Well, we made it to the lodge and it could not have been any better timing as most of the roads are now closed due to washouts. As you may have seen on the news, many roads in Northwest Ontario have been washed out with all of the snow melting and prior rains. Specifically, as it relates to Stormer, the road between Dryden and Vermillion Bay, Hwy 17, has one location that has about 1 ½ ft of water across the road but is passable going slow.
However, there are road closures in a couple of locations on road 105 going North from Vermillion Bay to Red Lake. Just North of Vermillion Bay is a creek called Buller Creek. This is a complete wash out and is not passable. There was a detour around Buller Creek going through a town called Quibell (this is the road we took when we came up) but this bypass is now washed out completely at one of the bridges.
As of yesterday, the road at Cedar Lake in Perrault Falls is now closed due to the road being washed out. This one might take some time to repair as it is buckling the road considerably.
There was another road washout approx. 12 miles south of Red Lake but that one has been repaired for the most part. They let us cross when there was only one lane but they were not thrilled we were trying to pass when they were trying to repair the road.
Surprisingly, Nungesser Rd has not had any washouts. However, the tubes just down from our driveway (everyone knows the “tubes” for its fantastic Walleye fishing) are completely full with water and are starting to wash the gravel away from around the tubes. If this continues to happen, it will be a washout also. The good news is that the tubes are past our driveway so we should be good in that respect.
We have no idea as to when each of the above stated washouts will be fixed but we will try to keep you informed as best we can. You can also go to the following website and get road updates: www.511on.ca
Some of you have been asking about ice conditions on our lakes. We still have ice in our bay on Stormer, but we think it will be gone in a couple of days give or take. We are not sure about Kirkness ice conditions but we hope to have a boat launched tomorrow and as soon as Stormer is clear, we will go for a boat ride and check out ice conditions. We may even have to see if there are any fishing biting. Pike that is.
After reading the above road and ice conditions, the guests that are coming up our first week of fishing and are wondering if we will be open by May 21, we are planning on being ready for guests!
We will send out another post hopefully before Monday so everyone can plan accordingly.
As stated in our previous update newsletters, 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