Planning your Canadian Fly-in Fishing Trip? We are here to help

Our goal is to provide the best service possible to make your fishing vacation the trip of a lifetime. With this in mind, the following information is to help you prepare for your fly-in fishing trip. At the bottom of the page you will find important information on crossing the US/Canadian border and fishing licenses.

Packing for your trip

One of the biggest issues often encountered during the fly-in fishing season is baggage weight. Our aircraft are operated to the strictest of Transport Canada Standards. These standards are very stringent specifically in regard to baggage weight.

Please bear in mind that the key to planning a successful fly-in fishing vacation is packing properly. Most guests find it sufficient to bring approximately 80lbs of gear per person.

  • Machawaian Outpost have a gear weight limit of 100lbs per person
  • All other packages and destinations have a gear weight limit of 125lbs per person

Fishing Licenses

Fishing licenses are NOT available at the Base Camp, you must purchase them PRIOR to your arrival.

2024 Ontario Fishing Regulations

New Bait Management Regulations

Ontario’s Sustainable Bait Management Strategy came in effect on January 1, 2022 to reduce ecological risks associated the use and movement of bait in Ontario. To help prevent our waters from harmful invasive species and fish diseases, four BMZs now affect the movement, possession and use of baitfish and leeches. Baitfish or leeches, whether live or dead, may not be transported into or out of a BMZ. This includes frozen, salted minnows. 

All of our camps and outposts are located in Bait Management Zone #2.

Other Resources

Thunderhook Bunkhouses


For those arriving the day or evening before flying in to one of our camps, we have a fully modern 6 unit bunkhouse at the seaplane base. Each unit has two bunks, heat, and more importantly air conditioning.

Please contact us for rates and availability prior to arriving.

Silver Minnow


Bait can be ordered directly from us. Please give us 2 WEEKS ADVANCE NOTICE. All bait is purchased at the Silver Minnow Bait Shop which is located just a few miles up Hwy 527 on the left hand side of the road.

We cannot stress enough how fragile many of our fisheries are. We ask that everyone please use extreme caution in handling the fish. The only way that the next generation of anglers can enjoy these unspoiled places is through the use of conservation policies. Although we do allow guests to take fish from our lakes, we ask you to only consume what you need while on your adventure and hope that taking fish home from the lakes are is not a priority.

Bait & Tackle Info

Safeway Groceries


Hours of operation are 7:00am – 11:00pm EST

Groceries are an easy place to save on weight. We believe that it is imperative that your group sit down to plan your trip menu accordingly. You do not want to end up with duplicates of things such as condiments etc… We find that 75% of our guests are buying far too many groceries most of the time. It usually is not necessary to plan for more than 2 ½ meals per day while staying with us.

One store that many of our clients do stop at is Safeway. Here you can find most if not all your grocery needs.

Please bear in mind that you are flying to all of our destinations. Glass and Cans are not recommended unless absolutely necessary. It is best to buy things that are in bags such as frozen vegetables, juices, powdered milk, and vacuum sealed products. Please remember that a case of pop or beer weights 20lbs. Also, bait can weigh as much as 25lbs. or more. Pack groceries in soft sided small coolers that can double as a cooler for your boat while fishing.

Cross The Canadian Border With No Hassles

Canada is so close and accessible; it’s easy to forget that you will be in a foreign country. Border crossing is a breeze if you follow directions and regulations. For more information on specifics of border crossing we suggest that you personally call Canada Customs at 1-800-461-9999 for more information, or check out these links below.

Citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States need a driver’s license and birth certificate or form of citizenship (passport) to enter Canada, but ARE required to have passports in order to re-enter the United States if 18 years or older.

If you do not have a passport please check out these links:

To assist you with your fishing vacation plans, we are pleased to provide these details regarding crossing the Canadian Border:

Be sure to have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registrations and insurance forms. When being interviewed by a Customs Officer, be sure to declare ALL goods you are bringing into Canada. If you are traveling with your own children and you are accompanied by your spouse, ensure you bring their birth certificates. If you are traveling with a child other than your own or without your spouse, have the child’s identification as well as a letter of permission, including name and contact information for that child’s parents or from your spouse in case Customs Officers want to verify you have permission to bring the child into Canada.

Alcohol: If you meet the age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada (19 years old in Ontario), you are allowed to bring in, free of duty and taxes, either 1.5 litres of wine, or 1.14 litres (40 oz.) of liquor, or 24×355 milliliters (12 oz.) cans or bottles of beer or ale.

Tobacco: If you meet the age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada (19 years old in Ontario), you are allowed to bring the following amounts of tobacco without paying duty: up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams (7 oz.) of manufactured tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks. You may bring in additional quantities, but you must pay duties and taxes on the excess amount.

You cannot bring certain foods or goods into Ontario including: Live bait such as minnow or leeches, stun guns, mace, handguns or restricted weapons such as fully automatic firearms, potatoes, dog food, firewood or radar detectors.

If you are bringing fish or game home, it is important to follow the Ontario regulations closely. Wrap game to specifications. Wrap one fish per package, and pack only the number of legal fish per person in the vehicle. If you are with a large group and have more than 1 vehicle, you need to transport the limits in the said vehicle for the number of people in that vehicle.

All animals, plants, vegetables, fruits and meat (and any product of these) must be declared to Canadian Customs upon entry to the country and accompanied by import documentation when required and must pass inspection. Domestic dogs and cats may be brought into Canada provided each animal is accompanied by a licensed veterinarian certificate identifying the animal and certifying the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies during the preceding 36 month period. Up to two puppies or kittens less than three months of age and dogs for the visually impaired may enter with their owners without certification. Further information is available on other animals.

The use and possession of radar detection services are illegal in Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Yukon. It is imperative to shut off these devices and render them inoperable to avoid problems with law enforcement.

Returning to the United States

Dept. of Homeland Security

Residents returning the United States are allowed to bring back the following provided they were in Canada for at least 48 hours:

$400.00 U.S. worth of merchandise per person duty free every 30 days. Families may combine their $400.00 exemptions.

If you have stayed for less than 48 hours or if you have used part or all of your $400.00 allowance in the previous 30 days the limit is $200.00 U.S.

To assist officers in expediting the process, especially to re-enter the United States native-born citizens MUST have a passport and should carry a birth, baptismal, or voter’s certificate. Proof of residence may also be required. Naturalized U.S. citizens should carry a naturalization certificate or other evidence of citizenship. Legal, permanent residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens are advised to carry their Alien Reg. Receipt Card (U.S. Form 1-151 or Form 1-551). Persons under 18 years of age who are not accompanied by an adult should bring a letter from a parent or guardian giving them permission to enter Canada and the United States.

Fishing Licenses

Before you can fully enjoy a Thunderhook Fly-Ins fishing trip you and everyone in your party must obtain the proper licenses. We highly recommend securing a fishing license well BEFORE your trip, licenses are NOT available at our basecamp.

Non-residents of Canada can click here for licensing information.

Residents of Canada can click here for licensing information.

You can find the Fishing Regulations by clicking the highlighted link.

Replace, Renew, or Update your Outdoors Card.