A Diamond in the Rough

Fly-in Fishing and Hunting on Big Kaby Lake at Watson's Kaby Kabins

As I write this story, I can't help but reminisce about the great time our group had at Watson's Kaby Lodge. When I first met Tom and Michel Watson, back in February, I immediately knew they were exactly the outfitters I wanted to be associated with. Enthusiastic, genuine, hard-working, and extremely personable, the Watson family started Pine Portage Lodge, over 75 years ago. Now, Tom and Michel Watson run Watson's Kaby Lodge, a tremendously successful fly-in hunting and fishing operation located on Big Kaby Lake in Northern Ontario, Canada.

The Watsons wanted our group to experience not only the hunting portion of their business they also wanted us to revel in the non-stop fishing action their camp is known for. We agreed to film both aspects of their operation for upcoming episodes of the hit TV show "Forever Wild Outdoors Adrenaline Adventures". The fishing trip was scheduled for June 12 - 16. Even though it was still winter in the States, the thought of a "fly-in" adventure in Algoma Country had me yearning for summer.

algomacountry billboard
(Photo credit: Gerry Rightmyer)

The months quickly passed and June was upon us. We arrived in White River, Ontario on June 11. Arriving with daylight to spare, we were able to drive around town, get acquainted with the area, and had enough time to visit White River Air. White River Air would be our "fly-in" charter service into Kaby Lodge the following morning. Needless to say, our fishing party was eager to drop a line in Big Kaby Lake, and after a brief 20-minute flight the following morning; we touched down onto Lake Kabinakagami for the very first time!

gerryrightmyer watsonskabylodge
(Photo credit: Gerry Rightmyer)

After meeting Tom and Michel, we unloaded our gear, familiarized ourselves with camp, got a quick bite to eat, studied our lake map, and ventured out for an exciting round of angling. To say we were "into the fish", would be an understatement. Big Kaby has an abundance of fish. Walleye and Northern Pike teem in these cold northern waters. Our first afternoon fishing met all our expectations and that trend continued over the course of our stay.

Watson's Kaby Lodge is a full-service fishing and hunting camp. The cabins come equipped with hot and cold running water. A water treatment facility is on-site, so potable water is available throughout camp. Electricity runs 24/7, so there's no need to worry about power. Nothing is left to chance at Watson's Kaby Lodge. Our cabin had two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room, and a full bathroom with shower facilities.

The main dining hall has a full-time chef and serving staff. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were absolutely fantastic! Tom and Michel also prepared two different styles of "shore lunch" during our stay. . .what a treat! Our boats were equipped with quality motors. The camp staff ensured that all boats were fueled daily, stocked with bait, and in good working order. If you forgot your favorite lure, Kaby Lodge has a bait shop fully stocked to equip you with any fishing tackle you may have left home.

freshshorelunch gerryrightmyer watsonskabylodge
(Photo credit: Gerry Rightmyer)

I was really amazed at the amenities provided at Kaby Lodge. Even with all of the necessities of modern living, I never felt like I was anywhere but "in the wild". Honestly, it's hard thinking you're home when black bears are walking through camp on a daily basis! That being said, if you need to keep in touch with loved ones, WiFi is available. The entire camp is self-sufficient. I guess when you've been operating for nearly three-quarters of a century, you figure out what is necessary and what's not!

There is an abundance of wildlife throughout this vast wilderness. Giant black bear sightings were commonplace during our stay. We also saw moose, bald eagles, loons, and many other species of wildlife over the course of our trip. Wolf are also plentiful in this part of northern Ontario. Even though we failed to see or hear this apex predator, Tom's trail camera photos confirmed their presence in this beautiful wilderness. The uniqueness of Kaby Lodge is its remote location. The only way to get there is by floatplane.

Kaby Lodge has a saying. . ."Kaby Lodge, where the fishing catches you!" Looking back on our adventure, I can't help but think how true this statement is. The Watsons have a long list of repeat customers. Many families have had multiple generations experience this lodge over the years. That speaks volumes for the dedication and reputation that Watson's Kaby Lodge has earned over the decades. This reputation is a true testament to their love of this region in Northern Ontario.

watsonskabylodge gerryrightmyer
(Photo credit: Gerry Rightmyer)

I've lived in Western New York my entire life. I guess I've forgotten what a fantastic province Ontario continues to be! The fishing and hunting opportunities are ample. That being said, I booked a hunting trip with Tom and Michel for this September. We'll be hunting black bear and wolf. I'm excited to return to northern Ontario this fall. Kaby Lodge is truly a gem, and I'm ready to return to Canada to once again experience this "diamond" in the rough!

About Gerry Rightmyer

Gerry has spent three decades hunting big game all over the world. His greatest achievement was killing one of the largest whitetails in North American history, a 289-inch non-typical, in the state of Kansas in 2006. He has taken big game with rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, compound bow, and crossbow. Gerry has hunted three continents, qualifying big game in the Boone and Crockett, Pope and Young, Safari Club International, and New York State records. He loves pursuing big game and showing the television audience "they can do it too"!

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