I used to know a couple who loved to fish. They called themselves Mr. & Mrs. Walleye. I watched as they spent tens of thousands of dollars on a new fishing boat and tens of thousands more on a truck to pull the boat, not to mention all the rods, tackle and outdoor gear. Then, they would drive long, overnight hours into Canada, catch a fish.and let it go.
I didn't get it. But after encountering a true Canadian fishing lodge, I think I do now.
On beautiful Eagle Lake just outside Vermilion Bay in Ontario, Canada, Andy Myers Canada Fishing and Hunting Lodge sits on one of the few Canadian lake systems that has all five of the major game fish species: walleye, muskie, pike, smallmouth bass, and lake trout. Owner Steve Herbeck says that there is definite trophy potential for all five. Eagle lake has twice held the world and Canadian record for Muskie with fish over 6o pounds. Many predict it will do it again. The resort is well known in the muskie fraternity for producing more than it's share of trophy Muskie. It is one of several lakes designated by the Ministry of Natural Resources as World Record Potential Waters and holds a 54-INCH MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT. The walleye also have slot limits which ensures trophies for everyone and protects the the prime spawners for future generations. Many walleye are caught annually as well as plenty of "eaters" for a delicious shore lunch.
The lake system includes the 63,428-acres Eagle Lake, and Andy Myers maintains boats or access on Corner, Clearwater, Buzzard, McGregor, Bottle Bay, Violet, Stewart, Canyon, and the entire Indian Chain of Canadian fishing lakes was well.
Besides service, food, and equipment, perhaps the strongest emphasis at Andy Myers Lodge is on providing the guest with all the information they need on fishing. "What really makes us different is we're more than just your regular resort," says Herbeck. "We hold fishing seminars at night in the lodge, if people want to attend. Besides great guides on staff I have guest fishing instructors-- professional and tournament fishing instructors--to help them along."
Hosting The Big Names
In fact, Herbeck is a very busy host; Andy Myers is a major crossroads for some of the biggest names in fishing throughout the five-month fishing season. A quick glance at Andy Myers Lodge's summer lineup tells you everything you need to know: Rob Manthei, Steve Heiting, Tony and Joe Puccio, Greg Thomas, John Schulta, and Travis Richardson, to name a few. All are scheduled at the lodge, hosting events like Walleye Week and Muskie Week, throughout the summer and early fall. During the early/mid to late fall the lodge has its trophy musky hunt that annually produces many trophy fish pushing over 40 pounds.
"Regardless of what the conditions are, we can make it happen because of the diversity we offer in fishing many different systems." - Steve Herbeck, Owner, Andy Myers Canada Fishing and Hunting Lodge
Himself a former nationally known guide in the U.S., a contributor to major fishing publications, TV shows, and a sought after seminar speaker, Herbeck begins each week at the lodge, or camp as it is known in Canada, with an orientation seminar for guests with marked fishing maps and demonstrations on productive patterns and techniques. Wednesday nights are for discussion on what is new or changing. Every morning and evening time is set aside for helping those that need it and or arranging excursions and trips on Eagle and other nearby lakes.
"We have some awesome guides on staff," says Herbeck. "Most of my staff has been with me for eight to 12 years. I myself spend at least ten hours a week with customers besides guiding, marking maps,giving tips and suggestions for the day making sure they have what they need."
The day fly-in trip takes you 48 to 65 miles into one of 22 of Canada's northern Shield Lakes, and has you back in time for the evening meal.
Hand-built and housekept cottages
The camp itself consists of 15 units plus a main lodge, with a capacity of up to 55 guests per week. Cottages are hand-built with virgin logs for the appeal of the Canadian wilderness; however, they are fully furnished, with private bathrooms, gas furnaces, refrigerators and cooking facilities with preparation and eating utensils, all bed linens, blankets and towels. The kitchen and housekeeping staff takes pride in providing excellent meals,clean accommodations,and doing whatever it takes to make guests' trips the best they can be.
"We have high, high customer service," Herbeck says. "From one aspect to the other, from cabins to docks to housekeeping to meals, we take care of each guest individually."
A variety of packages is available here; the top of the line is a six-day, seven-night stay with everything you need for world-class fishing, with guides available multiple days plus a one-day midweek fly-in to a remote lake. Guide trips include shore lunch, and 18- 20-foot upgrade boat. And of course, there's daily maid service and plenty of home-cooked meals at the lodge.
Part of Andy Myers Lodge's fishing fleet The "Sportsmans Combo" options to many of these packages offer activities that might better be described as adventures: besides Eagle lake there are back country safaris which are guided four-wheel-drive excursions into remote lakes, day fly-in trips,and do your own boat cache lakes that are accessable by portaging, creek access or drive to. "That's another unique thing about us," says Herbeck. "Regardless of what the conditions are, we can make it happen because of the diversity we offer in fishing many different systems."
The lodge also hosts deer hunts in the 35-mile area around Vermilion Bay from the end of October through Thanksgiving annually. The "highway corridor" is known for whitetails by the locals and recently opened to nonresident hunters in recent years; the word is it's some of the finest, and most overlooked, whitetail hunting in Canada. The hunts are full service, guided, private land stand hunts (70+ stands for 8-10 hunters per week) with annual success that pushes 80 percent-plus on trophy bucks.There is an eight-point minimum to maintain trophy potential, with most bucks taping out from 130 BC to 170 BC and weighing 200-250 dressed.
Not Just Fishing
So I understand it all now. Although fishing is a big part of its existence, Andy Myers Canada Fishing and Hunting Lodge revolves around a lot more than just a sport. Its highly regarded "Father (Mother)/Son (Daughter) Package" and how all guests are treated as friends speaks volumes about this lodge's commitment to the future. This isn't just all about fishing. It's a celebration of the outdoors, and it's also a testament to how our enjoyment of the outdoors is actually how we bond as families, friends and partners.
The perfect, simple explanation for catching a fish, and letting it go.