Canada Fishing Trip Packing List
Canada Fishing Trip Packing List
Canada Fishing Trip Packing List


feel the excitement

Your adventure to the north awaits. We’ve put together our fishing trip packing list to help you plan and prepare for your trip, including tips on what to pack (and not pack), how to breeze through the border, how to communicate during your visit to Cobham River, and basically, everything you need to know to have a fantastic trip.

quick links

What to Pack

Nearly everyone brings way too much on any vacation

Crossing the Border

Canada is a foreign country, and you do have to play by their rules

3 Ways to Depart

Winnipeg, Siver Falls, or Bissett.  Choice is yours

Enjoying Your Stay

From WIFI, Poles, Tackle, Meals we have you covered

quick summary


  • If traveling to Canada by air, book your plane ticket to Winnipeg early.
  • A passport is required to enter Canada.
  • Bring a quality raincoat and rain pants.
  • Keep your tackle simple; Having 1 extra spoon of your favorite will be sufficient. If your tackle box weighs more than 10 lbs. you may have a problem!
  • Don’t bring any firearms, knives, or self-defense sprays, including pepper sprays.
  • If you have a criminal record, including DUIs or DWIs, contact the Canadian authorities well in advance or you may be denied entry into Canada.
  • For information on fishing and accommodations please go to the Lodge website at or give us a call at (612) 432-0005.
what to pack

Nearly everyone brings way too much on any vacation. Far northern expeditions tend to amplify this tendency. “I didn’t wear half the clothes I brought” is a common comment leaving Cobham River. Just remember that while Cobham River Lodge is in the middle of a vast wilderness, the Lodge is an oasis of comfort, convenience, and equipment. We probably have whatever you think you’ll need in the middle of the wilderness. When in doubt, leave it at home.

We must limit luggage to a maximum of 75 pounds Bissett departure, and 55 pounds Silver Falls departure. The flights carry all the fresh foods for your exquisite meals. We don’t want to bump the premium steaks or fresh produce because someone brought their entire collection of outdoor gear. Do not bring plastic bags or grocery bags onto the airplane, disaster waits if you do. All loose items should be in a box or luggage bag.

helpful hints

The temperature at Cobham River is totally dependent upon wind direction. If it’s from the south or southwest, count on warm, even hot, weather from June through August. If it’s from the North or East, dig out your long johns & gloves. It can drop from 80° to 50° in a few hours with a wind change.


  • Long underwear (lightweight polypropylene or equivalent).
  • Shirts (3): 1 short sleeve & 2 long sleeves. Quick-dry fabrics are best.
  • Pants (2): (quick-dry fabrics work best) One with zip-off legs to make shorts.
  • Pullover (1): heavy fleece or wool.
  • Rain jacket: Gore-Tex or equivalent mid-weight. Any quality “breathable” jacket you use for hunting or fishing will do fine. Rain jackets with hoods are an absolute necessity to keep dry in a downpour. In our neighborhood, you need a hood.
  • Rain pants: Waterproof is a must. Ski pants may look waterproof, but they don’t cut it in heavy rain. Get a quality rain suit—jacket and pants.
  • Hat (waterproof): Find one with a strap to keep it from flying off your head. A good brim is helpful, too.
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking or hiking shoes
  • Waterproof boots
  • Down Vest & Neoprene Gloves: for early June trips.
crossing the border

These days, international travel requirements change rapidly. Keep in mind that Canada is a foreign country, and you do have to play by their rules. For the most effortless possible Customs clearance on your entry and exit, we recommend securing a valid US Passport for everyone in your group. Another identification option for those traveling via land (driving) into Canada is a Passport Card.

For more information on international travel requirements:

US State Department:

Canada Border Services Agency:

Traveling with Minors

Border services officers watch for missing children and may ask detailed questions about any minors traveling with you.

We recommend that parents who share custody of their children carry copies of their legal custody documents, such as custody rights. If your spouse is not traveling with you, we recommend you bring a consent letter to authorize you to take a minor into Canada. The odds are low that these documents will be demanded, but they could be.

A consent letter must include the custodial parent’s or legal guardian’s full name, address, and telephone number. Some travelers choose to have the consent letter notarized to support its authenticity further, especially if they are undertaking a significant trip and want to avoid any delay. When traveling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the exact vehicle as their children or any minors they are accompanying. provides information about

Alcohol and Tobacco

You are allowed duty-free up to 1.5 liters of wine or 1.14 liters (40 oz) of alcoholic beverages and 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars.

Be Advised:

Any person living in the United States who possesses a criminal record (including DUI/DWI) and wishes to travel to Canada will need a Temporary Resident Permit. This is valid for up to two years but can take up to 12 months to process. One may also apply for

a Rehabilitation. This document is a permanent approval and allows hassle-free border crossing into Canada.

For more information, visit Canada Border Crossing Services:

3 ways to depart to cobham river

The day before your trip begins, you need to arrive in Winnipeg or Bissett (depending on your departure air base).

Canada Fishing Trip Packing List
Winnipeg International option “Door to door service”

Departing from Winnipeg provides our guests maximum convenience and the most comfortable door-to-door service.  It includes a one-night hotel stay plus all transportation to the local airplane base at the beginning of your trip and transportation back to Winnipeg International Airport (YWG) at the end of your trip in time for afternoon commercial flight departures.  Also included in this package is our premium rod rental service.

Plan your group’s arrival at YWG International simultaneously, if possible.  Then, collect your items from baggage claim, and our expeditor service will take you to one of our partner hotels.  After drop-off at the hotel, the expeditor will take your extra gear to the base to free up space in the morning and make it easier for you.  The following morning, you will be transported to our airbase, where you will enjoy a scenic 75-minute flight to our lodge or outpost.

On your return flight home, our expeditor service will meet your floatplane and drive you directly to Winnipeg International to catch your flight home.  Guests should plan the 3-5 p.m. commercial flights home from Winnipeg.

For more information, visit:

Drive to Silver Falls:

Guests usually stay at the Papertown Inn or South Beach Casino. The next morning, you will depart The Papertown Inn around 5 AM for a quick 15-minute (12 KM) shuttle ride to Silver Falls airport, where your aircraft awaits your 6 AM departure for Cobham River.  Parking is onsite, free of charge. Driving directions can be found here for Blue Waters Aviation  Guests driving their own car will receive a $50 transportation credit from your bill.

Drive to Bissett:

Guests traveling to Canada by air and departing to Cobham River from Bissett will need to secure a rental car prior to arriving at Winnipeg International Airport (YWG).  All major rental car companies are available.  Drive time is 3 hours from Winnipeg International.  Driving directions to Blue Water Aviation Bissett can be found on our website:  You’ll be able to make the round trip on 1 tank of gas.  Parking is available onsite at the floatplane base.

Lodging (Bissett Departure):

Bissett hotel options are limited.  For guests looking for comfort with a restaurant and bar, Pine Falls, Manitoba, offers the Paper Town, which is a 75-minute drive (118 KM) to the Bissett seaplane base.  If you seek even more action the night before your Bissett departure, South Beach Hotel and Casino is also a favorite of past Cobham River guests.  South Beach Hotel and Casino is a 2-hour drive (165 KM) to the Bissett seaplane base.

Grocery Options for Bissett

We partner with Harry’s Foods (contact info left).  Email them your order, and they will box up your food for pick up the day you drive up.  The advantage of this service is it’s boxed and ready to go for the floatplane.  Just let them know you are with Hidden Lake when you contact them.  A full-size freezer/fridge is available in your room at the Paper Town in Pine Falls.  Just request this at the time of booking.  DON’T FORGET YOUR GROCERIES IN THE MORNING.  It is 100% your responsibility to remember.  We suggest assigning the task to remember to a few group members.

flight times

Day Prior:

Confirm with Blue Waters at either Bissett or Silver Falls what time they want you there to load.  Generally, it will be 20-30 minutes prior to legal daylight time.

Return from Cobham River To Bissett:

Flights depart Cobham River by 8 a.m.; the return flight arrives at the air base before 10 a.m.  Do not book any commercial flights home before 5 p.m.

Return from Cobham River To Silver Falls:

Flights depart Cobham River by 8 a.m., and the return flight back arrives at the air base by 10 a.m., weather permitting. Our car service meets the floatplane to take you to Winnipeg International.  Do not book any commercial flights home before 3 p.m.

important numbers

Amik Aviation (Winnipeg)
513 Airline Road
Saint Andrews, MB R1A 3P4
(204) 338-1734
[email protected]

Blue Waters Aviation (Bissett)
#1 Read Ave
Bissett, MB R0E 0J0
(204) 277-5536
[email protected]

Blue Waters Aviation (Silver Falls)
#101145 Hwy #11
Silver Falls, MB R0E 1M0
(204) 367-2762
[email protected]

Lakeview Signature
1999 Wellington Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3H 1H5
(204) 775-5222
[email protected]

Papertown Inn
34 Walleye Lane
Pine Falls, MB R0E 1M0
(204) 367-2261
[email protected]

Harry’s Foods (St. Andrews)
5571 Hwy #9
St. Andrews, MB R1A 3P3
(204) 338-7538
[email protected]

enjoying your stay

Cobham River Lodge and Hidden Lake Outpost are equipped with complimentary WIFI, provided via satellite internet.  It is the best and fastest available for this remote location, but don’t expect what you have at your home or office.

Set up your phone for Wi-Fi calling, and you can make phone calls using your phone while on Wi-Fi.

Rod & Reel Rental

A great way to save money!  This is an excellent option for guests who don’t want to spend hundreds on rods/reels.  Guests flying commercially also save because airlines often charge between $100.00 and $200.00 for rod cases to be checked.

Premium Rod Rental

We offer the highest quality St. Croix spinning rods with Daiwa FG reels.  Limited casting rods available.  Our rental packages include 2 rods, two reels, unlimited braided 30-pound test, fluorocarbon leader, and one lure box with the hottest pike lures.  Also included are endless lures that we have found to work best.  Pliers are also included.  If you break the rod or drop it in the lake, it’s covered under our equipment insurance.  Premium rod rental is included in our Winnipeg flight packages.

Basic Rod Rental

Basic rod rental includes Cabela’s brand rods with Pflueger presidential reels and a lure package.

Fishing Tackle

What is the best lure to bring?  We have you covered.  Check our online article detailing the best northern pike fishing tackle and tips.  The Lodge also has a limited selection of lures on our lure board in camp in case you lose a lure on a big one.

Fishing Guide

Cobham River Lodge does not require a fishing guide for you to enjoy our fisheries.  Most guests prefer to explore our Manitoba lakes and rivers independently with our provided detailed guide maps.  If navigating a boat does not sound ideal or you want a carefree day of fly-in fishing, a friendly and knowledgeable fishing guide is available with advance notice.  Guides can take up to 2 guests in their boat.  Fly fishing is only allowed with one guest in the boat, and the guide reserves the right to ask the guest to use a spinning/casting rod only.  The guide fee per boat is 250.00 for a full day or 125.00 for a half day.  Guides are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Cobham River has a large population of Canadian wildlife, including Moose, Black Bears, Beavers, Bald Eagles, Mink, and River Otters.  In addition, however, are Northern Caribou, Lynx, and the occasional Big Foot (so guests have said, still waiting for the photo).


Breakfast is served from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  Each morning, guests enjoy specialty coffees and teas and breakfast selections, including classics and some more intriguing options from our culinary team.

Shore Lunch is prepared each day with special seasonings and unique batter mixes.  Have a special request?  Remember to ask!  Sandwiches are also an option for guests choosing to stay on the water.

Dinner is served from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Dinner at the Cobham River consists of a soup and salad bar, with main entrees including ham, pork roasts, beef roasts, steak, turkey, ribs, and many original recipes. Don’t forget the desserts, homemade bread, pies, and other selections.


Black flies and mosquitoes have been called the guardians of the north.  They do keep some people in the south.  Cobham River is located in an area of very sandy, well-drained soils.  There are bugs, both black flies and mosquitoes, but they are rarely heavy in numbers.  They will never be a problem in the boat, but on quiet, muggy days (all bugs love high humidity), the shore lunch sites and areas near the lodge could have heavy bugs.


We HIGHLY recommend you don’t try to fit this on your baggage weight limit.  We can arrange for these items to sit at the camp before you arrive.  For the average group, beverages equal 40 lbs./person, leaving only 20-35 lbs. for your gear.  If you bring in liquor bottles, we suggest looking for a plastic bottle option.

Equipment Insurance

Because 98% of our guests prefer the unguided fishing experience, they have expressed concerns about the costs of repairs when an accident happens.  With that in mind, Cobham River implemented a program to offer worry-free fishing for our guests.  Equipment insurance covers your group’s liability for the boat, outboard, and rod rentals should you have an accident that causes damage.  Call to opt out of equipment insurance.


Tips are an entirely personal matter.  Most of our guests do tip, usually an amount like what one would tip at a fine restaurant (15 to 20% of package value).  Gratuities are split evenly amongst the Cobham River staff.  That can be changed at the customer’s discretion.  Our staff greatly appreciates any level of tipping.  Gratuities can be prepaid or paid by check or put on a credit card and handled at checkout on the final day.

Final Payment

Your final payment is due April 1st.  We cannot accept payment at the lodge since we don’t have a bank branch on the river.

what if?

When you travel, things happen. They just do. That’s why we recommend Travel Guard to put your mind at ease. Guests that have travel insurance will have peace of mind knowing there is help replacing lost luggage, assistance in getting a passport replacement, medical evacuation reimbursement, or a non-refunded deposit due to illness, to name a few.

NOTE: Cobham River Lodge does not sell travel insurance.  Any guests that enter into an agreement with a travel insurance company is between said guest and travel insurance company. Travel Guard is not affiliated with Cobham River Lodge.

What if the airline lost my luggage or my other group member?

We generally cannot get your lost luggage to Cobham before the end of your trip. We suggest using a carry-on for the must-have items.  Rods/Tackle is safe to check because we can rent you one if needed. We suggest buying what you need vs hoping we can get you your bag.  If a group member goes missing, we will find a way to get them up there as quickly as possible.

What if I have a medical issue and need to be flown out?

We are located 55 miles from a nursing station and can generally get you out for medical attention within the hour.  Winnipeg also has extensive medical facilities.  Most US insurance covers your visit, but I suggest checking ahead of time, just in case.

What if I cause damage to the equipment?  Who pays?        

As long as you don’t decline equipment insurance, you won’t pay a dime.  Accidents happen.

What if I want to fish before breakfast or after dinner?

Go for it!

What if we’d rather skip shore lunch?

We will pack your lunches; just let our staff know which way you are going and stay in that direction.

What if I get lost or have a breakdown?  Are there radios or maps?

We haven’t lost a guest yet!  Generally, we can find you within 1 hour using a boat and our drone. Some guests bring radios to keep in touch with each other.  Search time goes dramatically up if you decide to go in a direction without telling anyone.  Prudent judgment says to bring must-have medicines with you in the boat. We also provide high-res maps and have a few depth finders with GPS if you are worried about navigating our system.  Guides are also available. ALWAYS STAY WITH THE BOAT!

don’t forget
  • Passport
  • Prescription Medication (be sure to pack in carry-on luggage)
  • Checkbook (checks are the preferred method of payment for any purchase, but we do accept MC/Visa, Discover and AMEX)
  • Quality Rain Gear – jacket and pants (review our detailed clothes packing list)
  • Wet/Dry Bag to stow gear in while on the boat
  • Lightweight Waterproof Boots
  • Waterproof Hat for sun or rain
  • Sunscreen – at least 30 SPF
  • Polarized Sunglasses
  • For early June trips, neoprene gloves and warm boots (just in case)
  • Insect repellent – but no aerosol cans
  • Cell phone, Camera, or GoPro
  • Ear Plugs encase your fishing partner snores
leave at home
  • Hairdryer (have at the lodge)
  • Alarm Clock (on vacation)
  • Dress Clothes (casual rules)
  • Knives/Pepper Spray (not needed)
  • WORK!