Your Hosts

Ryan Carlson


The road to owning Big Hook Wilderness Camps has been winding for Ryan – although seemingly meant to be. A long-time ski patroller in Colorado, Ryan sought to find something he was as passionate about as winter in the mountains. Working for several summers as a river guide and owning a property management business in Northern Minnesota, Ryan set his ambitions further north – hoping to make a life in the Canadian Wilderness he remembered fondly from father/son trips as a child. After pursuing a commercial pilot’s license and flying in Montana and Alaska, Ryan returned “home” to the Canadian Shield after meeting the former owners of the Big Hook, Steve, Evie, and Nathan Hartle. Ryan is humbled to be only the third operator to oversee the business since Big Hook welcomed its first guests in 1974. Many improvements have been made since Big Hook’s more “rustic” beginnings.

Some of the recent upgrades include:

  • Solar and wind power with state-of-the-art inverters
  • Tounge and groove pine interiors
  • Satellite communications at every location
  • On demand solar water pumps
  • Washing machines for laundry at Central Lake (no more smelly pilots)
  • Fuel efficient 4 stroke motors
  • Energy Star tank and tankless hot water heaters
  • Ultra-efficient refrigerators and freezers
  • Privately operated wheeled and float planes for logistics.

Our plans for Big Hook Wilderness Camps are to continually improve the resort on an ongoing basis so that our guests can experience the best fly-in fishing vacation possible in Ontario’s secluded northern wilderness.

Mission Statement

Our goal is to offer guests a unique and remote Canadian fly-in fishing vacation – a respite from the modern world. We are committed to the best customer experience possible, providing quality goods and amenities at a reasonable price. We strive to minimize our impact on the surrounding resources, allowing guests to witness a wilderness that has been virtually untouched by humankind. We aim to provide a service that you would recommend to your friends and family, and that we are proud to invite our own friends and family to enjoy as well. Finally, we want to thank each guest for the opportunity to serve them as they are the foundation of our business.