TWS Conference: “Unbelievable” Experience at Sasaginnigak

By Joshua Rapp Learn

Sasaginnigak Lodge The only way to reach Sasaginnigak Lodge is by semi-aquatic plane.
Image courtesy of Sasaginnigak Lodge

All registered attendees for the 2015 TWS Annual Conference will be automatically entered into a draw for a 2016 fly-in fishing trip for two at Sasaginnigak Lodge, compliments of the lodge and Travel Manitoba. The trip includes the roundtrip charter flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba, stay in the lodge, access to boats and fishing equipment. The draw will take place at the conference.

Finding your own corner of the world is a luxury not many of us can experience. But in the boundless lake country around Sasaginnigak Lodge, it’s tough not to find your own water to fish in.

Sasaginnigak Lodge

Fish and wildlife like this bald eagle abound at Sasaginnigak Lodge.
Image Credit: Bonnie Danard

“It’s unbelievable knowing that you’re somewhere that not many people have ever seen,” said Bill Tuttle, a 62-year-old retired banker from south of Minneapolis, of the remote lodge in the middle of Atikaki Provincial Park in eastern Manitoba.

Though Tuttle loves the fishing opportunities offered in the area, it may be the banker who has been well-hooked: he’s visited the lodge 15 times in the last 17 years.

“The fishing was just superb for walleye and for pike,” he said. “There’s so much water.”

He started bringing his son when he was only eight and the boy managed to catch a 30.5-inch walleye (Sander vitreus) last year at 17. But the massive fish wasn’t a lucky catch — Tuttle said his son caught a 40-inch northern pike (Esox lucius) three years ago as well as a number of other huge fish.

Atikaki Provincial Park

The area around the lodge, located in Atikaki Provincial Park, Manitoba, is dotted with numerous lakes.
Image Credit: Karmen Johnson

Tuttle said it’s common not to see any other humans in a whole day of fishing — and during the summer a day can last from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. But this doesn’t mean they are the only other individuals around. Tuttle has seen black bears (Ursus americanus) 20-30 yards away and a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) swimming between islands in the watery landscape from his boat. They tried to catch up to the latter, but found the animal could swim almost as fast as the small boat could go. He’s also seen plenty of beavers (genus Castor), bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and moose (Alces alces).

There’s only one way in, and it involves a small airplane that takes off from Winnipeg and lands in the middle of a lake at the lodge. Guests will have to bring in their own food for the stay — or pull it directly from the lake. Lodge staff and guides will be around to provide bait, take care of the boats and clean the cabins.

Learn more about the educational and professional networking opportunities available to you at this year’s Annual Conference at our conference website. To learn about the other conference draw opportunity, check out our article on the Lodge at Little Duck.

Joshua LearnJoshua Rapp Learn is a science writer at The Wildlife Society.

Read more of Joshua's articles.