Plan your Ontario Fly-in Trip

Plan your Ontario Fly-in Trip

The information below will help you plan your Ontario fly-in fishing adventure. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

Please bear in mind that the key to planning a successful fly-in fishing vacation is packing properly. The picture above illustrates the amount of gear (roughly) that a group of four fisherman should pack. Take notice that there are no coolers, tackle boxes, or packages that are "oversize" and breakable. Most guests find it sufficient to bring between 80 and 100 lbs of gear per person.

Driving Directions to our Airbase

Driving Directions to our Airbase

The Thunderhook Fly-Ins base is located in Armstrong Station, Ontario which is 150 miles by road north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. We are reached by departing Thunder Bay northbound on Highway 527. Approximate drive time to Armstrong from Thunder Bay is 2.3 hours.


Thunder Bay, Ontario has an airport with passenger service. AirCanada, Porter, and Westjet all service the airport with connecting flights in Toronto or Winnipeg. Rental cars, vans, and limo service to our base are all conveniently located at the airport. We can also help you to arrange some of these items to avoid any hassles.


Guests arriving by private wheeled aircraft may land at Armstrong Station Municipal Airport (CYYW). There are no services available however and pick-up to our base can be arranged. Guests arriving at Armstrong by private seaplane may land on Mattice Lake and moor and Thunderhook Fly-Ins Seaplane Base. Thunderhook handles 100 octane and Jet-A AV fuel.

Directions to Thunderhook

Packaging and Planning

Packaging and Planning

What do you need to bring on your trip to Thunderhook and Smooth Rock? Check out our packaging and planning pages to get a grasp on what supplies you need and do not need.

Remember this when packing - think light! Clients tend to over-pack for their adventure, resulting in being over their weight limits or a burden of excess items that you do not need.

Packaging and Planning

Arriving at Main Camp

Arriving at Main Camp

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.

Border Crossing

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: (Trip Planning and Packing)

Canada Border Crossing Services (CBSA)

Customs Information for Visitors to Canada (CBSA Travel)


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:

United States Postal Service Website

Download a Passport Application

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.


Passport Requirements to enter the USA (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.

General Information

Reservations: A request for a reservation should contain your preference of dates plus an alternative if possible, the number in your party and the length of stay. Reservations should be made as soon as possible to ensure dates and camps of your choice. Reservations will be held for no more than two weeks without a deposit.

Cancellations: If unforeseen circumstances should arise and a cancellation is necessary, immediate notification is requested. Please refer to our deposit policy below for cancellation procedures.

Deposits: A $300.00 per person is required to confirm a fishing reservation. Deposits may be made by personal check or Visa/MasterCard.

Final Trip Payment: Final payment may be made by cash, personal check, traveler's checks or Visa/MasterCard. Deposits are nonrefundable and may be transferred to other available dates, to another person, in the same year.

Fishing Licenses: Fishing licenses are available at our airbase. Copies of the Ontario Fishing Regulations will be available at the airbase or by clicking this link ahead of time: Ontario Fishing Regulations (M.N.R. Website)

Equipment Damage: You are responsible for any damage done to equipment during your stay with us. Boats and Motors will be checked for damage by your pilot and or management at Smoothrock Camp. For those interested we have a chart of repair costs for props, lower units, skegs, and other miscellaneous fixes. Some homeowner's insurance policies will cover this expense. We encourage you to investigate your coverage prior to your trip with us.

Cleaning Deposit - Outpost Camps: A $150.00 cleaning deposit is required of each party. Each party is responsible for final cleaning of the outpost prior to returning to base. Cleaning supplies and checklist will be provided. Your pilot will assure that the checklist has been completed. In the event that the cleaning checklist has not been satisfactorily completed, the pilot will complete the required work and the cleaning deposit will be forfeited.

Fuel Surcharge: Fuel Prices are widely known to fluctuate without notice. Thunderhook Fly-Ins reserves the right to assess a fuel surcharge given unforeseen circumstances.

Groceries, Foodpacks and Beverage Orders: With at least ten days advance notice Thunderhook will do your grocery shopping and beverage orders for you. Please bear in mind there is a 15% convenience fee charged for this service along with the invoice cost. If you would like to pre-order supplies for your fly-in adventure, please download this order form.

Ice: All camps have refrigerators, freezers, and some have chest freezers. We highly encourage guests to conserve ice-after all this is a wilderness vacation!

Check Flights: We generally stop at least once at your outpost cabin during your stay with us. If immediate assistance is necessary we have two way radios and satellite phones in which the airbase can be contacted.

Catch, Release and Consume - Thunderhook Fly-Ins encourages Catch, Release and Consume. We request that larger fish, walleye over 18 inches and pike over 36 inches be returned to the lake. While on your trip we encourage each of you to consume as much fish as you can while leaving the rest for future trips and future generations. Catch, Release and Consume is required on Moonshine and McKinley Lakes.

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