ALL TRIPS DEPART FROM FRONTIER RESORT ON THE ASH RIVER TRAIL IN MINNESOTA BETWEEN 12:00 -1:00 ON SATURDAYS
PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL YOU MUST HAVE IN YOUR POSSESSION 1 PASSPORT/1 RABC/1 FISHING LICENSE. /ONE COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT FACEPAGE
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL FOR ANY QUESTIONS
Is Stokes Bay Resort really a resort? The short answer is no. We are an outpost camp located 22 miles from the nearest road and are committed to your safe and fun time at camp! Bring the sleeping bag your headed into the woods.
OUTPOST STYLE CABINS 4-6-10 PERSONS All cabins include, eating utensils, plates, cups & bowls, cooking utensils, pots & pans, stove, gas fridge, tables, chairs, bunks, mattresses with covers, pillows, gas lights, broom, cleaning supplies, trash can and mop. The camp has fish fryers, barbecue grills, fish cleaning house, cell phone for emergencies, an awesome central hot shower and a two room latrine system with composting features. When you arrive the cabin will be clean. When you leave you are required to leave it clean for the next person, just like the outpost camps that have fly-in settings.
BOAT-IN TRANSPORTATION Climb aboard, boating in is half the fun of getting here and if you are prepared properly you will have plenty room for beer! There is no reason that a group shows up with too much gear. Items must be contained in duffel bags or medium to small boxes and coolers. Fishing gear must be apart and ready for the trip. Weight limits set by the boat manufacturer must be adhered to and this is part your responsibility. We won't be weighing items like a fly-in but make sure you have a good gear list to work from and keep it to a mild roar. P.S. we already have the kitchen sink in the cabin!
EXTRA BEER CAN BE BOATED IN BUT MUST BE DECLARED VIA PHONING CANADA CUSTOMS.
PERSONAL GEAR LIST THAT YOU MUST BRING ___ Sleeping Bags - Light to medium weight for summers, 1 full sized sheet, 1 pillow-case, Towels & kitchen linens, 4 garbage bags, zip lock bags, soaps, scrub pad and soap. ___ Camera/film, flashlight and batteries, multi-tool, fillet knife and sharpener. ___ Toiletries - Sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, insect repellent, after bite and etc. ___ First Aid Kit (one for group), gps or compass, matches, garbage bags, small plastic bags, paper towels, toilet paper, calling card that works in Canada, credit card, cell phones don't work. ___ Drinking water, bring a case of water or fill jugs at Kettle Falls.
___ Depth Finders
GROCERY LIST (just a suggestion) Check your list closely, people tend to bring too much. There are lots of good foods out there that can stay out of the fridges. Some parties bring a big ham, turkey or roast already cooked. Easy to heat, eat, and make sandwiches with. Don’t forget the paper plates and cups, they’re light and easy to clean. Group leader should prepare a list and check with all individuals for special dietary needs.
HERE IS A SAMPLE FOOD MENU FOR YOU TO FOLLOW
DINNER 1st Night Steaks, chicken, pork chops or burgers are always a hit on the barbecue. 2nd Night Chicken stir fry with lots of veggies, spaghetti dinners 3rd Night Fish fry, potatoes or rice, hot dogs, polish. 4th Night Pan-cooked pork chops, green beans, canned beef stew 5th Night Beef stew from cans or chicken chow mein from cans, rice. 6th Night Mac & cheese, leftovers, hamburgers. 7th Night Fish fry and all the leftovers you can eat!
Beer and soda weigh 20 lbs. per case, we recommend Kool-aid, lemonade and powdered breakfast shake. We haven’t found powdered beer yet but we are looking. Check your weights.
BREAKFAST Be sure to get quick cook meals such as oatmeal, eggs, bacon, cold cereal, coffee, Tang, breakfast shakes, etc.
LUNCHES Ham, sliced turkey, salami, lots of bread and lunch bags, fruits, Kool-aid is a great weight saver versus canned pop. Some groups come in and make big lunches and go light on dinners, others take their lunch on the lake and don’t come back till evening.
PERSONAL CLOTHES A double set of clothes should be sufficient for your trip. You can change into your fishing clothes before you get to camp and leave all your street clothes behind. Now that you’re into your camp clothes, one more set is really all you should need. Remember to bring a good pair of pants that can take a beating, a long sleeved shirt, good hat, warm vest, jacket and a pair of gloves. Sitting in the boat all day with sun or bugs can be quite unforgiving if your not prepared. Hooded sweatshirts work really well. Our camp is just that, a camp for fisherman, friends and families, the height of your dining and entertainment will be a shore lunch on the beach or sitting at the picnic table for some steaks! Our dress code for these events are rough tumble and good gear, nothing else! If you want fancy, don’t come!
Rain Gear! Spend some money on good rain gear it can make or break your trip. A good bib style or pants with good coat.
ASH RIVER TRAIL entry point is about 25 miles from camp and has no custom offices. THIS IS OUR MAIN ENTRY POINT FOR STOKES BAY...IT IS SIMPLY THE EASIEST!!! Follow Hwy 53, 26 miles past Orr, Minnesota and watch for the Ash River Trail sign and take a right. Follow it to the public ramp signs or stay on the road till the very end for the private access at Frontier Resort. All camp trips using our boats originate here. We recommend arriving early and having breakfast at the Frontier Resort. Their phone number is 218-374-3311 if you get lost or running late.
Some guests using their own boats use the Ash River Visitor Center public ramp. It has an excellent dual ramp and is patrolled by the government watchdogs. It has bathrooms and offers a nice area for gearing up for the trip to camp. If you want to have a private access point and catch the local flavor go to the Frontier Lodge, bar, restaurant and check in with Rob, Deb, or whoever might be working. Really nice people and they can get you orientated to the lake and launch your boat. Their number is 218-374-3311. P.S. Don't miss out on Deb's breakfast....killer.....
Border Crossing for customers boating in
Read these regulations and check the RABC section of this document.
The US/Canada Border are reputed to be the friendliest borders in the world but everyone needs to remember that Canada is a foreign country and there is some preparation and paperwork ahead of you. Respect their laws.
When you arrive at Ash River Trail in Minnesota you must have 1 passport, 1 RABC and 1 Fishing license in your possesion.
ESSENTIALS FOR CROSSING AND US PASSPORT-- For good information go to www.infonorth.net
For the U.S. Passport go to your local courthouse or drivers license issuer.
You need the Canadian RABC and the U.S. Passport and Canada Fishing License before you arrive ______________________________________________________________ SO...PAPERWORK NEEDED PASSPORT AND RABC....and FISHING LICENSE COST... AROUND $150.00 FOR THE FIRST TIME AND $25 AFTER THAT!
ONCE YOU HAVE THIS ACCOMPLISHED THE REST IS EASY.... _______________________________________________________________
Criminal Records Any individuals with a criminal record need to apply for a waiver. This can take 3-4 weeks and sometimes up to 6 months.
Driving While Under the Influence Canada considers this a criminal offense and if you received one in the last five years you need to request them to allow you in.. A possible fix is to call your state’s driving records and ask them to help with your records. Some states will lower it to careless driving and some states will allow this offense to be in state only so it doesn’t show up on all computer searches. It’s worth a try. If your DWI was over five years ago you can apply for a waiver and receive one BUT I WOULD STILL CALL YOUR HOME STATE AND HAVE IT EXPUNGED IF POSSIBLE. If your DWI was over ten years ago, Canada will allow you to enter the country with no questions asked.
STOKES BAY CAMP HAS THE FRIENDLIEST AND EASIEST ACCESS TO CANADA. WE RESPECT THEIR LAWS AND THEY RESPECT OUR FISHING TRIP AND VACATION TIME....IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE.
MISCELLANEOUS BORDER ITEMS
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, firearms, insurance, radar detectors, mace You can bring in 1.14 Liters of hard liquor or a case of beer duty free. If you want to bring more it is simple, just declare it and pay the duty, it’s not that much. There is a number on the back of your RABC, when we leave the dock you can call and declare. Trust me, pay the little fee and you dont have to ruin your vacation or keep looking over your shoulder.
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars...again, if you bring more declare it and pay the duty, no sneaking, it just will cause problems. Canada tobacco shops offer Cuban cigars and expensive Cigarettes. If you buy cigarettes get the Export A medium or lights.
You must be 19 or older for the above rules to apply
Hunting Rifles, muzzleloaders or shotguns only please. Canada does not allow pistols or any other weapons in camp. Canada does not allow them in their country. Have your hunting license from your local state or last year’s Canadian license when coming up hunting.
Medical Insurance/Minors. Some policies will cover an air evacuation and hospital bill in Canada and some do not. Check with your agent. Minors need permission slips from their guardians.
Vehicles Double-check your plates, insurance cards, working lights, title and ownership documents While you are doing all this have your garage do the famous ten point check so your vehicle can make the trip without any problems. If you cross the border make sure you are buckled in. *Rental vehicles need special documents, ask your agency. If you are acccessing camp via the Ash River Trail your vehicle will remain in Minnesota.
PASSING THROUGH CUSTOMS IN YOUR BOAT ...THIS IS THE SECOND MOST DESIRABLE ENTRY CRANE LAKE entry point is about 40 miles from camp and has both US and Canadian custom offices on the water. On Hwy 53 you will come to Orr, Minnesota, turn right at the sign that says CraneLake and go to the end of the road. This access does not require the RABC form, you simply launch at CraneLake, boat into SandLake and tie up to the Customs dock, they will come down and check you into Canada. This customs office is very relaxed and things generally go quite smoothly. Be aware that they do have computer access via satellite and your paperwork mentioned above needs to be in order. There is a public access at this point for your convenience and it is free parking. I work with Daryl Scott at Scott’s Seaplane Base which is just a mile past the public access. Daryl can help you load, orientate you to the map, and park your vehicle in a private patrolled area on his property. The cost is minimal and is well worth it. Besides Daryl is a good guy to know if you have problems.
RAINY LAKE --THE BIG LAKE entry points are somewhere in the 30-39 mile mark for distance and are marked for navigation. This is a large lake and requires a large boat, although we have gone back and forth with a 15 hp Merc strapped onto a 16' Lund. This route is for the adventurous group that wants to tackle the large lake. You will not see much traffic and it is very, very remote. Give me a call and we can plan this one together. With modern day GPS it is a piece of cake.
You are required to use the Remote Area Border Crossing Permits for the AshRiver access and Rainy Lake access. I recommend these for any boat in traffic and also for those that might have a glitch on their record. Once they issue the permit you are allowed in and out of Canada through the remote wilderness areas. These permits are available by downloading them from the computer. The search engine for Canada RABC is listed above.
http/www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/canpass/rabc-pfre/menu-eng.html If you are having problems, call 807-624-2162 for more info.
Maps are available at www.fishermapsmn.com order the E1 map that shows Crane, Sandpoint, Namakan and RainyLakes. This map will be marked with the US Coast Guard Buoy system that navigates you to Rainy Lake after the KettleFalls motorized portage. On this map you will see the StokesBay area, stay on the south side of the bay and watch for our signs and camp! Can’t miss it cause we are the only one there. For those entering on the RABC through Kabetogama and AshRiver you will also need the E-17. If you want to call Fisher Map, their number is 1-218-741-9544
WHEN YOU NAVIGATE THE BUOY MARKERS, KEEP THE RED ON YOUR LEFT GREEN ON YOUR RIGHT COMING TO CAMP, WHEN LEAVING PUT THE RED ON YOUR RIGHT RETURNING!
You have now read all the details so let’s get to the brass tacks.
FISHING GEAR! AND LICENSES. LICENSES MUST BE PURCHASE PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP. TWO WAYS FOR THIS.... YOU CAN GOOGLE SEARCH ONTARIO FISHING LICENSE MNR this will bring you to the MNR site. Or if you are having problems get all of your parties information on a sheet and fax it to
RAINY LAKE SPORTS TELE; 807-274-6429 FAX # 807-274-1363
This year a plastic outdoor card will be mailed to you with your license. Then, next year you will simply fill out the information on-line and it will be downloaded right at your house.
Rainy Lake is a fishermen¹s dream come true. In-fisherman, American fisherman, and a bunch of the pros say this lake is one of North America’s top multi-species lakes. May right through September is our best months because Rainy is a big lake and doesn¹t get the August blues. In fact, some of our busy weeks are in July -August when the fishing is great and the weather is warm. I get a little nervous with all the hype these guys put out because we all know that fishing is fishing. Sometimes they jump in the boat, but usually we still have to pull them out of the lake with our fishing gear!
SMALLMOUTH BASS Generally known as smalleys, these tremendous fighters have more fight per pound than just about any other fish alive. The action starts mid May and runs right through September. You can fish them like you fish largemouth. Ninety-nine percent of our smalleys are released. The growth rate for these fighters is under 2 inches per year. Pride yourself on releasing carefully. You might be catching a 10-year-old fish so let’s treat them like the prize they are. Mid May through June finds them spawning in the shallows and very aggressive top water hitters. They will go a little deeper as the summer goes on and then we fish the windy sides, weed lines, humps and reefs.
Check with your local bass shops for the latest and the greatest in finesse presentations. Twister tails, plastic worms, fat grubs, shad raps, Mepps spinners, road runners rapalas, top water baits, jerk baits, live crawlers, minnows and leeches all work well.
NORTHERN PIKE Our pike fishing is stable and produces nice fish on every trip for the angler that pursuits these voracious feeders. Pike are in the shallows during May and early June and they hit on almost anything you throw at them. Later in the summer it is best to start following these fighting monsters into deeper water, along weed beds, or out on the humps and reefs. Traditionally these are catch and release fish but despite the bad press pike get, we still keep a few for shore lunches and meals at the camp. Rainy keeps its low water temps through July and with this warm water the table fare on pike is delicious. Trophy fish can be kept but a good picture and measurements will provide your taxidermist the tools he needs to create an artificial.
Check with your local bait shops and talk pike fishing with them and tell them where you are going. Don’t get sold on the whole store but a few good pike lures are a necessity. Your medium weight rods work fine on pike when you use a steel leader. A couple of favorites are the basic flashy spoons, large buzz baits and flashy spinners, minnow baits, crank baits, jerk baits, soft plastics and bottom jigs, some 6 inch musky baits that run deep work well. WALLEYE These trophy fish make for excellent angling and even better table fare. Shore lunch just isn’t shore lunch without these sought after banquet fish. Rainy Lake removed all commercial netting and has an excellent slot limit rule in place making for some of the best walleye fishing anywhere. Presentation and location vary throughout the year but you can always catch a walleye in 10 feet of water in Rainy Lake. Reefs, points, weed lines of coontail or cabbage, humps, boulders, and drop offs all hold walleye during different times of the year. Sunrise and sunset hours, along with cloudy days finds these marble eyes working the shallows foraging for minnows. If you were going to be limited to one bait for walleye it would have to be a jig and a minnow! Always works always stays on the line. Luckily we don’t have to bring one bait so we recommend some of the following tried and trues: 1/8, 3/8, 1/2 ounce jig heads tipped with a minnow or plastics will probably be the most productive walleye bait you can bring along. Some jig heads have a very small spinner on the eyelet, if you can find these bring a few up along with the bucktails. Live bait tips the jig head and also plastics up to 3-inch grubs; 4-inch curly tails and finesse style worms will be effective with walleyes all summer long. As fishing goes, certain days, certain presentations and certain water all make the difference. To keep the action going on these certain days be prepared with crank baits, walleye divers, fat raps, shad raps, rattle raps and deep divers, slip bobbers. Lindy rigs, leech spinners, and crawler on a harness all work well on this trophy fish. Present your bait slow and wait for the classic light tap to indicate a hit. Don’t forget to bring a flat of crawlers, it’s the only live bait you can bring across the border. At StokesBay we say catch and eat some of these delicious white meat fish. Release the small ones and the big ones for future fishing. When using crank baits, switch the back treble to a single or pinch two barbs because it really cranks on their lips.
CRAPPIE The crappie fishing in StokesBay can produce quality fish over 1 lb. With frequency for those that know how to rig for crappies. Small beetle spins tipped plastics or live bait has been effective. Slip bobbers and live bait, hair jigs, plain jigs, jigs with small spinners, and small crank baits have all produced fish at StokesBay. You can catch and eat some of these but it gets hard to keep those big slabbers after you just did battle with them.
STURGEON Bottom feeders that hold in the current areas around the StokesBay area that don¹t get fished too hard but really should. No one in camp has really pioneered this untapped resource yet and we are waiting for someone to come up and give us a lesson or two. Last year we caught and released two of these beauty’s, both around the 30 lb. mark. GENERAL Depth Finder - A good portable is invaluable, compass or GPS to navigate with. Fishing Rods - Light to medium action is all you will need spooled with 6-12 lb. test Life Jacket - We have them at camp but having your own is better fitted to your comfort. Solid pair of needle nose pliers - A net if you have one, stringer, small cooler for drinks, thermos, fish rag, bait bucket, fish marker buoy. PACKING GEAR Bring duffel bags not suitcases, grocery items boxed in small boxes, fishing rods must be broken down and bundled with the tip ends on the butt ends and tied together. It works great! Tubes also work well. Limit your cooler to small personal coolers and only one large per planeload; they take up a lot of room. No loose articles, everything should be in a Canvass bag or sack. Live Bait in oxygen packs and boxed. Ice in bags and boxes.
FINAL COUNTDOWN AND DESTINATION Ok, your insurance is in order, groceries packed and your buddies don’t have any hidden criminal record or driving-under-influence convictions in the last 5 years! Helluva preparation list, ain’t it? If this is your first time to Canada it will get easier after this and once you discover our resources you will be back year after year.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS---GO TO OUR MAPS SECTION ON THE MENU...I HAVE IT COPIED Our main trips originate at the Ash River Trail. A good road map is your best friend at this point. Check your mileage, some people come through Wisconsin northern route on Hwy 53 and enter Minnesota at Duluth and stay on 53 north to Ash River Trail and some go through Eau Claire, and catch Interstate 94 West and enter Minnesota at St. Paul and take Interstate 35 North to Hwy 33 North at Cloquet and then pick up Hwy 53 North to the border. Again, check your mileage and do the math. One is freeway all the way and the other is not. GO PAST ORR MINNESOTA 25 MILES AND TURN RIGHT AT JIMS ASH TRAIL STORE,,,,THIS IS A GREAT STOP FOR LAST MINUTE ITEMS,,,TELL HIM YOUR GOING TO DAN HOULES STOKES BAY CAMP FOR THE LOCAL DISCOUNT........................AFTER YOU TURN RIGHT FOLLOW TO THE VERY END IF I AM PICKING YOU UP. OR, IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BOAT YOU CAN TURN LEFT AT THE ASH RIVER VISITOR CENTER SIGN OR GO TO THE END FOR THE FRONTIER LODGE........YOUR CHOICE.....
If you are crossing the border at Internation Falls for a hunting trip only, prepare for an hour or so due to traffic on Saturdays. If you get in the night before, I recommend crossing the border and staying in FortFrances at one of the local hotels. Do not stay at the Rainy Lake Hotel unless you really like the seedy side. The Rendezvous at 807-274-9811 is right next to the seaplane base on Rainy Lake and has clean rooms, restaurant and bar. If they don’t have room ask them for another hotel or call the Chamber at 800-820-FORT. If you want to stop before the border I might recommend stopping in the Virginia/Eveleth area about 90 miles before the border. Two good hotels are the Super 8 Hotel at 1-800-800-8000 (national) local is 1-218-744-1661 or the Eveleth Inn at 1-888-354-6230, this last one has the full bar/restaurant set up.
Cross the border and take Scott Street right through downtown FortFrances, on the right hand side you will see the IGA if you need any last minute food items. Back on the road continue down until you see the lake, at this point the road swings left onto the frontage road along the lake. One mile down you will see Rainy Lake Sports, stop there and buy your hunting licenses. YOU MUST HAVE A HUNTING LICENSE FROM YOUR STATE OR A FIREARMS SAFETY CARY.
Each hunting trip is different so make sure you have your plans and directions. All of our fishing trips depart from Frontier Resort. .
If you are boating out from Fort Frances on a hunting trip we will meet you at Rainy Lake Sports.
Congratulations! You made it to camp - now what? When your plane or boat arrives at camp, you will be greeted at the dock where your crew will help off load the plane, and start getting your gear into the cabin. Once this chore is complete we will go through a camp orientation for your convenience and safety for enjoying your new fishing camp for the week. You will be assigned a boat and motor and we will distribute maps and check over the fishing hot spots. It will be your duty to keep your boat clean and safe, any busted props or misused gear becomes your liability and we will have to charge you for it so pay close attention at the map work. All camps charge this fee for gear abuse. In the last two years no one has had to pay anything, so don¹t be alarmed just pay close attention. At camp you always have to remember that the nearest hospital is a very long ways away. Once you are settled in, the week is yours to plan and do what you want. This is a fisherman friendly camp,,,that means that after the day visit with the neighbors and share some hotspots and whats working and whats not....WELCOME TO STOKES BAY OUTPOST CAMP.
If you have not yet been to Canada you are going to become spoiled this week so get geared up and get ready for some of North America’s finest fishing.