2017 Canoe Trip Information


To our guests: Even though this may not be your first trip with us, please read the following carefully as there are some changes.  It is very important that you review this material and pass it on to other members of your party.  By doing so, everyone will have the knowledge to ensure the trip goes smoothly.  Additional copies are available online at



This is the final authority on everything you need to know about fishing with us at Loon Haunt Outposts.  We include answers to many questions and supply information on a variety of important topics.  Please review carefully and remember to contact only us in the event of further questions or concerns.  We know our operation better than anyone and would be glad to help you.  We have had problems in the past several seasons with guests who disregarded our instructions and instead, in one case, followed the advice of a well meaning but totally uninformed local taxi driver. As a result the guests arrived late and without fishing licencesWhen in doubt please ask.  Remember assumption is the mother of all screw ups.

TRAVEL PLANS:  It is important for us to know your plans and if/where you will be staying in Red Lake the night before your flight.  Last minute changes to the flight schedule and important messages from home necessitate our knowing where you can be reached.  Please provide us with your cell phone number so that we can reach you while you are enroute to Red Lake.

CELL PHONES:  If you wish to have cell phone coverage while in Canada check with your carrier before you leave United States.  Most carriers offer a reasonably priced add on package for Canadian service.  Once you fly north of Red Lake, cell phones no longer work.


We have noticed that some cell phone companies in the U.S. charge their customers very high prices for calls to Canada.  If you wish, while you are in the U.S., you can call us on our Google phone number 612-293-5564.

CUSTOMS:  Use common sense in your dealings with Customs. It is a good idea to turn off the radio, roll down all the windows and remove sunglasses. Appoint 1 person, (usually the driver), to be the group spokesman and have all identification papers ready for viewing. Be courteous and respectful and you'll be treated the same way. You are permitted to bring into Canada a reasonable supply of groceries for your stay and one case of beer (24) OR one quart of liquor or wine (40 oz.=1.14 liter).  Up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or 2 pounds of tobacco may be allowed entry.  It is worthwhile stopping at the duty free shop in International Falls, World Duty Free 218-283-2556. This shop is the last building in the U.S. before you head across the tracks toward the bridge.  They can offer you considerable savings on liquor and cigarettes. If you are traveling in more than one vehicle, the distribution of beer or liquor and cigarettes must correspond to the distribution of people in the vehicles.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR 2017:  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) implements measures to protect Canada's food supply.  In the past few years there were restrictions on raw poultry and poultry products, including eggs, from crossing the border into Canada.  An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza was reported in some Midwestern states.  This became more complicated as some states were free of avian influenza and others were not.  Canada Customs may be asking if you have any of these products along and may confiscate them.   For more updated information go to this website:


IMMIGRATION:   The long standing practice by border officials of allowing oral declarations of U.S. citizenship at the border is over.  Adults aged 19 and over, must be able to prove identity and citizenshipBeginning June 1, 2009, the United States government required passports when crossing the border.  If you do not already have one, be sure to allow plenty of time for the application process, (at least 8 weeks).  Don't wait, get your passport now.  If you have children with you, but their parents are not a part of the group, special rules apply.  You should have along their original birth certificates and a notarized letter of permission from their parents.   The phone number for Canada Customs in Fort Frances is 807-274-3655.  For answers to all questions at the border, check out the website www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca. 

THE INTERNATIONAL FALLS BRIDGE:  Be advised of the toll system in effect.  Toll for use of the bridge is collected northbound only.  This is not a tax for going to Canada, but rather, a charge by the bridge owners Boise Inc. and Abitibi Consolidated. 


Lodging choices for the Red Lake area are alphabetically listed below.  If, like most of our guests, you are planning to overnight in Red Lake before flying in - please make motel reservations early. 


Balmer Motor Hotel    phone 807-735-2076,  Fax 807-735-2530  www.balmerhotel.ca  email is balmerhotel@hotmail.com  Situated in Balmertown  (6 miles from Red Lake).  This is a good choice for those who fly to Red Lake.  Free shuttle service to and from the airport and the water base.  This establishment has a main hotel with bar and also an annex.  Rates are slightly higher at the newer, quieter annex.  We have had many favorable comments on the adjoining restaurant.  


Chukuni River Campground 1-800-268-0910 or 807-735-2869. This campground is located on the Chukuni River, midway between Red Lake and Balmertown. A very economical place to stay. Owned by the Fischers. Email is fischeratchukuni@shaw.ca  www.chukunirivercampground.com  


Howey Bay Motel  Phone 807-727-3419, Fax 807-727-3968.  Toll free number 1-877-464-6939.  Website is www.thehowey.com  Email info@thehowey.com  Situated in Red Lake across from the IGA food store.  There is an adjacent restaurant, bar and Gondola Pizza.


Nature's Inn   Phone 807-735-2626,  Fax  807-735-3417.  Website  http://www.naturesinn.ca/RedLake  Email is redlake@naturesinn.ca  This establishment is located in Balmertown, 6 miles from Red Lake and 4 miles from Cochenour.  They offer very nice rooms in quiet surroundings.  There is no restaurant or bar at this establishment. The Balmer restaurant is a short walk away (see Balmer Motor Hotel above).  Be sure to mention you are flying to Loon Haunt Outposts and you will receive a preferred rate.


Norseman Inn  Phone 807-727-2858, Fax 807-727-1907.  Toll free number 1-866-665-6608.  Situated in Red Lake, close to the Esso service station.  No website but go to www.booking.com for a full description with photos.


Super 8   Phone 807-727-8888.  Fax 807-727-8855.  Website  www.super8.com/RedLake  Red Lake's newest motel is situated on the right side of Highway 105 just as you enter town.  Next door is another new establishment, Tim Horton's coffee/doughnut shop.  The Super 8, with its many rooms, is a welcome addition to Red Lake's accommodation choices.


Northwoods Waterfront Inn and Restaurant and Red Lake Inn have been converted to other uses.

MAPS We have enclosed maps of Red Lake and the highways along the way.  Also included are copies of your route maps and a map showing how to get to our landing at Stormer Lake.


Beginning in 2009 each non resident fisherman had to purchase an Outdoors Card for $9.68 (Canadian) as well as a fishing licence. If you fished in Ontario last year and received an Outdoors Card in the mail, please bring it along this year.  It expedites the licence process. If you fail to bring your Outdoors Card you will have to buy a new one for $9.68.   It is essential that you pick up your fishing licence and Outdoors Card any time after crossing the border.  We do not sell fishing licences and Outdoors Cards   They are available at most gas stations in Fort Frances. Try Rainy Lake Sports, between the Harborage Restaurant and Bayview Motel as you are on your way out of town.  Close to the river, they open early and stay open late.  About 15 miles east of Fort Frances on Highway 11(left side of road). is a large Shell gas station and convenience store called The Great Bear that carries them (also the last gas station until Dryden).  In Vermilion Bay, try Bobby's.  In Ear Falls, the Four Seasons Sport Shop, the Pit Stop(Kahooters) and Coulson’s. - all close to the highway.  If you make it all the way to Red Lake without finding a licence vendor, try Red Lake Marine or TJ's Kwik Stop (the ESSO station).  Fishing licences, called E licences, are also available online at http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/LetsFish/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_091600.html.  You will have a choice of several different licences, but only one is of interest to you - (the Non Resident 8 day Conservation Licence), because we have gone to a "no take home fish plan."  By purchasing the 8 day Conservation Licence for $30.53 (Canadian), you can possess up to 2 Walleyes and 2 Northerns for eating.  The maximum size for Walleyes is 18 inches and 27 inches for Northerns.

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS:  As part of our package, we include a communication/tracking device to contact us in the event of an emergency.  

GROCERIES:   Most people who canoe with us are seasoned veterans and bring a mixed bag of fresh food to eat in the early part of the week and freeze dried food for later in the week.  Plan on eating a lot of fish. Gander Mountain in Duluth has a great selection of freeze dried foods.  It is permissible to bring potatoes as long as they are in commercially packaged 10 pound bags or smaller.  If you need 20 pounds, bring 2 10 pound bags.  Don't bring your own garden potatoes.  See the new rules on bringing poultry and poultry products into Canada. (in the Customs section above) 

LIVE BAIT:   You will be canoeing in a part of Ontario where live bait is prohibited.  See information on lures below.

OVERWEIGHT:  Keep the weight down!  You will have to carry everything over the portage.  Pack everything in pack sacks.  No pack boards.  Pack boards are for back packing, not canoeing.  We simply cannot fit pack boards into the aircraft.  Maximum baggage is 60 pounds per person.

AIRWAYS:  Call us at 735-2400 (local call) when you get to town and we can arrange a pick up time at the Stormer Lake landing. If you will be delayed call 1-877-773-5564 and let us know your plans.

VEHICLE PARKING:  There is plenty of parking space at Stormer Lake Lodge.  If I am not there when you get to Stormer, unload and get ready and I will be in shortly.  Stack your gear off to the side and out of the way.  My airplane is white, black and red.

WHAT TO BRING:  Groceries, first aid kit, insect repellent, sun screen, mosquito coils, rubber boots, camera, good quality rain gear, fishing licence and Outdoors Card, playing cards, matches, life vest, sleeping bag and (tent if you plan to camp at Stormer.) A bug proof mesh jacket is a very good addition to your gear. Don't forget the cooking utensils, a foam mattress and an ax.  A disposable Weekend 35 camera is $12 at Walmart.  It is completely waterproof and can be left in the tackle box for photo trophies.  If you send us a copy of one of your photos, we will enter you in a draw for a free trip.  Please bring sufficient CASH OR TRAVELER'S CHEQUES to pay the balance owing on your trip.

RAINSUITS:  We always tell people that the likelihood of good weather is directly related to the quality of their rain suits.  If you got it at Kmart for $5.99, it will rain all week.  If you have a $400.00 Gortex rain suit, it may never rain on you again!

PROVEN LURES FOR CATCHING FISH:  For Walleyes - jigs (3/8 and 1/2 ounce) and a minnow or night crawler.  If you don't use crawlers, then the new scent impregnated plastic bodies(Gulp) also/ work well followed by the regular plastic bodies (twister tails) in a variety of colors including white, black, yellow, orange and florescent green.  Also bring along small plugs (Rappala and Rebel) and spoons (Daredevil and Little Cleo).  Lures for Northerns include Mepps Spinners, Red Eyes, Daredevils, Buzz Baits and a selection of large plugs.  A large white twister tail added to the trailing hook on any of the above works well.  You will have very little trouble releasing fish if you bend the barbs down on your hooks.   Include a pair of side cutters in case you need to remove an embedded hook.

BE YOUR OWN WEATHERMAN:  With careful observation, you can predict the coming weather.  Our prevailing winds are from the west and indicate stable weather.  A north wind brings colder air while a south wind will bring warmer weather that usually lingers for a few days.   When the winds switch to the east, it signals an approaching front - almost always bringing rain within 24 hours.  This too, will take up to 24 hours to blow itself out. To view the current Red Lake weather please click here http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/71854.html

MONEY MATTERS:   Be sure to alert your credit card company that you will be using your credit card in Canada.   With increased security these days our guests report their credit card purchases are often rejected.  It is a good practice to use your credit card for motel rooms, gas, meals and miscellaneous purchases as you will get the bank rate of exchange.   Try to avoid using U.S. cash as the rate of exchange will vary with every business and it will not be in your favor. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Please bring sufficient CASH or a CASHIER'S CHECK (in U.S. funds) to pay the balance owing on your trip.  Many groups now bring along a group cashier's check to pay for the bulk of the trip and use cash for the extras.  

GARBAGE:  We expect you to burn all paper, cardboard, etc. in your camp fires   Crush all cans, rinse all cans, bottles, jars and bring with you for the flight out.  Do not leave ANY garbage in the bush or water.

FLYING IN AND OUT:  Rather than include my long winded speech on bush flying, please just keep the following in mind.  When flights are delayed due to weather - sit back and relax.  We will get you in a little later than planned but safe and sound.  We have been flying in these conditions for many years.  In reality, we rarely have delays.

TO FIND OUR STORMER LAKE BASE:  On your way out of Red Lake, take a left turn onto Highway 125 by the Township of Red Lake sign.  Follow the highway toward Cochenour.  After passing the 2 turnoffs to Balmertown, watch for the Nungesser Road. (there is a big blue truck garage right beside the road)  Turn right onto the Nungesser road and travel for 45 miles.  On your left and you will see a sign for STORMER WILDERNESS LODGE or STORMER LAKE LODGE.  We have arranged with Stormer LAKE LODGE to pick you up at their dock and leave your vehicle on their property.

IMPORTANT:  Postage to Canada is $1.15 for a normal letter size. 

Reminders for 2017:

 *We offer only the "no take home fish" plan.

 *Maximum size on Walleye is 18 inches and on Northern 27 inches.

*You must have a life jacket (personal flotation device) for each person in the canoe. Please bring your own.

*Be sure to alert your credit card company that you will be traveling to Canada.  With increased security these days our guests report their credit card purchases are often rejected.

ENROUTE INFORMATION: Radar Warning Devices.  Radar detectors are illegal in Ontario.  The fine for using one is in excess of $350.  You should be aware that the Ontario Provincial Police have radar detector detectors.  If yours is turned on they will pull you over (you don't have to be speeding) and they will confiscate your detector and fine you.

CLOQUET CUTOFF:  If you are traveling north on Highway 35 from Minneapolis to Duluth you can bypass the congestion of Duluth and save about 20 miles by taking the Cloquet cut off--..20 miles south of Duluth one mile past the weigh scale is Exit #237 to highway 33.  The cut off exits on the right side of highway 35 then rises up and crosses above highway 35.  You will pass through Cloquet and join highway 53 about 20 miles north of Duluth.  Highway 33 (the cut off) is now divided highway all of the way.

HIGHWAY 502:  To travel from Fort Frances to Red Lake most people take highway 502 through Dryden.  Leave Fort Frances traveling east on Highway 11 about 20 miles then turn north on Highway 502.  Watch for the bad curves in the first 10 miles or so when the highway crosses Crow Rock Bay.  Of course you filled your gas tank before leaving International Falls.  Highway 502 is about 115 miles to Dryden.  When you reach the stop sign TURN RIGHT and go through Dryden.  Turn left at the lights and then left again at the 4 way stop and then left again at the lights.  The following map will guide you.  If you need gas at a 24 hour station turn right at the second lights instead of left as in above and you will immediately see the 24 hour Petro Can gas station and 7-11 convenience store.


How to get to our base.  (Stormer Wilderness Camp)



Madden Map                                       Willis Map