HELLO! If this is your first trip with us or if you are one of our valued repeat guests, we are looking forward to having each and everyone of you with us this season. If you are repeat guests, you know the routine, but please look over the information as we update any changes when they occur. If this is your first trip with us, you may have some unanswered questions. These are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have additional questions, please call and we will be more than happy to help.
As of June 01, 2009, passports were made mandatory for travel back to the United States from Canada. Apply for your passport today to be sure you will have it for your trip. Passport cards and enhanced drivers licenses are also valid documents for land travel between Canada and the United States. Everyone over the age of 16 is required to have a passport.
1) "Where are you located?"
How To Reach Us By car, drive to International Falls, MN, cross over the bridge into Canada at customs and take Hwy 11-71 West out of Fort Frances, Ontario. Follow 24 miles to Hwy 71 North. Follow Hwy 71 North 15 miles to Hwy 615 East. Take Hwy 615 East and follow it until you come to French's Road (about 9 miles). Follow French's Road to the Gateway North Outfitters sign. For those of you who don’t mind gravel roads, you can take gravel and shorten the drive by about 15 minutes. If you wish to do this, once on Hwy 11-71 you will pass through the town of Emo. You will pass a John Deere dealer and just past that lot is Off Lake Road, turn right. Off Lake Road eventually meets up with Hwy 615. You will travel about 20 miles from Emo to French’s Road, turn right. We are about ½ mile down French’s Road on the right. You will see our sign.
If you are flying commercially to International Fall, MN send us a copy of your flight schedules and we will arrange it with Kennedy's Citi Cab to pick you up and bring you to our overnight cabins on Off Lake for the night before your flight, or a motel. You can book the shuttle online with them if you prefer. The cabins are a great place to start your trip and you are only a few steps from the dock for your flight into your outpost cabin. The cab fare runs approximately $125 US for up to 4 people each way.
Kennedy's City Cab contact info
(877) 664-6222 Toll-Free
(218) 283-8635 Office
(218) 240-4332 Cab Cell
(218) 283-3958 Fax
2) "Where should we stay?"
We highly recommend you cross into Canada the night before your trip and stay on the Canadian side. If you do stay in Canada, you can stay on Off Lake at our cabins, where we offer overnight lodging for guests before there trip. Call us at 807-482-1388 to see about accommodations, availability, cost etc... The cabins are very nice and all fly in trips depart right off the docks at Off Lake. If you want numbers of places in town to stay, give us a call and we will get them for you. Please let us know an approximate arrival time if you will be staying with us on Off Lake.
3) "What time should we arrive?"
We ask that you arrive at base of operations approximately 1 hour before your scheduled flight time. That will allow plenty of time for you to do the paperwork and settle up on your payment.
4) "What do we use for bait?"
If fishing for walleyes, we HIGHLY recommend you use minnows, leeches, or crawlers. We recommend 1-2 dozen per person per day. If you are fishing for bass, we recommend leeches. Figure on a pound of leeches per person for a 5-day trip. There are approximately 10-12 dozen leeches per pound. Leeches and crawlers are the most economical and hardy bait. They are best priced by the pound for leeches, by the flat for crawlers (500 crawlers per flat), and minnows are sold by the dozen. If you are wanting bait, pre order it with us and we can make sure that it is available when you arrive.
5) "What are the weight restrictions?"
We have a 100 lb. weight limit per person. This includes everything that goes on the airplane with you, such as beer, sodas, food, bait, ice, gear, and groceries. Remember to condense items as mush as possible. It is best to pack in small to medium sized sturdy card board boxes, best size is 16"L x12"Wx12"H. It is also best to pack in small to medium sized duffel bags, over one large one. Having to many bulky items can also create an issue as there is only so much physical space to pack gear in the plane. Do not pack tackle boxes, depth finders, and/or canned goods in a large duffel, they do not fit well on the plane. We DO NOT recommend large plastic totes or 5 gallon buckets for packing on the plane. If you pack your gear in these type of containers, be ready to unpack them into card board boxes so your load will fit on the plane if time allows as we are on schedule with the flights. They do not pack nice in the plane and make it difficult to get all your gear positioned correctly. You will be asked to empty the tubs so the aircraft can be packed appropriately. If your party is way over the weight restriction or it does not physically fit, you can choose to have the extra weight/bulk flown in separately, the cost of the overload will be charged and flown in accordingly (depending on time and weather) or you can choose to eliminate items. Ask for current rates. If you choose to hire the additional flight, remember that everything must fit on your way out in one plane or another additional flight and charge will be required. Please weigh your gear at home to avoid delays, embarrassment, and frustration as we must comply with these restrictions for everyone's SAFETY.
Note: If you are overweight and need to trim down, any beer, pop, or water will be the first items eliminated automatically to avoid any delays of trying to sort out other items to get within the limits - no questions asked. We do offer a pre order service to avoid being overweight and the beverages are the number one thing that creates an overage.
The lake water is perfectly safe to drink and you can boil the water if you prefer and even if the lake level is low, there will be plenty for you to survive. We drink lake water in our home and have never been sick. The outpost lakes have even cleaner and safer water to drink. You are vacationing in a pristine wilderness.
Remember that your group is paying for a seat and 100# of gear per person. If there are empty seats on the plane, we utilize the extra room for supplies at the cabins and pre orders. This is done to help maintain the rates of our trips and give you all the necessary equipment and supplies for your trip.
We ask that you do your best to conform to these restrictions. The planes are only physically capable of hauling so much weight and fuel is essential in this limit. Also, we ask that you use soft-sided bags for your gear and soft bags or cardboard boxes (NO Plastic totes or Tupperware style hard sided boxes) for your groceries. The Tupperware tubs are just not easy to load into the aircraft and surely do not allow to bend or mold into a small area. You will be asked to empty the tubs so the aircraft can be packed appropriately. If weight is a big problem or concern for your group and you would like for us to fly in some items (such as cases of beer, water, sodas, and other non perishable items), get in touch and let us know at least 30 days prior to your trip. We can help you out that way and avoid any issues.
Note - pre order accordingly, excessive unused pre orders will be left at the cabin and not flown out with you. They will be used by later groups. We will not buy back pre ordered items.
NO coolers 94 quart or larger will be flown in due to size of the cooler. Coolers should not exceed 48 quart size and Yeti (or Yeti type coolers are very heavy). If you can NOT carry it by yourself, we will not fly it. The pilot must load and unload the aircraft himself. You do not need multiple large coolers while at the lake, the chest freezers and fridge/freezers work excellent and are already there for your convenience!
If you have done these type of trips and have items that you never use, please do not bring them again "just in case", adjust your list. Nothing is more frustrating for a pilot than to haul stuff in and haul it out from the lakes and it never gets used (especially year after year).
If you have any questions on what is provided at the cabins, contact us and we can go over all the different items we supply to help with your packing and for your convenience.
6) "Do we need a depth finder?"
Portable fish locators are very helpful. It helps to find the structure of the lake for depth, break lines, weed beds, reefs, etc. Marker buoys are also very helpful.
7) Emergency communications?
All customers going on a fly in trip are supplied with satellite phone free of charge. There is a $3.00 per minute charge for all calls other than calls relating to broken equipment or emergencies to us.
8) Beer, Liquor, & Cigarettes
Each person of legal age (19 in Ontario) is allowed to bring 1 case of beer (24Pk) or 1 40oz bottle of liquor and 1 carton of cigarettes in to Canada duty free. You can bring additional amounts into Canada, but you will pay the duty on them.
Cannabis is legal in Canada. It is illegal to import cannabis into Canada. Cannabis can be purchased legally at government licensed outlets. Borderland Cannabis (1-807-277-WEED) is directly across from Canada Customs in Fort Frances and orders can be filled online or in store. Legal age for alcohol and cannabis in Ontario is 19.
10) Can you get our food for us ?
We do offer a modified food package for $40 per person per day. It covers everything that you need for breakfasts, diners, and fish fries other than snacks, beer, pop, or bottled water and does not count against your weight limit. If you are wanting a special food list of non perishable items gathered for you, notify us well in advance and we can do that as well and these items will not count against your weight limit. A current list is available on the fly in trip planner. If you are not taking our food package, you must supply your own fresh or perishable items. Any special orders (other than beer, pop, water, and/or bait) will have a 15% surcharge added for pick up. Ask for current rates on beer, pop, water, and/or bait.
There are also 2 large grocery stores in International Falls, MN if you prefer to get your own groceries. They have an excellent selection and offer great pricing and conveniently located close to the border. They have most everything you would want and are cheaper than buying groceries after you cross into Canada. This is a great option for those driving or flying commercially. The shuttle service is happy to wait while your group does your shopping. It is a good idea to already have a list made before you arrive. We highly recommend doing all your grocery shopping on the US side versus trying to get everything in Canada as many of the items you are used to are not available in Canada. Also, note if doing any shopping in Fort Frances you will not get any bags and will need to provide your own shopping bags, it is a city bylaw. If purchasing your groceries in Canada, we recommend Cloverleaf in Emo, very good selection and they will provide bags or boxes for purchase.
11) What personal items do we need to bring for our trip?
You will need to supply the following items -
garbage bags / toilet paper / dish soap / paper towels / dish towels / bath towels / pillow case / sleeping bag / first aid kit / camera / sense of humor /
We supply the following items -
life vests / seat cushions / boat safety kits / medium sized rubber landing nets / minnow buckets / leech lockers / pillows / great friendly service
12) What do we need to bring our guns into Canada?
A fee of $25.00 Canadian is required to complete this procedure; this confirmed declaration is valid for up to 60 days. Firearms Declaration Forms are available from Customs officers, Canadian Firearms Centre info line at
You will need to get a gun permit to bring your weapon or weapons across the border (HANDGUNS ARE NOT ALLOWED). If you do not do this prior to entry, you will have to do it at the border. This process takes about 20 minutes and is done by the Canadian Customs as you enter Canada. If you are bow hunting, you do not need the permit.
13) What if I have a criminal record?
If you have a criminal record, you may be inadmissible to Canada, even a D.U.I. may prevent travel to Canada. You can contact the Fort Frances Canadian Customs Immigration office at 807-274-3655 or 807-274-3815 for current rules and any questions concerning admissibility. There were new guidelines that have been implemented in 2012. These new guidelines make it easier and help when entering Canada if you only have a single offense. To verify any concerns about entry to Canada, please call the Fort Frances Canadian Customs office for more details. Be sure to disclose all information to them so they can better assess your situation and let you know how your case will be handled.
If you have further questions, don't hesitate to call or email us. We are here to help make sure that your trip goes as smooth as possible and that you have one of the best trips imaginable.
14) Hunting & Fishing Licenses
License are available at select local vendors such as Devlin's Corner Store in Devlin (located 1/2 way between Fort Frances and Emo) or Rainy Lake Sports in Fort Frances. If you have fished or hunted Ontario in recent years, remember to bring your Ontario Outdoors Card (looks similar to a credit card, bring this even if it is expired to speed up the process). If you forget this you will be required to purchase a new one.
Ask if you have any questions as to which license you need to purchase. Remember to purchase conservation fishing licenses when doing a fly in trip due to our NO FISH OUT of the lake policy and conservation limit rules. The conservation license allows you to eat fish at the lake and is the best value. You only need to purchase the 8 day conservation license unless you are able to make more than one trip. Be sure to enter the correct trip dates on time specific licenses.
Note: We will no longer have hunting or fishing licenses available at our base for the 2019 season. All licenses will need to be purchased online before arrival or at Rainy Lake Sports in Fort Frances or Devlins Corner Store in Devlin. Plan accordingly.
15) Final Payments and Credit Cards - 5% service charge when paying off balance
Final payments are due upon arrival in cash, cashiers checks, travelers checks or by credit card. We only accept Visa or Mastercard. When paying off the balance of your trip with a credit card a 5% service charge will be applied, be sure to contact your credit card company and let them know your travel plans and authorize purchases made in Canada. This will avoid delays and having to contact them while on your trip to authorize purchases.
Also, we have sent you a confirmation of your dates and lakes along with your total billing. If this is going to be split up between your party, please have it figured out as to how much each person owes before you arrive. If you have each person's share already agreed upon, that will help save time the morning of your flight.
NOTE: No personal checks will be accepted for final payment.
Deposits can be made by check or with a credit card. If mailing your deposit, please send to our US postal address to be received in a timely fashion and avoid being delayed at the border.
Gateway North Outfitters
1801 2nd Ave PMB 796
International Falls, MN 56649
Deposit of $500.00 per/person required for all fly in trips.
Deposits used can not exceed the number of guests in the group and are non refundable and non transferrable.
All cabins have a minimum size group requirement, if your party size does not meet the minimum group size, your group will still be responsible to pay for the minimum required group.
Many ask every year what is common for tipping. These are just suggestions and what is typical. A tip is not required, but appreciated if the services rendered are deserving.
Pilots - $10-$20 per person for trip
Dock hand - $10-20
Fishing & Hunting Guides - $50-$100 per day
18) Questions on floatplane safety and consumer commodities for passengers and operators
Transport Canada has set up a website focusing on floatplane safety. For additional information, click the link below.