HOW TO REACH US
Your trip with Big Hook Wilderness Camps begins in Red Lake, Ontario – about a five hour drive from International Falls, Minnesota. Most guests from the middle U.S. choose to drive the scenic byway between the two and have their favourite stops along the way committed to memory. Others traveling from further way may opt to fly into Winnipeg and/or Red Lake – travel agents are listed below as the smaller regional carriers are typically not included on most travel websites.
A travel information packet will be mailed to all of our group leaders each spring, usually around mid-April. This packet has a wealth of information including departure locations, hotel and restaurant recommendations, packing lists, and menu suggestions. The travel packet (printed or e-copy) is also available by request, simply “contact us” and we’ll be glad to offer an advance copy.
One item to note: it is highly recommended that guests arrive in Red Lake by at least the evening before your departure. We start flying guests early on Sunday mornings. Red Lake is usually very busy with fisherfolks and other vacationers through the summer season. For that reason, it is prudent to make a reservation for local hotel soon after making your reservation to Big Hook. Many local accommodations are now on travel sites, but a few are not. A list of area hotels is included below.
Starting Sunday morning, the travel arrangements are taken care of by Big Hook. You will receive an email 7-10 days prior to your trip with specific departure times and locations (either the Red Lake airport or seaplane base). Some guests will fly directly to their camp while others may have a brief layover either in the First Nations community of Sandy Lake or one of our other camps as we aim to shuttle each week’s guests as efficiently as possible. Incoming guests are usually fishing by noon.
Anytime small planes are involved, weight and bulk are at a premium. 100lbs of baggage is included with each guest’s fishing package. Additional baggage is transported as the air carriers are able and charged at their cost. This is usually runs between $1.85-3.00/lb. Most guests don’t have an issue meeting the weight requirements and a recommended packing list is included with the travel packet. Avoid oversized baggage of all kinds, particularly hard sided items like trunk sized coolers, giant plastic totes, or rod tubes longer than 7 ft.
Big Hook provides “staple foods” at all of our locations and aim to restock these once or twice per week as flight logistics allow. Incorporating these items into your menu will also go a great way towards reducing your baggage weight and keep your trip costs to a minimum. Menu suggestions are included with the travel packet. Our regular guests often bring some breakfast items like egg beaters, bacon, sausage, and toast, some lunch meats and cheese, and a few nights’ worth of steaks, pork chops, bratwursts, or pasta, and then sprinkle in a handful of shore lunches or other fish-based favourites. Few go home lighter than they came.
For those who can’t or prefer not to shop for their own groceries, Big Hook offers to pre-buy these items for you, but requests at least 30 days advanced notice.
Other details such as operation of the boats, motors, and facilities, fishing licenses, final payments, local amenities in Red Lake, customs information, etc., are, again, all included with your travel packet. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, however.
Travel to Red Lake by Air:
Red Lake Travel Services
Red Lake Accommodations:
Balmer Motor Hotel
147 5 th St. Balmertown , ON POV1CO
Nature’s Inn (Bedroom Suites)
95 Detta Road Balmertown , ON POV1CO
Howey Bay Motel
Hwy. 105 Red Lake, ON POV2MO
11 Hughes Crescent Red Lake, ON P0V2M0
As a reference for our traveling guests:
Sandy Lake Seaplane
Big Hook Wilderness Camps makes every reasonable effort to serve our guests; however, assumes no responsibility or liability for any hazard of any kind associated with these trips. Neither is any obligation or responsibility assumed for any political, meteorological, climatic, other events; or for the services of transportation companies, contractors or other principals for which Big Hook acts as agent.