Frequently Asked Questions
GENERAL / FISHING:
You will need a passport when re-entering the US border. Present your passport to Canada Customs and US Customs as you enter and exit Canada... makes the border crossing smooth and easy. Kids under 16 aren't required to have passports if you cross the border by land or sea. Original birth certificates are all that's required for children.
Flying across Canadian border- all US citizens are required to have passport including children.
If traveling with kids without both parents, a signed letter from parents stating permission is granted to cross Canadian border with child is required.
Have Passports ready to hand to Customs agent as you approach window. Remove sunglasses to talk with Customs agent, roll down back window of vehicle so all passengers are visible. Only the driver should answer questions unless specific questions are asked of individuals. Short straight forward accurate answers helps speed up the process.
Where were you born? Where do you live? Any firearms? Any Alcohol? Tobacco products? Where are you headed in Canada (lodge), How long is your stay? Are you leaving anything in Canada? How much currency do you have (US dollars)?
DWI is considered a felony in Canada. If you've ever had a DWI, I'd recommend calling the border crossing office prior to heading to Canada. As a general rule, greater than 5 yrs. since DWI – you should be clear to cross at the officer's discretion. Again I'd suggest calling the border crossing office in the town you plan to cross into Canada to clarify.
Discuss with Lodge owner prior to traveling to Canada. Many lodge owners offer as a part of the Adventure package, others sell at lodge, and sometimes individuals need to purchase before arriving at lodge. Discuss bag limits and take home fish with the lodge owner. Some lakes are catch and consume only... others allow take home fish.
It's Canada... hot one day and cold rain the next. Pack cloths can be layered together. Remember it will rain in Canada... rain gear also doubles as wind protection and a jacket for the cool morning or evenings.
Each Adult is allowed 1 case of beer (24pk – 12oz. cans) or 1.5 liter of alcohol. More alcohol can be transported across border with Duties being paid on all extra amounts. If traveling across border with multiple vehicles... all vehicles must transport their own alcohol... not all in one vehicle. Must declare to customs agent at time of entry.
You're allowed 1 carton cigarettes, and 50 cigars, and 1 -200 gram can of Tabacco, and 200 tobacco sticks. Must be 19 yrs. of age to import.
Flying commercially out of the states will have weight limits and gear restrictions. Typically 40-50lbs of clothing and gear is permitted. Well organized and gear safety stored in medium sized packs is the best. Rod tubes to transport rods travel well on planes.
Float plane travel typically allows 75-125lbs per person. Discuss weight restrictions with lodge owner prior to trip... extra baggage will be charged by the pound. Pack gear / clothing in medium sized soft sided bags works best. Also traveling with food in coolers / Rubbermaid's protects and makes the process well organized. Rod tubes for rods is a must... reels packed away with your clothing.
Yes, life jackets are required in boat at all times. Many lodge owners will have the required life jackets, but if you feel comfortable in your own I recommend bring along. Discuss with Lodge owner.
All other necessary boating requirements – safety equipment is mandatory for the lodge owners to provide... each boat will come equipped with this safety gear. Ask the lodge owner to explain.
Rod tubes are almost mandatory for travel to Canada. Just can't replace a broken rod once you've arrived at camp. I recommend one large rod tube for a group of 4 guys. Remove the reels and travel within clothes bags. Two piece rods travel well especially on commercial flights, again discuss with lodge owner.
Many lodge owners supply live bait or is available for purchase at the lodges. You are allowed to travel across border with crawlers – no soil – commercial bedding for crawlers is required. No crossing into Canada with live minnows or leeches. Dead frozen minnows is allowed. Frozen minnows travel and work best when frozen flat in zip lock bags... 10-12 minnows laid flat and frozen. Crawlers come travel best in a cooler full of bedding material and a layer of newspaper on top... frozen water bottles above newspaper keeps them cool and healthy all week.
Boat travel with live bait is tricky. Minnows need live bait buckets or live wells to stay fresh. Crawlers and leeches work best if kept cool in small container that can hold some ice... only bring bait for that days fishing... leave extra bait at camp to stay cool and healthy. Bait takes work every day... or by the end of the week you'll be fishing strictly artificial.
As a rule... 1lb of leeches equals about 7-8 dozen leeches. A flat of crawlers equals 500 crawlers. Typically a flat of crawlers and 2lbs of leeches will be enough bait for 8 guys fishing walleyes for a week... many variables to that equation.
Many drive-in lodges allow personal boats at camp. There may be extra docking charges and fuel costs. Discuss with lodge owners prior to hauling your boat to Canada.
Bugs levels change every day... yes, there will be mosquito's and other bugs, but very manageable. Typically once on the water the bugs leave you alone... shorelunch's in early spring can be interesting. Head nets and bug spray help fight off the biting insects. Generally July August adventures experience lower bug levels. I've spent hundreds of adventure days all across Canada, and bugs have never ruined a memory.
Every lodge has rules on take home fish. Check with Provincial and Lodge rules prior to bringing home fish. If you decide to bring home a limit of fish... frozen fillets with at least a minimum of 2"X 2" piece of skin for species id is required on each fillet for transport. Remember dry ice works best to keep fillets frozen... cubed ice will just thaw frozen fillets faster.
AllCanada.com has the firearm paper work required to transport firearms into Canada... hunting
tab on website. A $25 fee allows the transport of up to 3 firearms across the Canadian border. Each hunter must declare their own firearms. Firearm declaration forms must be carried on person like a hunting license and presented to MNR officer upon request.
Discuss butchering and meat transport with lodge owner at great length prior hunt. Lodge location and facilities will determine how to transport processed meat home. If flying commercially or don't have a need for game harvested, discuss donation to local food pantries with lodge owner. Consider the field dressing to meat processing procedures and who's responsible prior to hunt. Some lodges offer processing as part of the package, but others require hunters to complete. Each game species is unique... size of a moose will be an issue if you only take one cooler. Be prepared to process game in a timely and organized manner... have a plan.
Discuss with lodge owner. Pure size of a moose requires a larger caliber rifle then used for whitetails. Each species and hunting situation requires the correct firearm too quickly and ethically harvest game.
Archery equipment should be tweaked according to the species. Discuss archery with Lodge owner or guide prior to trip.
An export permit needs to be purchased prior to crossing the US border. Lodge owners can issue the export permit or local sporting good shops that issue license will offer. Each Province has specific requirements.
Some Provinces require a guide for big game species. A guide increases the odds of success in most cases... safety is always a concern in the wilderness. Trust your guide, work with your guide and they'll work hard to put you on game.
Yes, many hunting adventures allow for some fishing time. A little afternoon fishing on a moose hunt is possible... bear hunting over bait allows plenty of time – mid-day to enjoy a shorelunch. Highly recommend bringing along some fishing tackle on every hunting trip. If you get lucky and harvest an animal before your hunting partner... break out the fishing gear.
Housekeeping / Outpost
Typically 75-125lbs. is allowed per person. Extra weight will have an added fee... check with Lodge owner if even possible. Safety concerns come first... also lodge owner may have gear / supplies necessary at lodge / outpost. Everyone should weigh their gear... don't guess. All gear will be weighed at air base prior to loading the floatplane.
Pack all gear / clothing in medium soft sided bags. Be organized and ready to load when you pull into air base. Keep last minute items like sunglasses / camera handy for flight into lodge / outpost. Rod tubes are necessary to guarantee no broken rods on floatplane.
Works best to transport food and cooking supplies in coolers and Rubbermaid's. Dump out all extra melted water prior to flight... less weight. Best to use frozen foods as a cooling source... limits weight. Non-perishable items can be stored in rubber maids / boxes. Rubbermaid's are safe and water resistant... while boxes can be burned once at camp. Remember everyone always takes too much food / gear... reduce, reduce and then reduce more.
You are allowed to travel across border with crawlers – no soil – commercial bedding for crawlers is required. No crossing into Canada with live minnows or leeches. Dead frozen minnows is allowed. Frozen minnows travel and work best when frozen flat in zip lock bags... 10-12 minnows laid flat and frozen. Crawlers come travel best in a cooler full of bedding material and a layer of newspaper on top... frozen water bottles above newspaper keeps them cool and healthy all week. Many variables, but 1 flat of crawlers (500) and 2lbs of leeches (12-15dz.) will keep 8 walleye fisherman happy all week.
Yes, typically one passenger is allowed to ride "shotgun" on a flight. Weather or other safety scenarios might restrict passengers in cockpit. Awesome view from any seat, but the cockpit allows for a special ride. Flip a coin... and the lucky passenger will have a flight of their life. Floatplanes are the workhorse of the North. Remember not a pressurized plane – noisy. Ear protection muffs will be offered and recommended. Float planes fly with VRS standards... vision of surroundings... not radar. Cloud height determines how high you fly... clear day and most fights will average about 2500' altitude. Safety is always first concern for the pilots. The floatplane ride is an experience you'll never forget.
Yes, most outposts have satellite phones to communicate with air base. Only used in an emergency or to figure out flight times on way out. Many time pilots will do mid-week checks as they are flying over the area servicing other outposts. Might have to do without an item... roughing it sometimes... but that's half the fun.
Lake and Camp limits trump Provincial license limits. Some lakes are Catch and Consume only... eat your daily limit, but no take home fish... others allow your license limit to come home.
Typically children under 18yrs old don't need a license, but they have no daily bag. All fish kept must fall under an adult license daily bag limit. Check Provincial rules and regulations or discuss with lodge owner.
Many outposts have hot and cold running water... shower houses are common. Lake water is pumped by solar powered pump... heated. Some outposts even have indoor toilets? Outposts have become luxury living in the wilderness.
Highly recommended... water is stained in many cases... so viewing the bottom depth is impossible... constant guessing game without depth finder. Simple is good... depth and water temp is all that's necessary. Camp's may provide or rent as an extra fee... inquire with the outpost owner.
Yes, most outpost now have a solar system to capture enough energy that's stored in battery packs for use at night. Within reason enough power is generated by solar to light up the night activities... might want to conserve if cloudy for days... or the card playing goes well into the morning hours.
Ask the lodge owner if they could supply a small generator... some camps will have a generator as a standard. Even the small 1000watt generators will run a full 8hrs on one tank of gas. Necessary equipment of all involved... or bring the ear plugs.
Can only bring across the border a standards weeks' worth of groceries or supplies to fulfill your adventure. Can't leave behind or sell items once you cross border.
Best if you use your frozen food to keep coolers cool on floatplane flight... less weight. Even use your boat coolers as storage containers... fill with dry food or gear. Definitely remove all extra melted water within coolers prior to loading onto floatplane.
Outposts typically aren't a guided. But arrangements can be made at some outposts. Best to catch the group coming out... have a lake map handy. No better gauge on the fishing than the previous weeks fishing battles / stories. Ask question like "How deep were the walleyes?" "What colors worked best?" What lures worked best for pike? "Where did you find the fish... points, lake humps, shallows, weeds etc.?"
Ask for the lodge meal menu for the week... typically a lodge serves the same main course meals each week on a weekly schedule. If there's a food allergy to be concerned... ask for a substitute, lodges understand.
Trust me... American plan lodges will not let you leave hungry. Over served might be a better statement... leaving hungry won't happen. Not to say a few boat snacks are a bad idea... or some sweet treats at night.
Yes, the guide will be fully prepared with equipment and food to create a beautiful shorelunch... fish, potatoes, beans. Wow, you won't believe how great shorelunch tastes after a morning on the water.
Depending on your knowledge of the lake / lodge requirements / and safety factors. Some lodges require a guide as part of the fishing package. Other camps allow you a pick and choose the days you'd like a guide. Guides put you on fish, but more importantly keep you safe in a unfamiliar surroundings. Be honest with yourself on your boating and fishing skills... a guide can make or break a great Canadian adventure.
Yes, most American Plan lodges sell live bait or offer bait as part of the fishing package. If you're looking for something other than minnow, leeches or crawlers... discuss with lodge owner.
Yes, many American Plan lodges offer rods and reels to use... especially if it's a guided trip. Double check they have the equipment you desire prior to arriving.
Yes, it's Canada... fishing will come easier on a Canadian Lake. Yes, the guide's job is to work with his client and show / teach the proper technique. The best fishing clients are the ones that admit their skill level and let the guides help in every aspect... you'll be an expert after your trip.
Yes, typically 7am for breakfast... around noon for shorelunch and then a 6-7pm supper. Usually leaves enough time for some evening fishing. Trust me, after 8-10hrs on the water... a hot shower and relaxing time on the deck will be enjoyed by all.
Canada also has a great website to review other frequently asked questions about border crossing issues... check out www.canadawelcomesyou.net/faq.html
First break down the type of trip you'd like to experience with all trip attendees prior to the show. Have all members discuss a few simple questions prior to the All-Canada Show. Trip budget, Fly-In or Drive-In, Targeted fish species, American plan or Housekeeping – does the group like to cook... or spend every second fishing? Outpost –remote setting, Lodge setting – other groups around camp. Then head down to the show and pick out your adventure... visit with lodges that meet your pre-show selections. But it also doesn't hurt to research other adventures at the All-Canada Show... you never know where your next trip will take you.
Depending your level of importance... Cabin size, Boats, Motor size, Typical fish species you can expect... average size. Guides available, References for past lodge guests, Trip packing lists. Listen to all answers and then decide if that adventure fits your description of a perfect Canadian adventure. Personally I rate the boat / motor quality / size over the cabin quality on my level of importance.
Real simple to remember:
- American Plan – Lodge takes care of the food.
- Housekeeping – Bring your own food.
- Outpost – Away from others... remote.
Stop by the Customer Service booth, our All-Canada Show Pro Staff will answer all questions and lead you in the right direction to plan that Canadian Adventure of a lifetime. No silly questions... Pro Staff is at the show to make the show experience enjoyable and rewarding. You'll leave the show knowing you booked the best trip for your group.
Yes, everyone that places a deposit down on a Canadian Hunting or Fishing Adventure at the All-Canada Show will be entered into a drawing for $2000 worth of fishing equpment! One winner in each market!!