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, Lac du Bonnet, or Bissett.  Choice is yours

Enjoying Your Stay

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

quick summary


  • Book your plane ticket to Winnipeg early if traveling to Canada by air.
  • A passport is required to enter Canada.
  • Bring a quality raincoat and rain pants.
  • Keep your tackle simple. Having one 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 visit the Lodge website at or call us 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 75 pounds for Bissett departure and 55 pounds for Lac du Bonnet 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 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 depends 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 and gloves. A wind change can drop the temperature from 80° to 50° in a few hours.


  • 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 necessary 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 don’t cut it in heavy rain. Get a quality rain suit, including a 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. Remember that Canada is a foreign country for most of our guests, and you have to play by its 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. A passport card is another identification option for those traveling via land (driving) into Canada.

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

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

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. The package includes a one-night hotel stay, 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 journey in time for afternoon commercial flight departures. Our premium rod rental service is also included in this package.

On your arrival in Winnipeg, our partner hotel is a quick 300-foot walk from Baggage Claim. When you exit baggage claim, look to the right for The Grand Hotel. Enter The Grand Hotel and walk to Lakeview via a connected walkway.

The hotel bar is an easy meeting point, as most group members arrive at different times. You can also relax in your hotel room after your flight. The following morning at 4:30 am, our expeditor will take you to the floatplane departure point, 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 pm commercial flights home from Winnipeg.

For more information, visit:

Drive to Lac du Bonnet:

Guests usually stay at the Drifters Inn or South Beach Casino. The next morning, you will depart Drifters Inn around 5 AM for a quick 15-minute (12 KM) shuttle ride to the Lac du Bonnet 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 Adventure Air  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 before arriving at Winnipeg International Airport (YWG).  All major rental car companies are available.  Drive time is 3 hours from Winnipeg International.  Driving directions to Adventure Air Bissett are 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 a few group members to remember.

Grocery Options for Lac du Bonnet

We partner with Campbell’s Foods (contact info left).  Email them your order; they will box your food for pick up the day before your departure flight.  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.  DON’T FORGET YOUR GROCERIES IN THE MORNING.  It is 100% your responsibility to remember.  We suggest assigning the task to a few group members to remember.

flight times

Day Prior:

Confirm with Adventure Air at Bissett or Lac du Bonnet what time they want you to load. Generally, it will be 20-30 minutes before 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 commercial flights home before 4 p.m.

Return from Cobham River To Lac du Bonnet:

Flights depart Cobham River by 8 a.m., and the return flight 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 1 p.m.

important numbers

Adventure Air (Bissett)
#1 Read Ave
Bissett, MB R0E 0J0
(204) 277-5536

Adventure Air (Lac du Bonnet)
68 Airport Road
Lac du Bonnet, MB
(204) 345-8322
[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]

Drifter’s Inn
JCT Hwy 11 & Hwy 313
Lac Du Bonnet, MB
(204) 345-2915
[email protected]

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

Campbell’s Foods (Lac du Bonnet)
74 McArthur Avenue
Lac du Bonnet, MB R0E 1A0
(204) 345-2308
[email protected]

enjoying your stay

Cobham River Lodge and Hidden Lake Outpost are equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi provided via Starlink. 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

This is a great way to save money! It’s 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. Casting rods are also available. Our rental packages include two rods, two reels, unlimited braided 30-pound test, fluorocarbon leader, and one lure box with the hottest pike lures. We have also included 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.

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 the detailed guide maps we have provided. 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 300.00 for a full day or 150.00 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, there are northern caribou, Lynx, and the occasional Bigfoot (so guests have said we are still waiting for the photo).


Breakfast is served from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Each morning, guests enjoy specialty coffees, teas, and breakfast selections, including classics and 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, 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. Our staff greatly appreciates any level of tipping. Gratuities can be prepaid, paid by check, 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 do. That’s why we recommend Travel Guard to put your mind at ease. Guests with travel insurance will have peace of mind knowing there is help replacing lost luggage, 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 who enter into an agreement with a travel insurance company are between said guest and the 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. We recommend buying what you need instead of 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 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?        

You won’t pay a dime if you don’t decline equipment insurance. 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!