Ash Rapids has it All: A Full Canadian Experience

“This is my favorite place in Canada,” said Tim Parker, a veteran of many different fishing lodges and camps in Ontario. “The fishing and the food are tops. It doesn’t get any better than here.”

Parker and I have fished together many times and have gone to Ash Rapids Lodge several times. The walleye and smallmouth fishing in this part of the lake is better than other parts, in our opinion. Ash Rapids is located in the western part of Lake of the Woods, a 1 million-acre gem of superb fishing and scenic beauty. It’s in a secluded location in Ash Bay with easy connections to Shoal Lake and Shoal Lake Narrows by way of the Ash Rapids.

“You can find a sheltered place to fish there every day regardless of how the wind blows,” Tim noted. “Within a 10-mile radius of the lodge there is a maze of islands and waterways that form a fisherman’s paradise.”

The lodge is owned and operated by Tannis and Andrew Clinton who are helpful, friendly and truly wonderful people. Their aim is to make your fishing, lodging and dining experiences the best they can be.

They offer an American plan with cottages that hold two to 10 people. The plan includes meals, maid service, gas, ice, Wi-Fi, and 17-foot boats with 50-hp outboards and electronics. The plan includes transportation by boat from Kendall Inlet to their remote location. Of course, you can bring your own rig, which Tim and I do. If you need an escort to the lodge, Andrew will be more than happy to arrange it. And housekeeping plans are available if you want to do your own cooking.

But Mike Parker, Tim’s son and frequent guest, said, “As much as I like to cook like Jim Zegar does, I don’t want to invest time cooking and doing dishes when the fishing is so good. And the meals are truly fabulous. Every night dinner is a four-course affair with homemade soup, great salads, outstanding main courses and always a delightful dessert.”

His father mentioned the freshly baked bread and the overall fantastic presentation of the food.

“Their first-class chef prepares extraordinary meals every night. I always come to Ash Rapids for the fishing but stay for the food!”

On the American plan, you are treated to a buffet breakfast starting at 7 a.m. For lunch, you have options. You can have a traditional shore lunch prepared by your guide, an excellent box lunch in your boat on the water or you can come back to the lodge for hot soup and a sandwich. Tim and I always take the box lunch for two reasons: it’s a really good lunch (hearty sandwiches with plenty of meat, homemade cookies, chips, pickles, etc.) and the fishing is so good here that we want to keep fishin’.

If you opt for the housekeeping plan you can choose to have some of your meals in the lodge and order off a menu. Just let Tannis or Andrew know a day or so ahead so they can reserve a table and prepare your meal—they’re very accommodating.

Mike likes the cottages noting, “They have a ‘Northwoods’ appeal—rustic but very clean and well-kept. I like staying there.”      He also likes to fish after dinner and has had some fantastic fishing close to the dock, just moving around with the trolling motor. He likes muskie fishing and recommends it in the Ash Rapids area.

The lodge employs some very good guides who are not only good boat handlers, but are also excellent fishermen.

“They not only know the 1 million acres of water here, they know how to put you on fish right away with the best presentations,” Tim says. “You most certainly would want one for a day or two, even in your boat, if that’s your preference.”

I agree with Tim. On each trip we hire a guide to go in our boat early in the week so we can learn what’s going on right away. Other guests prefer not to handle the boat and will use a guide every day, and there is also a guiding “combination” for whatever situation suits you best.

I’ve been fishing Ontario and other Canadian provinces for a long time, up to 30 different places. Ash Rapids is my favorite because it’s the entire experience, a full Canadian fishing experience with trophy fish, outstanding accommodations and service and beautiful Canadian Shield scenery.

Whether you like to cast, troll, jig or rig with live bait, you can do it all here. In early August, Tim and I jig the mid-lake humps for smallmouths and walleyes. Many times you’ll find the ‘eyes on top of the structure with the smallies below the walleyes. Leeches, ‘crawlers, hair jigs and blade baits will all work.

In late May and early June, target walleyes close to their spawning grounds and you can find non-stop action on quality-sized fish using Gulp’s 3- and 4-inch jigging Grubs. Try leeches on Fireball jig heads too, and look for 6 to 14 feet of water. And think about bringing a “crappie clicker” to keep track of some of the non-stop action. On one four-day trip we had 55, 65, 77, and 92 fish each individual day.

So for a quality trip you won’t forget, the Parker boys and I highly recommend Ash Rapids Lodge. Without a doubt, this lodge offers great value for your dollar.

 

For more information contact Ash Rapids Lodge by email at [email protected], call them at 800-465-1095, visit ashrapidslodge.com or like them on Facebook.