Heaven on Earth

Kississing Guest, August 2022

My first trip to Kississing Lake Lodge was in 1998 with my Dad. He wanted to go on an "once-in-a-lifetime" fly-in fishing trip in Canada. We went to several Sportsman's Shows in the winter of 1997-1998 looking for the right place. When he met Curt at the Minneapolis show, he decided that Kississing was the one. He didn't want to rough it and at Kississing there is no roughing it. It is first class all the way.

A Couple of Big Ones!

Dad and I ended up going on three more "once-in-a-lifetime" trips to Kississing (2003, 2008 and 2013) and every time we had great fishing, service, and food. During our first four trips we caught a combined 14 Master Angler northern pike.

Emily with one of her trophies!

Dad died last November and left some money to each of us kids. I decided to use some of that money to bring my two adult children on an "once-in-a-lifetime" trip to Kississing. They have both grown up fishing like I had, but had never caught truly large fish. They had seen the pictures and heard the stories over the years and were really excited for the trip.

For background, Emily had never caught a northern pike and had never been to Canada. Phil's largest fish ever was a 36" northern pike he caught while walleye fishing when he was about eight years old.

Being from Central MN we decided to drive to Winnipeg rather than fly. The border crossing went smoothly and so did finding the hotel. The only way it could be closer to the airport is if it was part of the airport. It cannot get more convenient than the Grand.

“Emily and I hooked big fish on the same cast at The Wall. Gabe could tell Emily had a BIG fish on and he knew that I had a good fish…”

The flight from Winnipeg to Flin Flon was nice and we each got our own row of seats which is always nice. I was amazed by the fact that everyone on the flight was going to the Lodge. In our previous trips we have never been on a flight with more than six others and twice we were the only ones going to the Lodge from Flin Flon. Since there were three of us, we were chosen/volunteered for the small float plane which was awesome. Landing in front of the lodge is always exciting.

Emily with one of her trophies!

On our first day of fishing we hit a bay on the West end of the lake. Emily's first cast she caught her first ever northern and it was a "luncher" as Earnest (our first guide) used to call them. Then Phil caught a luncher. Emily's second fish was a 41.5" northern and she was hooked for good.

During the trip, Emily ended up catching three Master Angler fish, 41.5" 42" and 42.5". Phil only caught one, but his was the largest at the lodge that week, a 43" monster and I caught a 41". We also had several doubles with one being really exciting. Emily and I hooked big fish on the same cast at The Wall. Gabe could tell Emily had a BIG fish on and he knew that I had a good fish. Twice I had mine at the boat ready to be netted, but Gabe was following Emily around the boat. On the third time, he scooped my fish and dumped it on the floor in one quick move and was right back at Emily's shoulder ready to get her fish. Hers was finally ready to come in and he scooped it up. It was a giant 42.5" with a huge head, and her 2nd trophy fish of the day (3rd of the trip).

Philip finally gets his trophy

Phil was feeling a little bummed because Emily and I had trophy fish and he hadn't yet. On the last day we were fishing what Gabe had named "Emily's Bay" because she caught her first two trophy fish and another 10 or so 35" to 38" fish in that bay. We were covering the bay and getting ready to leave because we had hit it hard and Phil said a couple more casts. On the very next cast he had a 43" monster hit and Gabe netted it on the first time to the boat. This fish didn't run like the others when it got close to the boat, but that was fine with all of us. Look at the smile on his face. At that point the trip was PERFECT. The kids had the time of their lives. The fishing was grand as always and everyone was going home with trophies, pictures and memories of an "once-in-a-lifetime" trip.

I'm pretty sure we will be back for another once-in-a-lifetime trip, hopefully soon!

Thanks for all you do.

PS: a couple of extras; Emily is allergic to dairy, which was communicated to the kitchen staff well before we arrived. Her meals were handled expertly! She has medication in case she has some dairy and not once while we were at the lodge did she have to take any and all of her food was as delicious as mine and Phil's.

Gabe has reached mythic status in our family (just as Earnest has). His expertise handling the boat and the fish. He made sure that all three of us were in position to catch fish by gently moving the boat so everyone had an opportunity to cast to the prime spots. When things got cold, he found new spots. He listened to old stories and of where Dad and I caught fish, and the next spot would be one of those old spots. His cleaning and cooking at shore lunch was perfect. His advice on lures and colors was always right on. I can't say enough good things about him. He was very subtle in his ways, and he is an expert at his craft!

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Ultimate Luxury Fly-In Fishing

Kississing Guest, July 2019

If you are looking to plan the luxury fishing trip of a lifetime, look no further than Kississing Lake Lodge. We went on a recent four-day trip to Kississing Lake Lodge looking to experience the five-star treatment for ourselves and had high hopes of catching new personal best trophy fish. To state it simply, we were not disappointed by one bit. Joining me on this adventure was HuntFishMB contributor Courtlyn Suszko and HuntFishMB hunting expert Keevin Erickson.

Amazing food

The food and service were nothing short of exemplary. Before we had even dropped a line in the water, we had already sat through an amazing supper and a hearty breakfast made to order. From the classic Canadian shore lunches to the scrumptious appetizers laid out in the lounge after a day on the water to the delicious 3-course supper menus, the cuisine was worth the price of admission alone.

Looking for the Big One!

Awesome guides

The first morning at the marina was full of excitement and anticipation. Numerous guides, dock hands, and anxious guests were buzzing about getting gear loaded onto their boats. We were introduced to our assigned guides Pat and Marcus. Veteran guide Pat took Courtlyn and I in the one boat while apprenticing guide Marcus took Keevin out on his. We were truly impressed with their attention to detail and effort to make our days on the water enjoyable and successful. By the end of the trip, our incredible hosts became our good friends.

The walleyes are always biting up here

Being mid-summer, our optimism was tempered somewhat by the typical slowdown in action that hot weather in July is notorious for. Those assumptions were quickly smashed after we arrived at the first spot targeting walleye. Shortly after dropping her jig and minnow combo down, Courtlyn excitedly set the hook on a chunky walleye. This was followed by dozens more with the average size around the 19 to 22-inch mark. We were able to hook into several fat 24-inchers with Courtlyn catching the longest one at 26-inches.

Eric Labaupa and Courtlyn Suszko with a pair of Walleye

Personal best northern pike

On day 2 we were extra focussed on hooking into some larger northern pike. Throughout the blistering heat of the day we were able to catch numerous mid-thirties fish. They were smashing everything from large spoons to topwater plugs to in-line spinners. We fished an area deep in the back of a pencil reed bay where I shortly lost my X-Rap to something huge. Drifting across a gap in the weeds Courtlyn suddenly set the hook on a fish that responded by peeling half of her line off the reel. After a valiant fight, Pat scooped up a massive 44-inch northern which surpassed Courtlyn’s previous personal best by a mile.

“Only minutes after arriving at a spot that had been producing well for Pat this year, Keevin’s rod buckled in half. All he could do was hang on as the fish made diving run after run away from the boat. The look on Keevin’s face once he got a good look at it in the clear water told us it was a good fish.”

HuntFishMB hunting expert Keevin Erickson with a Giant Lake Trout

Personal best lake trout

Not to be outdone, Keevin caught a new personal best himself on day 3. This time we were dropping heavy jigs into deep water for a shot at the giant lake trout that Kississing Lake is famous for. Only minutes after arriving at a spot that had been producing well for Pat this year, Keevin’s rod buckled in half. All he could do was hang on as the fish made diving run after run away from the boat. The look on Keevin’s face once he got a good look at it in the clear water told us it was a good fish. Measuring 36-inches, the Master Angler qualifying fish beat his previous personal best by a mile as well.

These story excerpts were taken from the HuntFishMB website. Read the full story and see more pictures from their trip here.

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A True 5-Star Fishing Lodge Experience

Kississing Guests, July 2021

Our four-day trip to Kississing Lake Lodge (KLL) was from July 8-12. My wife and I are not fishers, so this was a real departure for us in terms of taking a trip like this. The all-inclusive package was won as part of a fundraising effort for the Air Cadet League of Manitoba, and while it was the second prize of 4 offered, I truly believe that this was one occasion that I did not mind coming in second!

Gilderman Group Member with Giant Pike Ready for Shore Lunch Wings Over Kissing Flyby

“The view as we taxied/floated into the dock had us all peering out to marvel at the glorious sight that is the main lodge, perched majestically above the lakefront.”

Big Pike

Communication with the booking staff at KLL was via email and any questions we had on what to expect were handled easily and with great efficiency. This is a family-run business and I expect everyone involved understands the importance of providing great customer service.

Upon arrival at Flin-Flon, we were met by the van and driver to whisk us away to the Kississing Lake Lodge floatplane base where we were divided up into 2 groups, each taking a De Havilland Beaver floatplane for the short 20-minute flight to the lodge.

The view as we taxied/floated into the dock had us all peering out to marvel at the glorious sight that is the main lodge, perched majestically above the lakefront. The stone front of the 20-foot fireplace was a nice contrast to the dark-stained logs of the building.

Once off the plane, we were met by an enthusiastic member of their team who showed us up to the lounge area where we casually registered for our stay while our bags were taken to each respective cabin.

Coffee is brought to the cabin each morning at 6:30 a.m. by one of the young ladies, and always with a big smile. A full breakfast is offered between 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. and by full, I mean that there is lots of food to keep you well fed till lunch.

Our guide, Junior, has been taking guests out onto the water for several years and knew the lake like the back of his hand. Good thing too, as we no sooner turned the corner of the island after leaving the dock and I was instantly lost. After traveling about 30 minutes we stopped for our first crack at some Walleye, and it did not disappoint. We soon had several 20” or larger fish in the live well and were guaranteed a great shore lunch.

Big Pike

Shore lunch is taken each day at different locations on various parts of the lake and is handled very efficiently by a propane stove and large frypan to deep fry not only the potatoes, but also the lightly battered fish. If I were to suggest that this was likely the best fish and chips on the planet, you would have a hard time convincing me otherwise! Nothing better than freshly caught fish cooked perfectly, a full plate with French fries and a side of corn and beans (and quite possibly a cool beverage of choice from the stocked cooler). After about a 1.5 hours we were back on the boat to try for some Northern Pike. And again our guide knew where to take us. I think my wife reeled in the first of several 30” plus fish with my best of the 4 days being 37”. And boy do they put up a fight.

Suppers were a one-menu offering ranging from spaghetti and meatballs to steak and baked potatoes, all with a salad to start, fresh homemade bread, and a dessert to finish. These meals were all home-cooked and wonderfully prepared.

On the final day, it was again the routine of up early, breakfast, and out to meet our guide. However, we were advised we would be returning a bit early to check out, have a light mid-afternoon lunch, and then on the floatplane for the return. It hardly seemed possible that 4 days had passed so quickly.

I have no other fishing lodges to compare to, but really there is no need to look any further than Kississing Lake Lodge. They offer remote fly-in fishing to a few other lakes a short distance away and I heard the fishing was nothing short of spectacular. The staff was all wonderful and you were made to feel right at home from the moment you first arrived. Thanks to everyone we met for the excellent time we had.

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Steve Paulson with a Walleye Steve Paulson with a Huge Lake Trout Family of Loons on the Lake

A Truly World-Class Experience

Kississing Guest, June 2020

Having fished extensively throughout North America, I can confidently share that an excursion to Kississing Lake Lodge in Northern Manitoba is a world class experience. Whether you book an adventure trip to one of their outpost camps, or a five-star stay at the lodge, you are sure to enjoy incredible fishing (possibly a Master Angler or two…), delicious food, breathtaking scenery and warm hospitality.

That’s why we were thrilled to have the opportunity to return this past summer with a weeklong stay at the main lodge. Our days were spent in the boat under the expertise of guide John Patterson, who helped prepare delicious shore lunches from our catches of the day. Back at the lodge we enjoyed downtime in the dining hall, where Carmen served up filling breakfasts and dinners, and at our cabin which was cleaned daily. Overall, we had another memorable trip at Kississing and look forward to coming back. Thanks for treating us like family!

“Our days were spent in the boat under the expertise of guide John Patterson, who helped prepare delicious shore lunches from our catches of the day.”

Steve Paulson Group Members with a Walleye
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Fly Fishing at Kississing Lake Lodge

Kississing Guest, June 2019

In 2013, my fly fishing partner and I were looking for a place in Canada where we could catch northern pike on our fly rod. We are both accomplished fly fishermen, and have been fly fishing for multiple species for the past 30 years. I had fly fished for pike in Northeast Saskatchewan several years earlier and was very successful.

Ric McNulty Group Member with Giant Pike Ric McNulty Group Member with Giant Pike Ric McNulty with two Giant Pike Ric McNulty with two Giant Pike

I found Kississing’s web site and proceeded to investigate the fly fishing possibilities at Kississing Lake. Unfortunately, the staff and the guides at Kississing Lake Lodge could not give me much guidance. Apparently fly fishing for northern pike was an “unknown” for them. After doing more research we ultimately decided to take a chance and give Kississing Lake Lodge a try. We booked our first trip in June 2014, and have been back every year since then.

June 2020, will be our 7th trip to KLL, and our group has grown to 20 fishermen. We have seen a lot of changes at the lodge in those 7 years. The staff at KLL is as friendly and accommodating as always, and several improvements have been made to the cabins by introducing queen size beds and larger showers.

And did I mention the food? Not bad for a lodge in the middle of a lake in remote Manitoba, Canada.

I highly recommend Kississing Lake Lodge as a fly fishing destination. The fish are aggressive, and will definitely “take” a fly. The guides are more understanding of the fly fishing concept, having dealt with my groups the past seven years. Last year I even gave my guide Billy his first fly rod.

Fly fishermen beware: this can become addictive!

“I highly recommend Kississing Lake Lodge as a fly fishing destination. The fish are aggressive, and will definitely “take” a fly.”

Ric McNulty Group Members with two Giant Pike
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