How to Choose the Right Fishing Trip for You?

When my group started planning our annual fishing trip, we had no idea how difficult it was to decide on a destination. I have never done an exact count, but I would bet that within Ontario alone there are 100’s if not 1000’s of camps, lodges and outfitters who offer a “fishing package”. Throw in the fact that there are so many different types of services offered. American Plan, Housekeeping, Fly In, Drive In, Outpost and even train in and the choice can be overwhelming.

Over time we have worked out a way to try to narrow down the choices. Basically, it’s a list of questions to ask yourselves and when your answered are compiled it should help you understand the type of outfitter that best fits your group.

Question 1 – What is your budget? Usually the answer to this question narrow the field quickly. In general, you will find that a drive to housekeeping resort will be less expensive than an American Plan resort (meals provided). A boat in trip will generally be cheaper than a fly in. A single outpost cabin will be cheaper than a fly in lodge and so forth. If the max amount you want to spend is $500 per person there will be options that are not congruent with you budget

Question 2 – How far are you willing to travel? This is simple. If you live in Toronto and you don’t want to drive more than 3 hours a lodge in Sault Saint Marie isn’t going to work.

Question 3 – What are your comfort requirements? Like budget different lodge options will offer different levels of comfort. Many if not most fly in outposts only offer an outhouse. My first ever trip was at a house keeping lodge. While it was fine, we did find we spent a lot of time cooking and cleaning which cut down on our fishing time. The following year we fished the same lake but did an American Plan lodge and loved it.

Question 4 – How important is catching fish? Stupid question? Well in my experience the further off the beaten path you go the better the fishing gets. Renting a cottage in the Kawarthas is an amazing trip and sure you will catch fish, but I think your catch rate will go up exponentially if you are on a fly in lake in Sunset Country where you are the only cabin.

In my opinion working through these questions with your group will help nail down the best trip type and simplify your search.

Tight lines,

Andrew Gordon is an avid outdoorsman who spends as much time as he can fishing, camping, hiking or kayaking with friends and family across Ontario. He maintains an outdoors blog that contains a lot of great information about outdoor experiences across Canada.