The joy of fishing is something that many Canadians hold dear. There’s just something calming about being in a boat on a placid lake, with a nice beverage and a close friend or family member.

Shel Zolkewich, a consultant for Travel Manitoba, certainly believes there’s a power to the act of angling.

“Being in the boat and going fishing allows you some time to settle down.” Zolkewich says. “(It allows you) to have that break from our very busy lives, and maybe get to know your boat mate a little bit more. Or maybe spend some time … with somebody that you probably should be spending a little bit more time with.”

And after your time on the boat, there’s nothing more exciting than cooking your catch for lunch – just imagining the smell of a shore fish fry is enough to make the mouth water.

Fishing near Eagle Nest Lodge, on the Winnipeg River system.

Ford of Canada is a big fan of fishing and recently teamed with Travel Manitoba to take eight visiting magazine writers and bloggers on a three-day fishing trip to the remote and picturesque Eagle Nest Lodge.

Armed with an abundance of the Canadian backcountry’s fresh air, Manitoba really is blessed to have such natural beauty so near to its major urban centres.

Scavenger Hunt

Setting out on a hot, sunny morning from The Forks in Winnipeg, where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet, the trip provided a great chance to showcase the 2013 Explorer Sport’s ability to handle both urban traffic as well as highways and rural roads.

We were hosting writers from Chatelaine Magazine, Outdoor Canada Magazine, Toque and Canoe, Savoir Faire Abroad,,, along with Robin Esrock, author of the Great Canadian Bucket List. Writers were divided into teams of two and led on an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt from downtown Winnipeg to the float planes at Lac du Bonnet. Our goal for the morning was to put the SUVs through their paces.  

Our transportation to and from the lodge.

Teams used MyFord touch to navigate from the city to Birds Hill Provincial Park, Beausejour, Pinawa Dam Provincial Park and finally the Lac du Bonnet airport. In Beausejour, teams stopped to view the murals painted by renowned artist Leo Mol at the Roman Catholic Church. They stopped for lunch at Pinawa Dam, and had the chance to wander among the ruins of Manitoba’s first hydroelectric dam and participated in some dry land casting practice.

Teams eventually boarded a float plane and took a quick flight to Eagle Nest Lodge, which is nestled on the Winnipeg River system close to the Ontario border. The scenery was typical of Canadian Shield lake country, but so remote that the teams were often alone with the eagles and loons while fishing during the day. Beautiful waterfalls rushed to fill clear water creeks that were jumping with bass, walleye, pike and perch. It was quite a scene!

Do you have any cool fishing stories to share? What’s your largest catch? Let us know in the comments below! 

Don Enright, left, and Robin Esrock, middle, celebrate their catch.

One of the highlights of the trip was cooking up the catch at a fishing tradition – the shore lunch.