Hank collects a northern pike at Wigwam Lake

GOWGANDA, Ont. — Hank and I arrived in camp Saturday evening. We stayed Friday night in Morgantown to get a head start on the trip. I would recommend always doing a head start. The drive took 15 hours. Although it would be an added expense, the better way to tackle the trip would be spend the night in Buffalo and cross the Canadian border first thing in the morning.  The drive to Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge is the worst part of the trip. Traffic north of Ontario was bumper to bumper and moved slow for 25 to 50 miles.

The border crossing into Canada was uneventful. The Canadian border patrol was very polite. He asked where we were headed, how long we were staying, and what we planned to be doing. He also asked if we had any weapons. We didn’t, so he waved us on through. The last time we entered the country we declared two hunting knifes among our gear. During the crossing we spent about a half hour inside the building at a counter while a gruff fellow pounded our information into a computer and never said a word.  We didn’t have to pay any tax. He simply gave us our paperwork and sent us on our way.  I’m not sure what he was doing and I didn’t ask any questions.

When we arrived, around 8:30 p.m., the owners of the camp, Tony and Melissa Thomas had put our supper in our cabin in the refrigerator. However, they didn’t cook our steaks.  Tony fired up the grill and fixed them to perfection.  Since it was too late to hit the lake, we ate supper and hit the sack. However, I did catch an awesome sunset pictured above.

Sunday morning we had a delayed start. We had to go through a boat orientation and Tony went over the maps of the four lakes. He showed us the spots likely to hold fish and spots to be careful with the outboard. Lost Lake is the main lake where the camp is situated. There are three other lakes in the chain and another couple of lakes to which guests area driven.  Each lake has boats and outboard motors which are yours to use during your stay.

We decided to hit Wigwam Lake. Wigwam required boating to one end, then portaging all gear on a 10 minute walk to another dock to another boat to begin fishing.  Things started a bit slow, but Hank soon had the hang of things as you can see here.

Around 1:30, storm clouds gathered, so we decided to head back to the camp. However, we learned storms cam come up fast in this country. Before we reached the first dock we were in a driving rainstorm. We arrived back at camp soaked. As I type this entry, the sun has returned and it’s a beautiful day.

Dinner in the lodge is at 5 p.m. We decided to stick around camp and dry out our gear, then test the evening bite on the main lake.  I’ll let you know how that goes in tomorrow.

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  • Jesse's girl

    Think Dolly Sods on steroids. Generally the same species, but more of them. NO poison ivy on either Dolly Sods or Northern Ontario.

  • Maugwy

    So you drove to Canada, ate a steak, and got wet on a walk!? Any wildlife to speak of, difference of woody or herbaceous material compared to here, additional fish caught, description of lake and/or conditions, tackle, etc.

  • any major dude

    Sounds adventurous so far! Hope you and Hank have a great time! Looking forward to more stories and beautiful photos.

  • Wowbagger


    An alternate suggestion would be to divide the trip in half and spend the night in Barrie, ON. At that point the urban driving is over and Barrie is a much nicer town than Buffalo with lots of accomodations. On the way out of town stop by and join Mountain Equipment Coop for $5 Canadian. The best $5 Cdn I have ever spent. I go to Parry Sound, French River, or Killarney on Georgian Bay, but there is only one route.

  • Ken Hackworth

    I'm looking forward to your daily reports, Chris!