So Many Lakes to Choose From

Do you get bored of fishing or exploring the same lakes? Well, I'm not sure anyone can ever truly get bored on the lakes in Northwest Ontario, but sometimes you like to switch it up. Luckily in Sunset Country, we have many thousands of different lakes to explore.

If you’re the adventurous type that likes to try new things, or perhaps you get bored easily, one of the lakes with many access lakes or boat caches may be for you!

With 70,000 lakes and rivers in Sunset Country, your choices are endless when choosing a fishing destination. All of the lodges and resorts in the area on directly on the water. Some are on huge lakes like Lake of the Woods, Eagle Lake, Rainy Lake or Lac Seul. Others are on small or medium-sized lakes. The choice is yours!

There are also many lakes that have connecting waterways to fish; sometimes even 9 or 10 lakes! Take Fireside Lodge for example, from their location on Little Vermillion Lake there are eight other accessible lakes. Four by portages which range from easy to slightly difficult. The other four lakes are reached by a creek.

It's not just anglers that like to explore new lakes! Photo: Fireside Lodge   

What is a boat cache?

A boat cache is where a tourist outfitter has permission from the MNR to fish a remote lake and leave the boat there for its guests. The benefits of this are, for one, there are not many other people on the lake, and two, you don’t have to portage your boat over land to get into a portage lake. Often lodges will have one or more boat caches near their main lake.  

What is a portage lake? 

The portage lakes are where you are welcome to fish those nearby lakes but you have to get your boat over the portage and into the lake. The good news is, there is the portages are usually not too long.

Getting from Troutfly Lake to a trout pond filled with beautiful brookies! Photo: Alyssa Lloyd Photography

What is an access lake?

Access lakes are ones that are directly connected to the lake system or river chain. Some of these are huge lakes while many are smaller lakes that connect to each other. In some places, you could pass through many lakes without leaving your boat!

Speaking of fishing many lakes, there are a few outfitters that specialize in fishing many lakes. Take Camp Quetico for instance, they fish up to 40 different lakes! Many have boats on them and see little visitors. You could target a different lake or different species each day of your trip! Fish from their lodge nestled on the shores of Eva Lake, or explore and fish Baril Lake for smallmouth bass, northern pike and lake trout then the next day get on Kawene Lake for some great pike and smallmouth bass! The choice is yours!  Watch this video below to see just how impressive bass at Camp Quetico are!

When getting there is half the fun!

Boat lifts and rollers are also seen in a few lakes around Sunset Country to help us get from waterway to waterway. Longbow Lake has access to Lake of the Woods by a boat lift operated by Redden’s Camp.

Turtle Portage Marine Railway System is on the Aulneau Peninsula between Sabaskong Bay and Whitefish Bay on Lake of the Woods. The marine railway is located along a portage used by travelers for centuries. The transfer system crosses a 400-foot narrows on the peninsula, reducing the lake travel distance between Nestor Falls and Sioux Narrows by 145 km!! It is currently undergoing a rebuild and will reopen in 2023.

Turtle Portage on Lake of the Woods Photo: Vic and Dots Camp

The Clearwater/Pipestone Chain has two mechanical portages on Clearwater Lake to get your boat into other lakes to fish or explore. Below you can see one of the portages in action thanks to Cedar Island Lodge

From Wabaskang into Wine Lake, Wine Lake Lodge has a system for you to easily get your boat from one lake to the other. Getting to Wine Lake Camp is half the fun!!

Going from Wabaskang into Wine Lake Camp! 

Not that you’d truly get bored fishing or boating on any lake in Northwest Ontario, but many lodges give you the opportunity to get to more than one lake!

Check out some of the lodges in Sunset Country with boat caches by going to the Sunset Country Accommodation Finder and picking “Boat Cache” under the “Amenities & Services" dropdown menu.

You’ll be so glad you were adventurous and explored new lakes! One may even turn out to be your favourite!!

About Erin Rody

I grew up on Black Sturgeon Lake in Northwestern Ontario. I am a staff writer for the Sunset Country Travel Association. Through my articles I hope to entice you to visit the wonderful region I call home. We are all about outdoor adventure; with 70,000 lakes and rivers and a whole lot of forests how can we not be? Whether you like to fish, hunt, canoe, kayak, boat or go camping, Sunset Country has something for you. Enjoy!

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