just have plastic deck chairs. All the cabins have their own propane BBQ's. We have a couple of charcoal BBQ's available if you prefer those as well as a couple of propane fish fryers available. Regarding the latter, we'd prefer if you didn't deep fry with those on the decks, rather set them up on the grass near the deck. The splashed grease gets into the wood.

They're all either new within the last few years, or newly renovated within the same time frame.

All the kitchens have full stoves with ovens - some are propane and some are electric. They have electric fridges (with freezers and ice cube trays) and all the small appliances (toasters, drip coffee makers, microwaves), plus all plates / cups / glasses, cutlery, can opener, cork screw, knife block, pots, pans….basically everything you need to cook a meal for your group. We also include dish soap, tea towels and dish cloths.

The bathrooms are all 3 piece….some have tubs and some have shower stalls. We include hand soap and bathmats. Housekeeping guests have to supple their own bath towels, but American Plan groups have personal bath towels included. If you forget your towels, don't worry - we'll set you up with some!

The bedrooms include all linens..sheets, pillow cases, duvets. Most beds are singles, but we've been trying to put at least one double (or even a queen) in each cabin. Not all have them yet, but where space allows we will be adding those. A couple of the bigger cabins have a couple of sets of bunk beds along with the other beds. Ideally we'd rather not have bunks - but they do help with larger groups. Our bunks are solid though - not flimsy so they'll accommodate an adult safely (we looked at a lot that we wouldn't feel comfortable putting a normal adult in - let alone a larger person).

The water on tap is good, clean well water from a deep well drilled through bedrock. It is tested regularly, and tastes great (makes good tea & coffee too!). Having said that, even though our water is excellent, some choose to bring bottled water just the same - it's handy for in the boat…plus some do have an adverse reaction to a change in the water that they drink.

Do the cabins have wi-fi?
Yes - we invested in a signal booster in 2015 that allowed the wifi to be available all over our property. Note that it is decent internet, but it is satellite and should not be used for streaming movies, gaming etc (and why would you want to do that on a fishing vacation anyway?). We'll give you the password when you check in.

Do I need a passport to get in to Canada from the United States?
As of this writing - no….but you do need one to get back into the USA….so that kinda makes it "yes". We recommend to check with us or Canadian or US Border Services for the most current info for passport issues.

What if I have a DUI?
A DUI is a criminal offence in Canada and could result in you not being allowed entry into Canada. Our tourism organizations are working hard to try and address these issues - particularly with regard to old charges. I'm hesitant to put too much info on this page, as things may change and I may not know or may be late to update. There seems to be ever evolving information with this - and, as you'd expect, some info may not be accurate. Check with us when you inquire to book your trip - we'll let you know what we know. Plus we recommend contacting Canada Customs for the most current, accurate information. As well, there are several law offices that consult with this issue …a google search will turn up pages of them. I'd imagine that many are quality and some may not be. We will pass along any that we've heard of that have helped people we know.

Here's some Government of Canada websites that address these issues specifically:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-who.asp

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=152&top=8

To reach Canada Customs by phone call 1-800-461-9999.

What can I bring in to Canada for my trip?
Generally, the food / tobacco / alcohol allotment is fairly good. Sometimes certain products are not allowed….check with us on any of these, and as well refer to the following page for specific, up to date information: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5082-eng.html#s2x1

Is there a grocery store or liquor store nearby?
Yes - Atikokan is about a 25 minute drive from us and has groceries, beer, liquor etc. We always encourage our guests to patronize our local businesses. Note that many stores aren't open on Sundays though. We understand also that you'll want to maximize your time in the woods or on the water, so we will always pick up any supplies you need - we're in town almost daily.

Can I get a rebate of my taxes paid on my trip?
There is a program to apply to get a portion of the 13% tax rebated to you. To qualify, certain services are required - roofed accommodations, guided tours (which we do) and some other things. We have the applications at the camp and can assist with completing them.

Why are your prices in US funds?
Well, around 98% of our guests are from the US. As such, much of our costs in marketing and advertising are in US funds as well. Most resorts in North West Ontario also quote in US funds. It also helps when most of our customers don't have to worry about currency fluctuations that will affect the actual price they pay on their trip. When we quote our American guests a price in their currency, they know that it will not change.

I want to fish a different lake every day…can I do that?
Absolutely! Although most stick to our 5 lake Seine Chan, many like to go to one of our many portage lakes.

Some you can trailer a boat to and launch at. Others you drive / walk to a boat cache and bring a small outboard with you ( 2 hp - 6 hp)….others are available to fish via canoe…it's your choice.

For our package plan guests, usage of trailers and portage boats / motors (and canoes) is included. We provide directions to the lake(s) and you get yourself there in your vehicle. If you don't have a vehicle or one that won't suffice to haul boats or travel gravel roads, we can drop off / pick up. There is an extra fee for this service.

For guests bringing their own boats, they're welcome to trailer to the lakes with launches - we will provide directions. You can also rent our portage boast / motors / canoes on a daily basis as well for the other lakes.

How bad are the bugs?
They can certainly be bad at times, but usually in the morning and late evening. Blackflies generally have wrapped up by the end of June. Mosquitoes are directly related to how wet the year has been. Recent years have actually not been bad for mosquitoes (which is a great surprise!).

We provide coils for the cabins and encourage guests to bring repellant. Thermocells also work great. Hopefully the trend of low mosquito counts continues!

Will your basic boats be OK or should I do the upgrade?
Our basic boats - 16' with 15 hp motors - will definitely work. Our system - while there is some bigger water - also has lots of smaller water - river channels etc. And the bigger water isn't huge. In fact, the camp boats used to be 14' skiffs with 6 hp motors….and they worked fine. You may not get long distances real fast, but the good fishing starts right off our shores and is found throughout the system - so what's the rush? Take your time and learn the water!

Seine River Lodge has been around a long time. Are your facilities old?

Good question - and the answer is "No"! We're a second generation camp - purchased in 1967 by Carl and Joan Branch. Quentin & Lori Branch took over in 2001. Since then, almost all the facilities have been built new and older facilities have been thoroughly renovated. The facilities - and equipment - are all excellent. You get the years of experience and history that comes from a camp and owners who have been in business over half a century, with the benefit of of great new cabins and gear.

What fishing equipment and tackle do you recommend?
It depends on what you're fishing….we will work with you with advice on everything from rods and reels, tackle, bait - and everything else you need to know. Once you're here, we're always happy to continue to discuss tackle, gear, techniques and all the stuff related to fishing.

What's the weather like? What clothes will I need?
The fishing season generally is May - October. As you'd imagine, the beginning and end can have some cold days….but prepare for any weather at all times. Shorts, t-shirts etc….but also sweatshirts, long pants, windbreakers and warmer coats. It even doesn't hurt to have gloves - particularly in May & September, but they can be handy any month. Don't forget good rain gear. And the quick dry shirts and pants are great.

· Sunglasses are always a good idea - polarized preferably.
· Don't forget good sunscreen.
· We can have temps in the 90's and also have snow, so it's best to be prepared with everything.
· We'll advise if there are extreme conditions that have been happening?
· Here's a chart (in Fahrenheit) of average temperatures:

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH

AVERAGE LOW

AVERAGE

MAY

63

40

52

JUNE

71

50

60

JULY

76

55

66

AUGUST

74

54

64

SEPTEMBER

63

44

53

OCTOBER

49

33

41

 

What if I hit a rock or damage a motor - do I have to pay for the repairs?
Like most fishing lodges - yes - guests are responsible for any damage to equipment aside from normal wear and tear. As you'd guess, most damage is prop - and in more extreme cases - lower unit damage.

We do what we can to help you avoid this…many of our motors (all the 15 hp) have skeg guards on them….and we always advise and remind you to not lock the motor down.

Our larger - 30 hp and 40 hp - are all purchased without power tilt (just gas assist) so they too can be operated without being locked down.

We also mark the more common (rock / reef) hazards on the system - cautioning that these are not all of them.

We also take guests using our equipment out on a system orientation, showing - aside from fishing spots - many of these these hazards, how to navigate certain channels and answer any questions about the safe operation of the equipment.

The vast majority come and go without ever damaging our equipment. With the aforementioned efforts plus guests operating the motors using caution and being careful, we have many, many seasons where no damage - aside from normal wear & tear - is done. It definitely can be done.

Any other questions?
We'll update & add to this, but in the meantime, you can email us at fishing@seineriverlodge.com or call or text us at 807-947-2391 with anything else you'd like to know!


Ontario Lake Trout Fishing