Rainbow Airways & Island Lake Lodge


So many lakes ... so little time

Back lakes bassiní extraordinaire


Bill Rivers


As civilization, logging companies and access roads penetrate further into what is left of Southern Ontarioís wilderness, finding a great bass lake, especially one that is seldom fished, seems an impossible task. Yet, each season for the past several years - with a little help from my friend, David, at Rainbow Airways - I have "discovered" a half-dozen such lakes - pristine, semi-remote lakes brimminí with bass, some in the 6, 7, even 8-pound range. All one needs is a sense of adventure and a little "inside information".

In recent years, I have enjoyed great fishing at a number of lakes in the Almaguin Highlands, arguably Ontarioís premier wilderness bass fishing region. Trips with Rainbow Airways have taken me to incredible "numbers lakes" like Kelsie Lake, "trophy lakes" including Partridge Lake, and "2-species bassiní lakes" such as Wolfe Lake. Based at the Island Lake outpost camp, we have systematically located, identified, explored and fished fully a dozen or more walk-in or fly-in back lakes, and the bass angling has always been incredible. The blessings that sets this region apart are, in my opinion, the solitude, privacy and tranquility that just a little remoteness offers.

In August / 2000, David mentioned that he had flown a party in to a small, remote lake known to harbour some dandy pike. Upon their return, the group explained that they caught few pike but were hardly disappointed since they found the lake to be full of big bass - largemouths from 3 to 5 pounds were common ! That did it for me ! Plans to explore and fish several other nearby lakes were put aside, and soon enough we touched down, hoping for big-bass action.

And, during two separate 4-hour stints on the lake, my partner, Sam, and I caught and released more than 20 bass in the 3-1/2 to 5-1/4 pound range. How about a monster bass double-header ? Two bucketmouths, each about 4-1/2 pounds nailed baits within inches of each other. Big bass on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, tube jigs, rattlebaits, jerkbaits, topwater plugs, and just about every imaginable bass bait in the box. Oh, by the way, we did catch a few dandy pike while we were at it. Hey, Iíve got the photos !

Clearly - at least to me - Rainbow Airways offers a back-lakes-bassiní / fly-in fishing package unlike any other. Island Lake, a good fishing lake in itself, serves as the base camp from which guests can either fly out daily to fish any one of a handful of great bass lakes (including Cross, Partridge, Loon, Duck, et al.) or walk in via marked trails to three nearby lakes (Wolfe, Kelsie, Rat). Evening are spent fishing at Island Lake, sitting around a campfire, re-telling fish stories about trophies caught (and / or the one that got away), or planning the nextís day bass adventure. So many lakes ... so little time

Having fished throughout Canada, I still have a special regard for Ontario bass fishing and, in particular, for the folks at Rainbow Airways who so meticulously plan my oh-so-very-much-anticipated bass fishing adventures. As I have said before, there may be places with better bass fishing, more pristine lakes, friendlier staff or better service - but not on this Earth !

Contact Rainbow Airways and plan a unique bassiní adventure of your own.

Highly recommended!


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