Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
On this page you'll find information relating to the most common questions that we receive. If you can't find an answer to a question you have, feel free to get in contact with us. When you book a trip with us, we'll send out an information packet that covers in more detail various aspects of your trip that may not be fully covered here.
- What species of fish do you have?
- When is the best time of the year to come?
- Can I take any fish home?
- What can I do when I catch a trophy?
- Should I get a guide when I come to the lodge?
- Where is Dogskin located?
- How do I get there?
- Can I fly commercially?
- Can I fly my own airplane?
- What local hotels do you recommend ?
- What is the Atikaki Provincial Park?
- What time do guests fly into the lodge or outposts?
- Who flies your guests?
- What type of airplanes do guests fly in?
- Do you own a camp airplane?
- Is crossing the border easy?
- Can kids cross with only one parent or no parents?
- What documents do I need?
- What are the weight limitations?
- What fishing gear should I bring?
- What clothing should I bring?
- What additional items do I need for the outposts?
- What documents do I need?
- How do I pack?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- What is your outpost rebooking policy?
- What is your liability and responsibility policy?
Booking a Trip
How do I book a trip?
Booking a trip with us is very simple. Call us at 888-DOGSKIN (888-364-7546) or visit our contact page for more options to to get your trip started. Since we work with every group to organize a trip that best fits their needs, we do not have an impersonal online booking page. Together we can get dates which work for your group. From there all we require is a $300/person deposit which holds the dates for your group.
Can I request specific dates?
At our American plan lodge, we do not have a fixed flight schedule. We are able to generally get within a day or two of your requested days as long as space and flights are available. Our outpost trips are generally from Saturday to Saturday, with 3 and 4 night trips optional between Saturdays. If you're group has specific travel requirements, simply give us a call and we'll do our best to work with you.
What sets Dogskin apart?
There are many aspects which sets us apart from other fishing destinations. First, we have some spectacular fisheries. If you are truly looking for some spectacular walleye or northern pike fishing you will not be disappointed. Secondly, we do not attempt to operate a country-club style resort. Dogskin Lake Lodge and our Outposts are modern fishing camps for families and serious fishermen alike. We do not have shuffleboard or video games …we do have great fishing, top-notch accommodations and an exemplary staff with attention to detail who go above and beyond in customer service. Third, we don’t make promises or statements which we cannot fulfill. This is a testament to our repeat guest rate. Lastly, the people you talk to on the telephone, at a sport show, or via email are the same people you will shake hands with when you take your first step on our dock. We believe in hands-on ownership and value the relationship which forms by doing business this way. These are just a few aspects - to appreciate more allow us the opportunity to host your next trip to Canada.
Who Owns and Operates Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts?
Brothers Shad and Jamie Torgerson, along with their families own and operate Dogskin Lake Lodge & Outposts. You will notice a Midwestern flair to just about everything they do as they were born and raised in northern Wisconsin and have hunted and fished all their lives. Shad holds a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University and has been involved in various aspects of aircraft design and flight testing before coming to Dogskin. Jamie graduated from the University of Michigan and has degrees in financial planning and hospitality management. For the last 18 years Dogskin has been owned and operated by the same family, so you can expect their wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to offer you the best fishing trips possible.
What species of fish do you have?
The lakes at our lodge and outposts contain a great combination of walleye and northern pike. In addition, the angler may catch other species of fish such as jumbo perch, burbot, whitefish or sucker. Each year our guests catch and release a large number of Master Angler walleye and pike. In Manitoba, a Master Angler walleye is 28" (10 pound class) and a Master Angler pike is 41" (20 pound class). Other Provinces use much smaller sizes for their Master Angler programs.
When is the best time of the year to come?
There is no bad time to fish in these waters. Weather and depth of fishing do change, however. From our opening in mid-May through late June the walleyes are aggressive and in the shallows. The pike also tend to be in the shallower waters and stack up by rapids and other moving water. The weather can be unpredictable and cooler, but usually by the first week in June the temperatures are in the 70s. As the summer goes on, the walleyes move out into the main parts of the lakes and frequent humps, sunken islands and other structure. The pike can be found along and in the weed beds. Generally the fishing will be deeper than in the spring and fall this time of year. As the temperatures fall and days become shorter in the fall, the fish begin to come back to the shallower parts of the lake. Fall is a great time for fishing as well as seeing the colors and moose and bear. The nights are cooler, which is great for sleeping, while the days tend to be comfortable still. We catch Master Angler walleyes (28” and larger) consistently throughout the season while the best time for huge pike is mid-May through the end of June, and then again in the fall. We land many in July and August, but they tend to be deeper and a little more difficult to find when compared to early on in May and June and then again in September.
Can I take fish home?
All of our lakes are “Catch and Consume” meaning you can catch fish for shore lunch each day, but other than those you eat no fish are allowed to be taken home. This policy has been into effect since 1995 and initially was intended only to protect the superb fisheries we operated on. Much to our surprise, this policy has actually enhanced the fisheries and guests who have fished these lakes for 30+ years have commented on how the average size of our fish has increased in the last 8 years or so.
What can I do when I catch a trophy?
Practice CPR - Catch, Photo, Release
Handle the fish with care and snap a few good pictures. Measure the length and girth of the fish and note any special features. Place the fish back in the water and pat yourself on the back. We can then assist you in ordering a graphite replica for you to hang on the wall. There are many taxidermists who specialize in this process and you will be very happy with the results.
Should I get a fishing guide when I come to the lodge?
Guides are optional for trips to the lodge. While many of our groups prefer to fish on their own, quite a few will take a guide out for some or all of their trip. The fishing is not difficult, but if you have never been to our lodge before, a guide can get you on the fish fast and teach you some of the techniques that work well. In addition,the guide can take your around the lake and fish a variety of spots so that you have a better idea of what's available. A popular option is to take a guide out for your first 1/2 day at the Lodge. This allows you to get a quick overview of a few fishing spots and also makes sure you arrive at your first shorelunch on time!
Where is Dogskin located?
Dogskin is conveniently located closer than most potential guests realize. We are 180 miles northeast from Winnipeg, Manitoba and 78 miles northwest of Red Lake, Ontario. Even though we are extremely easy to get to there are no roads anywhere near us, with the closest civilization 50 miles away in Bissett, Manitoba.
Driving to our floatplane base in Silver Falls, Manitoba is quite easy as it is just 25 minutes off a four-lane interstate highway. Our guests who fly commercially can fly into Winnipeg International Airport where a rental car or shuttle can be arranged to transport your group to the floatplane base
How do I get there?
If you are traveling from the United States, you have several options to get to the float plane base. The best option is to take I-29 out of Fargo and come into Canada at the Pembina Crossing. At Pembina, I-29 becomes Highway #75 and will take you into Winnipeg. Options exist to travel through International Falls/Fort Frances, but travel times are slightly longer and the driving is much more work due to the conditions of the roads.
Once you get to the South side of Winnipeg you will need to travel around the East side of the city on the Perimeter Highway, #100. Take #100 East for about 25 minutes and continue until you reach highway #59 North. Take Hwy #59 North for approximately 45 minutes at which time you will turn right, East on Hwy #304. Once on #304 you will travel until you reach Hwy #11. If you are staying at the Papertown, it will be located on the left just before your reach #11. To reach the floatplane base, turn right on #11 and travel about 10 minutes. You will see the Blue Water Aviation Float Base on the left (East) side of the Highway. Your adventure begins here.
Can I fly Commercially?
Winnipeg International Airport is just over 1 hour from our floatplane base. Guests need to fly into Winnipeg the day prior to their scheduled arrival at Dogskin Lake Lodge & Outposts. From the airport, you have the option to either rent a car or have us arrange a shuttle which can bring you to a local hotel which is just 5 minutes from the floatplane base. The hotel will provide a complementary shuttle for your early morning floatplane flight to Dogskin.
Can I fly my own airplane?
Yes you can! Whether you're on wheels or floats, homebuilt or corporate jet, we have several options for our guests to personally fly North of the border. Floatplanes can fly direct to the lodge, while land-bound planes can either fly right to our floatplane base in Silver Falls, Manitoba, or one of the other local airports. For more information, see our pilot's page.
What local hotels do you recommend?
Your group can overnight at one of several locations before you fly into the lodge or outposts. The following table lists recommended places. For convenience, many of our guests stay at the Papertown Motor Inn in Powerview.
Radisson Suite Hotel
Holiday Inn Airport West
Howard Johnson Airport
Lac du Bonnet
Lakeview Hotel (~$48 CDN + tax)
Drifters Motel (~$69 CDN + tax)
Rivers Edge Bed & Breakfast
Glen Howard Inn (~$69 CDN + tax)
Papertown Motor Inn ($73 CDN + tax)
Pfisher Bed & Breakfast
(all listed rates are approximate and subject to change)
What is the Atikaki Provincial Park?
The Atikaki Provincial Park is a wilderness park, Manitoba's first ever created. This means that there are no roads, logging areas, or major developments in the park. It is located east of Lake Winnipeg, along the Ontario border in the Canadian Shield region. Most of the water flows east to Lake Winnipeg, and the lakes and rivers are warmer than most cold rivers that flow from mountain streams.
The Atikaki is home to wildlife such as moose, elk, black bears, loons, bald eagles, woodland caribou, and other creatures of the boreal forest. It is well known for its beautiful waterways, and is a popular destination for an adventurous canoe trip.
Dogskin is one of the few lodges inside the Atikaki. Being inside the park places strict regulations on what we can and cannot do, but it all results in a very well protected wilderness that will remain the same for generations to come.
Airplanes and Flying
What time do guests fly into the lodge or outposts?
Guests will fly into both the lodge and the outposts in the mornings. Generally flights will leave the floatplane base at 6am, 8am, or 10am. Those flying into Winnipeg commercially need to arrive in Winnipeg the day prior to their scheduled arrival at Dogskin Lake Lodge & Outposts.
Guests coming back from their fishing locations will be back at the base at 7am, 9am, or 11am. Commercial flights should not be booked before 2pm in case of weather delays.
Who flies your guests?
We hire commercial flying services to handle our flying. Since 1997 we have used Bluewater Aviation in Silver Falls to handle our commercial flying needs. They are safe, use the best equipment, and know the fly-in business better than most. They are also a licensed maintenance company (Winnipeg River Aircraft).
What type of airplanes do guests fly in?
Bluewater Aviation has a fleet which consists of Turbine Otters, Polish Otters, Beavers, and a Cessna 185.
Do you own a camp plane?
We own and operate a Cessna 206 which is based at our lodge. This aircraft allows us to greet our outpost guests, provide midweek camp checks, properly maintain our facilities and allows us to give your group the best and safest fly-in trip possible.
What kind of weather can I expect?
Average High and Low Temps (Deg F)
Our weather exhibits the same personality as it does in much of the Midwest. Normal highs and lows are slightly cooler on average. In mid-May there is a small chance of snow and cool weather, but you also see many days in the 60's and 70's. The end of July and August exhibit the most consistent weather, with warm highs and mild lows.
How are the bugs?
The bugs that we have vary by season, of course. In spring you may find the no-see-ums, and later on the black flies and mosquitoes. They do not pose much of a problem out fishing. Occasionally you'll find them annoying during shore lunch or after dark in the camp. Fortunately, we try to keep our cabins fairly bug-proofed in case they are out during your stay.
Can kids catch fish at Dogskin?
Fishing at Dogskin is quite amazing and kids have no problem catching fish. That is one reason why we host so many families and children each year. Couple this with fine accommodations and a friendly and helpful staff and you will see why kids are an integral part of our business. Let’s face it. If you bring your son or daughter with you on your next trip to Dogskin, you will create a fishing partner for life!
Don't kids get bored after a day in the bush?
The fishing and boating keep most children occupied for the better part of the day. The fishing is truly amazing and will soon turn many kids into avid fisherman. In addition to being out on the boat, there are hiking trails on the island, historic trapper’s cabins to view, and ancient indian pictographs to visit. There is plenty of room in your private accommodations and our lodge to let the kids stretch their legs or to play a good game of cards. But most of the time is spent fishing and on the water as we are a fishing camp first and foremost.
Crossing The Border
Is crossing the border easy?
It usually is. Having proper documents (passports) for everyone and answering the border crossing agent’s questions truthfully is normally all that is takes to cross the border easily and efficiently. Be aware of the amounts of alcohol and tobacco allowed and declare any other items which will stay in Canada.
Can kids cross the border with only one parent or no parents?
If a child under 18 will be traveling to Canada, he/she will need a signed and notarized letter from both parents (if one parent is with the child a signed and notarized letter from the parent not accompanying the child) stating your authorization of the travel.
What travel documents do I need?
For those guests flying across the border into Canada (commercial or private) for the 2007 season, a passport is required. For those who will be driving into Canada you will need a passport beginning in 2008. Until then a copy of the birth certificate and a photo ID or drivers license is required.
NOTE: If you have been convicted of a crime or have a DUI on record, you may need a Minister’s Pardon or Minister’s Approval of Rehabilitation to ensure entry into Canada. If you have any questions you can contact Lucy Perillo of Canada Border Crossing Services in Winnipeg. Lucy specializes in helping Americans who have blemishes on their record gain entry into Canada. You will need to start this process early as it can take several weeks or longer to gain the required approval. Note that this isn't strictly required in all cases, but it does take any chance out of crossing the border in some cases.
Packing For Your Adventure
The following lists some of the main items you should bring on your trip.
What are the weight limitations?
Each individual is allowed 80 pounds of gear for trips to the lodge and 100 pounds for outpost trips. If your group exceeds the allowable weight limits, some gear may be held at the docks and brought in at a later time, with an overweight charge of $1/pound applied.
What fishing gear should I bring?
Fishing Dogskin’s lakes involves jigging, trolling, and casting. We recommend medium-light to medium-heavy equipment, depending upon the species you are fishing for.
For Walleyes we recommend 6-8 lb. test line on a 5’10” - 6’6”medium-light rod. This can be equipped with either an open-faced spinning reel or a casting reel. You can purchase salted minnows, leeches and night crawlers from most bait shops in Canada or from our store. ¼ - ½ oz. jigs are the most popular baits. The key is to feel the bottom. Florescent colors work well. In the spring and fall, crank baits such as Rapalas and Storm Thundersticks are great!
We recommend a 6’ - 7’ medium-heavy rod with 17 lb. Test line for Northern Pike fishing. ½ - ¾ oz. spoons are common baits (Dare Devils, Little Cleos, Silver Minnows, Doctor Spoons) Bring a variety of baits, shiny types to put off a flash on sunny days (gold, copper, silver) and bright types for the darker days (5 of diamonds, red & white, chartreuse, florescent colors). Mepps spinners, Bucktails, Rapalas and Storm Thundersticks are also recommended. When the Pike are aggressive, bigger baits are sometimes better! Early Spring and Fall bring shallow running baits while, during the summer, resort to suspending and deeper diving lures. Use a quality steel leader (9”-12”) to prevent cut offs.
The following is a general equipment checklist:
What clothing should I bring?
The weather in Eastern Manitoba is similar to that in much of the Midwest United States. The best suggestion is to dress in layers as the weather can change throughout the day. Quality raingear is a must because you don't want to sit out a day of great fishing because you get a little wet.
Some items to think about:
What additional items do I need for the outposts?
The only additional items our outpost guests need to bring are your food, cleaning supplies, sleeping bags or linens and pillows. If you plan to purchase your groceries in Canada before you fly in, we recommend that you purchase and pack them the day prior to your flight into the outpost. Food must be placed in coolers, action packs or cardboard boxes. Do not pack your food in shopping bags. You can drop off your food and gear at Bluewater Aviation the day before your departure if you would like. Cooler and freezer space are available if needed.
If you would like to avoid he hassle of planning, purchasing and packing your food, Dogskin can prepare a complete custom food package for your group. This high quality package is ready to be flown in with your group when you head to the outpost. Keep in mind that all of your food does get included in your weight allowance of 100 pounds per person.
What documents and other items do I need?
How do I pack?
Rod Cases are to be used whenever possible. Rods with tackle attached will not be allowed on the aircraft due to risk of personal injury. Transporting of alcohol is permitted, but consumption thereof is not allowed while in the Aircraft. Please do not bring glass bottles.
The size of individual pieces of luggage should not be too large. You will find it more convenient to pack three small bags as opposed to one large. If you are unable to handle your bags with ease it is certainly too large.
What is your cancellation policy?
Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts has one of the most generous cancellation policies in part because we have fantastic and courteous clients. We understand that events may require you to cancel or reschedule your trip. If you are unable to make your trip for any reason, we will refund all money paid, less our $300/person deposit. The retained deposit may be applied to another trip in the same or the following year. If you must cancel or reschedule your trip, please contact us as soon as possible so that we may minimize the impact on the schedules.
What is your outpost rebooking policy?
Our outpost lakes are very popular and we carry a waiting list for particular times of the year. Our policy is to allow current guests the opportunity to rebook their dates the following year before we allow new guests to take their dates. However, there are situations where we are not able to fulfill this due to reasons such as some groups taking trips every other year, trips booked for future years, and schedule conflicts. We encourage our current guests to contact us as soon as possible after their trip to rebook their trip their trip the following year. We try to get in contact with everyone, but if we do not hear back by Sept 1, we will consider the dates open.
What is your liability and responsibility policy?
Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts makes every effort to serve our guests, but we will assume no responsibility or liability for any hazard of any kind associated with these trips. Neither is any obligation nor responsibility assumed for any political, meteorological, or climactic or any other event, or the service of transportation companies, contractors, or other principles for which Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts act as agents.
We will assume no responsibility for additional trip costs or delays due to weather, mechanical failures or other unforeseen events. We assume no responsibility for missing, unlabeled/mislabeled or damaged luggage. Left behind luggage/tackle will be shipped back at the owner's expense. Guests are responsible for equipment under their care.
While information about our guests is essential to the service we provide at Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts, our most important asset is the trust of our guests and clients. Keeping guest and client information secure is a top priority for all of us. This policy discloses what information we may gather, how we may use it, and how to correct or change it. We want you to feel confident that you have as much control as possible over your privacy in regard to your information and the they way we may use it.
What information is collected?
We will limit the collection and use of your information to the minimum we require to provide quality service, which includes advising you about our services and opportunities.
The kinds of information we collect from you will vary, depending on how you use our web site. It is possible to browse our site without submitting any personally identifiable information at all, but if you choose to take advantage of our message board, you may be asked to provide your real name, e-mail address, phone number and address.
Automatically Gathered Data: Some information is public by design of the Internet and operating systems, such as your computer’s IP address, the kind of browser you’re using and a record of your navigation through our site. We may utilize this information to understand how to make our site convenient and useful to our audience.
With whom does Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts share my information?
We will permit only authorized employees and associates, who are trained in the proper handling of customer information, to have access to your information.
We will not reveal your information to any external organization unless: 1) Your information is required to execute the plans of a trip that you have booked with Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts, or 2) we have previously informed you in disclosures or agreements, or have been authorized by you.
We will maintain control over the security of your information and we will not sell, or otherwise misuse that information, nor make unauthorized referrals to external organizations.
How can you control the usage of information?
In case you change your mind or some information changes (such as your address, phone number or e-mail address), we will endeavor to provide a way to correct, update or remove the personal data you give us. Additionally, to keep you in control of the communications directed to you, we offer guests and clients the opportunity to “op out” having a representative of Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts reply. If a guest or client wishes to update information or objects to any usage provided herein for any reason, he/she may mail the requested change by contacting us via one of the methods listed on our contact page. Depending upon the information at issue, the customer may have to restrict all usage, rather than specifying only certain instances where the information should be restricted.
Is my information secure from others using the Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts web site?
We exercise great care in providing secure transmission of your information from your PC to our server. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can guarantee to be 100% secure. Dogskin Lake Lodge and Outposts can’t ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or from our online products or services, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive the information we use industry standard efforts to safeguard the confidentiality of your information.
Your acceptance of these terms
How To Contact Us
Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies, please contact us. Contact information can be found on this page.
We wanted to write and personally thank the entire Dogskin staff for the great time you helped us have at your lodge. Your accommodations, the food, the resources, the atmosphere and the service were all exquisite. Both of us were teary-eyed when our plane left the dock because we felt like we were leaving recently-made good friends who really knew how to make people feel at ease and comfortable.
D. & R. McCormick, IL