We know it has been some time since we last sent out any communication but time is getting close to the start of our season and it appears that we will be able to open for our normal May fishing season opener (We hope we are not jinxing this scenario by writing this).
As we are writing this letter, Northwest Ontario is getting pounded with a large snow storm and it looks like Spring is not going to be early this year. We are hoping that warmer weather comes soon so our May dates are not in jeopardy. We will obviously keep all of our early date guests informed if there are any changes in dates based on weather. The good news that might come from this weather is maybe our lake levels will go up and get back to normal.
The reason for this letter is to inform our guests about any issues, changes or just news in general, and how it relates to your trip to Stormer Lake Lodge in 2022. At this time, Ontario Canada has basically returned to normal for health policies for the general public and businesses. This means that stores, restaurants, etc. can run as normal such as capacity, no masks, no required social distancing, etc. However, there are some buildings that do require masks such as Hospitals, Elderly Care, etc. We don’t want to get into all the specific details for all businesses but Stormer should be able to operate as normal.
If you want to read more about specifics regarding COVID 19 restrictions and general information, go the following website: www.travel.gc.ca
In regards to more specific issues or policies as they relate directly to Stormer Lake Lodge, the following information should help.
1. Travel to Stormer: You must still be vaccinated to travel from the US into Canada. This means that you must have at least been vaccinated with the first double shots of Pfizer or Moderna or the single shot of J&J. At this time, you do not have to have the third or fourth booster. Any guest that is currently not vaccinated that is holding a reservation should call us to discuss options for the future.
2. You will need to download the ARRIVECAN App and fill out form completely. If you have traveled to Canada after Aug, 9, 2021 and have used the ARRIVECAN app, you might need to download the app again just to make sure you have the updated version. If you have any questions regarding the information on the app, just email or call us and we will help. We always hate to say it should be straightforward based on being a government issues app but hopefully you all do not have issues. You should fill out the ARRIVECAN app approx. 3-7 days prior to your travel across the boder.
3. There is not requirement for a pre-border crossing COVID test. This is obviously great news. However, you could still get selected, buy random, to do a covid test by the border agent when you arrive at the border. We are hoping this random selection of doing a covid test goes away prior to our fishing season starts but for now, it is in place. We will send out detailed instructions prior to our season starting on how to complete the testing protocol if you get selected. We believe there are better infrastructures in place to accommodate the taking of the tests and the delivery of the testing kit to the proper locations. Stay tuned for more information.
4. IF you are selected at random to perform a COVID 19 test from one of the border agents, and the test comes back Positive via email, you have the choice to stay at the lodge and quarantine, or travel back across the border to the US. We believe the quarantine time frame is still 14 days but will quantify this soon. We will be sending out a Stormer Lake Lodge “quarantine plan” to all of our guests prior to their trip to Stormer in case you are asked at the border by agents.
5. Live or dead bait is not allowed to enter Canada. This means nightcrawlers, salted minnows, dead minnows, etc. NOTHING. We are not quite sure about synthetic minnows such as the ones in vacuumed plastic from such stores as Fleet Farm or Sporting Goods shops but it is at the discretion of the border agent and they supposedly are being fairly tight about this policy.
In regards to bait, we will have all kinds of bait at the lodge for sale. We just acquired quite a few containers of frozen Silver Shiners that should take us through a good portion of the summer. There should be more in the pipeline once harvesters can trap more minnows this Spring. In regards to Nightcrawlers and Leeches, we also plan to have them at the lodge and at prices that are close to what you could buy them for at a store on your way up to the lodge. We have seen countless times where guests have purchased bait prior to arriving to the lodge only to use a portion of the amount and the rests spoils. Secondly, you will not have to hassle keeping bait in coolers and buying ice when you buy from us. We are not stating these facts to sound like we are trying to sell something at a premium. We are trying to make it easier for our guests at a fraction more in price. We hope this makes sense. All we ask is to email us prior to your arrival to the lodge to let us know what you would like for type and amount of bait.
6. As in the past, please purchase your fishing license prior to arriving to the lodge. We do not sell fishing licenses at the lodge. You can buy online from a link on our website homepage. Click on the Ontario icon near the bottom of our website homepage: www.stormerlakelodge.com
It goes without saying but we are going to say it anyway, “WE ARE SO LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING ALL OF YOU BACK AT STORMER LAKE LODGE THIS SUMMER”.
It has been one long winding road to get to this point and there is no doubt, everyone has been affected in one way or another, but the small businesses and specifically, lodge owners in Northwest Ontario, have been behind the eight ball for 2 years. We all want life to be back to normal and we cannot wait to hear everyone’s story about all of the fish they will catch while at Stormer Lake Lodge. We all need the hum of excitement from our guests’ telling stories in the dining hall. We all need the excited buzz at the dock early in the morning when our guests are heading out for their day of yanking fish. We all need the sound of the outboards cranking it up at the dock in the morning. WE ALL NEED THAT FIRST TASTE OF FRESH CAUGHT WALLEYE OR PIKE AT SHORELUNCH!
Linda and I along with Kenny, Dawn, Mike and Rosey will be waiting for all of you to show up at Stormer with open arms.
There will be further information coming in the near future and we will email accordingly.
Please email or call with any questions you may have.
Dave & Linda Becker1-920-810-2491
Another week has passed and again we can say that the fishing has been fantastic. No wait, it was more like incredible. Ok, it was unbelievable. I think you get the point.
We thought the changing weather patterns this week, along with a Mayfly hatch, would slow things down slightly
but that was not the case. We had warm weather in the beginning of the week and then a cold front came in midweek, on top of a fairly large thunderstorm, but each day we had anglers catch great numbers and size of Walleyes and Pike.
Walleyes were biting in shallow water and slightly deeper water this past week. There is no doubt that you can catch good numbers of Walleye along the weeds in depths of 5-10 feet. However, some of our stand alone reefs are starting to kick in and producing fantastic numbers of fish. We had one Grandfather, son and Granddaughter catch 175 Walleyes in one day just sitting in one spot near a reef.
There is no doubt that our frozen minnows are working the best but leeches and Nightcrawlers are also working on sunny days. We have leeches and Nightcrawlers for sale here at the lodge for a cost less expensive that other lodges. It is our way of minimizing the hassle for our guests to handle bait on their own.
Since we are talking about Walleyes, a topic that we have discussed in the past involves that tackle used to catch Walleyes. We tend to see anglers using very heavy rods, fishing line, steel leaders and lures such as jigs to catch Walleyes. While an angler might have some success using heavy tackle, they will catch a multitude more using light tackle. We have to admit that Stormer & Kirkness lakes are “spoiling” in terms of how many fish a person can catch even with heavy tackle but they would be amazed at how many more fish they could catch if they lightened their tackle. A prime example would be the weight of lead head jigs. We see most people using 1/4 and 3/8 ounce jigs especially when it gets slightly windy on the lake. I have never used a heavier jig than 1/8 ounce even in 40 feet of water on a windy day. Boat control is key to this scenario and we would be more than happy to discuss all aspects of getting our guests to lighten their tackle and catch even more fish.
Ok, back to the weekly fishing report.
Pike were extremely active this week and quite a few large Pike were caught. We had 2 Pike over 40 inches this week and many in the 35 to 39 inch class. Most fish were caught with Johnson Silver minnows during sunlight days and Rattle Traps were a close second. Weeds seemed to be the area to target for Pike but some of the larger Pike came on Walleye spots on the reefs. There is no doubt that deeper standalone reefs will produce big Pike but this is usually at the cost of reduced numbers. Casting along weed lines will always produced great numbers of Pike and also size.
It is hard to believe that it is almost July already as the summer is flying by quickly. We will post more fishing reports as the summer progresses. We are going to start getting our bear stands ready for the start of bear hunting in August.
We now have two foxes that have been coming around quite regularly to get a free meal. Our original pet fox, Stormie, has not been seen since early Spring but her friend “Kirk” is here every day to great us with her friendly smile. Kirk is now bringing another friend to the lodge as we suspect the word is out that there is free food at Stormer.
That is all for now. Back to work (or should we say play).
Email with any questions and we will respond quickly. email address: email@example.com
Dave & Linda
We were so excited for the fishing season to start at Stormer and already the first week is finished. Time passes quickly when you are catching fish. This past week can best be described as the tale of two weather patterns. The week started out cold, windy and rainy and sure challenged our guests to stay out on the lake. The fishing was excellent so it made it slightly easier to tolerate the cold wet weather. Finally on Tuesday, the weather broke and the sun started to shine and temps increased into the high 60’s and lower 70’s. We thought the fishing was excellent in the early part of the week with the cloud cover and cooler temps, but when the sun started to shine, the fishing went crazy. Walleyes were deeper than normal because of the early cooler weather but when you found them, hang on because it was “Yank Time”. Guests found their best fishing for Walleye in 22-30 feet of water. There were some good catches in shallower water near early weeds but the higher quantity and size were deeper. Pike also really exploded in mid week when the sun peaked. One guest told us he has never caught so many Pike in one day in all of the 9 times he has been to Stormer Lake Lodge. We did not crack the 40 inch mark for Pike but countless fish in the 35 to 39 inch range were caught.
Best approach for Walleye was a gold glitter jig tipped with our frozen minnows. Leeches and Nightcrawlers also worked very well so our guests made sure they had all three baits in the boat. Pike could not resist a Perch colored Rattle Trap or a Mepps Spinner. Casting along the start of the weed line was the best method. We did have a few Smallmouth Bass caught when the sun came out with two Bass reaching 19 & 20 inch lengths.
Changing gears slightly, we thought we would share a testimonial that one of our new guests wrote and gave to us the last night of his trip which was last evening. We thought it was very special as he took the time to sit down and write it in long hand penmanship which, I have to be honest, does not seem to happen very often.
The letter reads as follows:
Dave & Linda,
Thanks for all the great hospitality on our first time visit to Stormer Lake. The service, food and accommodations are “World Class”.
The Walleye fishing is even better that advertised. I have fished in Canada for over 30 years and am an average fisherman at best. The 4 of us in our group fished basically 4 full days. We caught well over 100 fish everyday in all kinds of weather with the average size fish being around 20″. The most impressive day was on a hot sunny (70 degree), windless day. (not a great day to catch Walleyes typically). My boat partner and I caught & released over 100 Walleyes by 4:30pm, and struggled to keep our 4 fish under 18″ for shore lunch. In fact, we caught over 40 fish during one stretch during the middle of the day, and only 1 was under 18″. The fishing couldn’t have been better.
You will have customers for life.
Jamie. Hudson Wisconsin
We want to thank Jamie for taking the time to write this letter and also to the rest of our guests that fished with us this past week.
We will try and post on our blog on a (semi) regular basis to tell you what is happening at the lodge and also with our fishing.
A couple of last minute notes: Please make sure that you get your fishing license and Outdoor Card prior to arriving to the lodge. Also, we have leeches and Nightcrawlers for sale at our lodge along with our frozen minnows. We have tried to keep our prices low enough so it could make sense to purchase bait here at the lodge instead of having to transport your own bait. We continuously get left over bait from guests and when the math is calculated, our bait might be a better option.
That is all for now. If you are trying to reach us here at the lodge, please email first. We check that fairly often. You can leave a voicemail message on our phone at 920-810-2491 and we will call you back.
Dave & Linda
As many of you may know, we have been very very dry up here in the region near our lodge for the past couple of years and this summer has been especially dry. We have had no significant rain in the past 5 weeks. That being the case, when a thunder storm comes through, it usually spawns forest fires. There have been many fires started in the past couple of weeks here in NW Ontario but two of them are absolute monsters. They are listed as RED039 and RED040 on the Ontario Fire Reporting website. Here is a link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/forest-fires
Each of these fires is causing us concern. RED039 is Northwest of us by only 4-5 miles. That distance can be covered in less than a day if the wind is in our direction and high in speed. RED040 is also causing issues as it has literally burned along the road that leads to our lodge. They are allowing traffic to move South away from the area with supervised escorts but only emergency vehicles are allowed to come North.
The guests that were here at our lodge this week were instructed to leave at this time so they were escorted South down our road by fire personnel. We are staying in contact with the firecrews in our area on a daily basis to get updates on the fires progressions. The Ministry of Natural Resources has instructed the Native Reserve just North of us to totally evacuate as of yesterday. That is 3800 people expected to leave by military planes before the fire reaches their village. We wish them all the best.
WE ARE CURRENTLY SAFE BUT COULD USE RAIN AND THE RIGHT WIND DIRECTION.
On a more positive note, fishing has not changed at Stormer Lake Lodge as it has been absolutely fantastic right from the beginning of the season. Up until about a week ago, most of the Walleyes and Pike were in weed and sand structure. That is because of the many kinds of minnows that spawn in our lake and also because of the Mayfly hatch that is just nearing its cycle. As of the last few days, the Walleyes are making their way out to rock reefs in addition to weedlines and that is making it very simple to just pick them off one after another. A jig and minnow combo is still the best option while twister tails have had some limited success.
In regards to Pike fishing, there has been no shortage of quantity and size so far this summer. Just a few days ago, we had a 39 1/2 and a 43 inch Pike caught within hours of each other. Many in the 32-36 inch range are common all day long. Mepps spinners in the #3, 4 & 5 size are very good on Pike. We also like Rattle Traps in colors of blue/silver, and Perch. Johnson Silver Minnows and Cleos are also a good choice for spoons.
We know this is a short message at this time but we will try to update more regularly when we know we are in a more stable situation with our surroundings.
Dave & Linda
This is our first fishing report of the 2018 season and we are excited to report that the fishing quality has started off in tremendous fashion. We have said many times in the past that posting multiple fishing reports during the season starts to get redundant in what we state regarding the quantity and size of fish caught. This year is starting out no different than previous years with an incredible number of Walleye and Pike caught each day and the size of fish are on the larger size, respectively speaking. We maybe could even say that the size of fish might be slightly larger than previous seasons at this time.
Ice-out was around May 8 which is around normal for this latitude but what wasn’t normal was the dryness of the bush and the very low water levels. They had somewhat normal snow levels this past winter but we did not get any Spring rains in April or May which is what we really need to keep lake levels normal throughout the year. We had a fire ban starting in early May but since that time, we have had a couple inches of rain so we are holding our own for lake levels, and the fire ban has since been lifted.
The weather patterns we have had since early May have been quite extreme. We started early May with warm dry temps and it stayed like that until our first week of fishing. On May 29 we had a storm squall come through for about 15 minutes with high winds and hail, and immediately after, the temperature dropped from 80’s to 40’s. The temperature stayed that way for about a week and then started to climb back to normal in the 70’s. The good news was that fishing did not suffer one bit with all of the changes in weather patterns.
In the initial part of the season, Walleye and Pike were along the sand bars where weeds and reeds normally grow. This lasted for a few days and as the water temps started to warm up, Walleye moved out on to not only weed lines but rock edges. Fast forwarding on to this week, we are starting to see some Walleyes on stand alone reefs. This is the fun time when we start to fish all patterns such as weeds, rock, sand, etc.
We are getting close to finishing our third week of the season and already we have a couple 30 plus inch Walleyes caught, and numerous 40 plus inch Pike. Just as an example, we have one group of 4 fishermen here this week and they have had one day where they caught slightly over 300 Walleyes. They fished with our guide Mike that day and he always finds fish and lots of them. Their larger Walleyes have been 26-28 inches and they also have 2 Pike over 40 inches with many in the 35 – 39 inch range. At the end of the 300 Walleye day, one of the gentleman in their group stated to me, and I quote, “no one is going to believe me when I get home and tell them of what we caught today”. I told him it is the same scenario when Linda and I go to Sport Shows and mention these kind of numbers and size. Potential guests all believe we are Pinocchio with a long nose telling those kinds of non-truths. We told our guest the same thing that we tell potential new guests at Sport Shows, come find out for yourself.
The bait of choice for Walleyes has been our frozen minnows tipped on our gold or chartreuse glitter jigs but Leeches and Nightcrawlers are not too far behind. Leeches and Crawlers tend to work better on sunny days but the bottom line (excuse the pun) is that they all catch fish.
Pike are being caught regularly on Rattle Trap crank baits and also spoons. Cleo spoons are a good choice but 5 of diamonds and daredevils are still the traditional bait to have on hand.
Well, that is all for now. We will try and post again in a couple of weeks but it might sounds slightly redundant. Just sayin.
We encourage questions and comments to this post. Communication is what catches the most fish. Lets hear from you.
Stormer Lake Lodge