FAQ

Here are some common questions about our trips

General

Is there cell service or internet?

No cellular service. Satellite internet wifi available at Andrew Lake. Satellite telephone available at all lakes for emergencies. Personal calls at $5/min.

How much daylight is available?

We have long days in June and July where daylight can extends over 20 hours per day! On June 21 the longest daylight day we have enjoyed  some midnight fishing.

What is the drive to Fort Smith like?

Fom Edmonton 1338km paved about 14-15 hours.  A long, but relatively easy drive, not much traffic. Daylight near 24 hour in June. Travel up through High Level cross the NWT border, drop in at visitor center (get your offical 60th parallel visitor certificate) Make sure you stop and chek out the waterfalls route (Alexandra falls parking next to highway and amazing falls literally right next to parking lot – make sure to ask Dan about a special story about the falls) then to town of Hay River and thrugh Wood Buffalo National Park and see Bison, Bears and Wolves on the way to Fort Smith.

Can we have campfires?

We have outdoor fire pits and sometime there are fire ban conditions.  Inquire before your trip.

Is there firewood? Can I cut down trees?

Deadfall around camp can be used for firewood. Axe and chainsaw available.

Any restrictions on boats and fuel?

You are welcome to fish and travel by boat as much as you’d like at no extra cost. Fuel is available to fill up as required.

Can I drink the water?

We have to recommend lake water be boiled and filtered for extra safety. You can also bring bottled water or order it in advance.

Should I bring bear spray?

You are welcome to bring some if you’d like, please advise pilots for secure loading.

Group discounts?

Yes, for a group of 6 or more people a $100 discount on the package prices.

How do we get an exclusive camp booking?

At South Leland Lake a group of 6 or more people can have all 3 cabins and the camp and lake exclusive.

At Andrew Lake a group of 12 or more people can have all 7 guest cabins and the camp and lake exclusive.

When is the best time to book?

Earlier the better for availability of dates and to secure current pricing before any increases.

Many of our guests have been coming up year after year. Some have had up to 19 consecutive years of trips!

More questions are always welcome – please contact use for any details you may need.

Do you only offer 3, 4 & 7 day packages?

We can also offer a 5 or 6 Day option. Or if you like, we can also do a combination trip a few days at South leland Lake and then fly you over to Andrew Lake for a few days. Fish & explore 2 lakes in the same week!

Flying

How much weight can I bring?

From Fort McMurray per person 50 pounds free and 75 cents / pound for additional up to a 100 pounds maximum.

Some Fort McMurray departures for groups of 6 or more are at 100 pounds free per person.

From Fort Smith per person maximum 100 pounds free.

From Yellowknife per person maximum 100 pounds free.

For groups the total amount can be averaged out 100 pounds per person.

What is the free beverage pre-order flight option?

To make your packing easier and provide some more room for gear weight. Just send us your liquor & beverage order and we will fill it at the stores in Fort Smith.  We will drop it off for free at the lake ready for your arrival.

What is the extra cargo flight for and how much is it?

If you want to make packing even easier, your group can send in grocery and beverage orders.

We fill fill these orders from the stores in Fort Smith and fly in order to meet your arrival at the lake.  This flight is $800 and can take up to 700 pounds.  Since it contains fresh food, we need to make this a dedicated flight at that specific time and the charter cost of $800 can be split up among your group members.

What is the free pre-trip Fort Smith overnight accommodation?

For guests driving into Fort Smith we have free overnight accommodation at our floatplane base. Free parking for your vehicles as well. Best part is you’re already at the base and ready to take off the next morning we can get an early flight out to the lake. Flights are only 15 – 30 minutes.

Where do the charter flights depart from?

Flights depart from Fort McMurray airport at McMurray Aviation 1-877-877-2359. Some flights are scheduled to Fort Chipewyan and you will meet connecting floatplane. Other flights will be direct to lake with amphibious floatplanes from the airport.  Please arrive 1 hour before flight to check in and weigh baggage.

Flights from Fort Smith depart from Reliance Airways floatplane base (6km southeast of Fort Smith)

Packages from Edmonton include airline flights departing from Edmonton International Airport.

Do we fly on floatplane or on wheels?

Andrew Lake has a private airstrip and some of flights arrive on aircraft with wheels. Other flights will be on floatplane.

South Leland Lake – floatplane only

Lynx Lake – mainly floatplane from Fort Smith or Yellowknife. Some select flights may be to our Tundra runway.

How long are the flight times?

Fort McMurray to  Andrew Lake  – 1 hour 45 minutes

Fort McMurray to South Leland Lake – 1 hour 45 Minutes

(If stop over in Fort Chipewyan required it’s about 30 minutes)

Fort Smith to South Leland Lake  – 15 minutes

Fort Smith to Andrew Lake – 30 minutes

Fort Smith to Lynx Lake  – 2 hours

Yellowknife to Lynx Lake – 2 hours

What are the rates for Private Aircraft flying to Andrew Lake Airstrip?

Fly in with your private plane to our 3400 ft airstrip.  Located on the south end of the lake, it is a gravel/grass surface at 1000 feet ASL. Book your cabin and boat in advance and we have flexibility for weather delays.

Nightly rate $200 + GST per person.  Aviation fuel in Fort McMurray (230 miles) or Fort Smith (64 miles)

Fishing

What lakes are best for fishing? Best for each species?

All the lakes can offer great fishing, different times of the season changes water temperatures and techniques.

South Leland Lake - Our best lake for variety of species with lake trout, pike and walleye. A favourite for our walleye anglers and lots of pike, with several trophy class 40"+ & 20+ pound landed. Lake trout can average 3 - 5 pounds, with some teens and occasionally larger.

Andrew Lake  - is a bigger and deeper lake and more conducive for lake trout.  Average size for both trout and pike about 3 to 8 pounds and has the edge on top trophy calibre for 20 - 30+ pound. For the walleye die hards fishing at Andrew, they may be able to book a day trip fly out to Leland.

Lynx Lake - has unique location on the barren lands and on the edge of the tree line.  Our largest lake with great lake trout fishing wth many trophy class landed and spectacular arctic grayling action in the rivers. Few pike in this colder water, however the average size is very impressive.

When does the ice come off the lakes?

 

The spring ice out can vary each year. It can depend on the severity of the winter and how much and when first major snowfalls were. An early accumulation of snow on ice can provide insulation and the ice may not  build as thick as years with no early and little snow fall.

South Leland - Our first lake to break up. Usually May 9 - 16.  The mouth of the incoming river by the camp opens early and any strong northwest winds will clear out ice quickly.  We open as early as May long weekend and run until early October.

Andrew Lake  - is a bigger and deeper lake and the ice goes on later and comes off later.  Usually around May 15 - 22.  The south end where the lodge is shallower and opens up a few days earlier, than the deeper and wider north end.  First guests arrive last week of May and we operate until early October.

Lynx Lake - has unique location on the barren lands and on the edge of the tree line.  Our largest lake and last to open up.  Ice can remain on the lake until early July.  When it starts to go, it can melt rapidly with near 24 hour daylight and warm air. Normally ice breaks up at lodge around June 18 - 25.  The bigger parts of the lake can take a week later.  The season at Lynx is short and intense as we wrap up in September before winter’s return.

When is the best to time come?

It’s a matter a preference for fish species and techniques. Weather is also cooler very early and later into the season. The Summer season can be very warm. Our most popular time is ice out end of May until early July.  Lynx Lake opens in July and the season is short and changes quickly by September. At Andrew Lake September for lake trout fishing during the spawn is also popular. Check our Fishing season section for details on dates and techniques.

Can I keep any fish?

Yes, there are possession limits of 3 fish of each species. We encourage catch and release and returning the larger fish.  Smaller to mid sized are better for eating and you should have some fresh fish for meals during your stay. If you’d like to take any home, we have freezing facilities.

How do I get a fishing license and WIN card?

For fishing Alberta Lakes - Andrew & South Leland  = www.albertarelm.com

NWT Lakes - Lynx Lake - www.enr.gov.nt.ca

What type of fish can I catch?

South Leland Lake - Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Walleye, Whitefish

Andrew Lake - Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Whitefish

Lynx Lake - Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Arctic Grayling

What do I do with fish cleanings?

From cleaning tables take pails of cleanings by boat to island across from camp.

Which lakes have staff at the camps?

South Leland Lake - No staff based at the lake, we fly in for camp checks, satellite telephone for any camp questions or emergencies

Andrew Lake & Lynx Lake - Staff there to assits you for any details.  They will run the camp, generators and water systems. Satellite phone and Satellite wifi internet. (Andrew Lake)

 

South Leland Outpost - When do we use the generator?

For any electricity needs you can use the Honda generator.  It can also run for extended periods for freezers and refrigeration.  When filled with fuel it can run up to 12 hours.  There is also a spare back up generator in shed.  The hot water tank runs on propane and the water system is gravity fed and does not require electricity.

South Leland Outpost - How does the Water system work?

A gas Honda water pump is used to fill up our water tank on the water tower. It holds 400 gallons and can run a camp for several days, depending on demand water and showers etc. The water system is gravity fed and does not require electricity.

South Leland Outpost - Are there a few basic tools and any spare boat parts should we need them – ie propeller, pull cords, etc?

YES, we have tools, engine manuals, spare props, pull chords, extra engine oil, There are extra boats & motors.  Any normal wear and tear is expected, however damaged unusable props, gears or lower units will be charged for.

Any problem with a motor that isn’t resolved quickly, please call on Satellite phone to let us know and use one of the spare motors. This way on our camp check fly in we will be prepared to fix it.  We also need to know the status of equipment when groups change out.

Aurora Viewing

How often is the aurora visible?

Our loaction on the 6oth parallel gives high aurora viewing success. On clear nights quite likely - over 70% (Mid August - early October)

What is the self guided do it yourself trip?

Most guests book the do it yourself trips. Stay in private cabin and  make their own meals and tour on their own schedule. The lodge staff can help you with camp details, lake maps and point you the right direction. Days can include fishing, expeditions to the original Andrew family cabin site, lost trapper's cabin and wildlife viewing. You can take the boats by day and travel the lake, explore and hike the shield and beaches. Enjoy Aurora evenings at the lodge or on lake locations.

 

What are the Aurora photography workshops?

We have select dates that are hosted by professional photographers that will help you photograph the aurora and stars.  Days can include fishing, guided expeditions to the original Andrew family cabin site, lost trapper's cabin and wildlife viewing. You can take the boats by day and travel the lake, explore and hike the shield and beaches. Some of these packages include meals and some you can do your own cooking. Please contact us for details.

 

Is there cell service or internet? How can I check the weather and KP Index?

Yes, at Andrew you can utilize the Satellite wifi for weather and aurora forecasts. We actually have good success even when KP index is not as favourable.

What time does the aurora usually appear?

11PM - 2AM

What time of year is the best for aurora viewing?

We specialize in late Summer and fall as it is dark enough and the temperatures are mild. Some cool evenings and sometimes frost overnight. For the guests that don't want freezing temperatures and enjoy on the water activities mid August - early October is perfect.

Hunting

For the Drop Camp Package - How do we select the lake?

There are about 100 lakes in the region. The habitat is changing with forest fire burns and new regrowth.  We pick the lake based on moose activity that we have seen over the summer and over previous years, size of lake to match group size, boat, canoe etc.  Fish species and flight distance for costs. 

For the Drop Camp Package - I have my own equipment, but not sure on boat?

The drop camp works well as it is the same cost for the trip wether its 2 day or 2 weeks.

Many groups have the right equipment already, sometimes it is just the boat that needs to be confirmed.  If you have a canoe or aluminum boat up to16ft we can tie it on the plane and fly it in.  There are additional costs for any external tie ons. If you have an inflatable Zodiac type boat it is even easier as it can fit inside the plane.

We also have the option to rent just the boat and motor.

How much more to fly out of Fort McMurray instead of Fort Smith?

Unlike the fishing trip packages, the hunting groups have a lot more gear and food as they are going on for week or maybe two. This extra weight plus the unknowns of how many moose to fly out, make pricing form Fort McMurray challenging. On average trip costs would be about double that of Fort Smith. With the savings in flight costs and free parking and pre/post trip free accommodation in Fort Smith, most guests fly out of Fort Smith. Please contact us for specifics on your options.

What kind of success on the hunts?

Success can vary as there are groups hunting for the first time and some have flown in with us for several years. Some have been up 6, 10 and 19 years in a row!

Overall about half of the unguided groups have an opportunity and about half of those take a bull. Fishing can be very good in September especially for lake trout and pike.  Some lakes have walleye too!  Please let us know any preference on fish species and we can help select a lake suitable for your group.

For the Drop Camp Package can we rent a satellite phone?

Phone rentals are available in Fort Smith and can be reserved in advance if needed. 

How do I get a fishing license and WIN card?

For fishing Alberta Lakes - Andrew & South Leland  = www.albertarelm.com

NWT Lakes - Lynx Lake - www.enr.gov.nt.ca

How should I store my firearms for the flight?

Plastic or metal case that can be locked for airline travel

Plastic or soft case for air charter planes

Trophy & Meat Care?

Meat can hang in camp if temperatures allow. We can also fly out meat to Fort Smith and store in walk in cooler facility.

I’m from another province and have hunted there; how do I get an Alberta hunting licence?

Non Alberta residents need to have non resident hunting licenses that are included in our fully guided hunt packages.

You need to buy a WIN card from a private license issuer before you can buy a license. Both can be purchased at private licence issuers.

Payment

How much do I have to pay to reserve my spot?

25% deposit is due for booking trips to confirm rates and dates.

Deposit is non refundable

Balance is due on March 15 of the year the trip is booked

What is your cancellation policy?

Deposit and paid trips are transferable to other people

In the event that a guest could not travel due to health orders or border closure, payment will be held and trip transferred to the next year.

Trip and travel insurance is highly recommended.

How do I go about making payment?

Apple Pay, Credit Card, cheque, and Email transfer

Still need help? Send us a note!

For any other questions, please write us at

dan@andrewlakelodge.com or call us

+1 (780) 722-5062