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“Father/son bear hunt and fishing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge

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Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge
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Highway 560 West, Elk Lake, Ontario P0J 1G0, Canada   |  
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Saint Thomas, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Father/son bear hunt and fishing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

My son and I went up for a weeks adventure starting Aug 18 to 25,2012. We got in about 5pm Saturday night promptly greeted by a smiling Melissa coming out of the kitchen,welcoming us to the lodge. Right behind her was Tony,hand outstretched,welcoming us and stated that he was just about to put the steaks on the BBQ and asked us how we would like ours prepared. We were escorted to our table, served our beverages followed closely by our perfectly cooked medium-rare tender and juicy steaks!
After dinner we were taken to our cottage and given the lowdown on the lodge.
Next morning back at the dining area for ham and eggs, toast with homemade wild blueberry jam,fruit cup and all the coffee and orange juice we wanted.
Next was the lowdown on the boat and a quick fishing of the main lake at the cottage edge,then back to go out for our first night's hunt where we had two bears show themselves.
One mature bear that didn't provide us with a bow shot and then a second bear which we identified as a year and a half old,we did not not take this youngster and he returned to visit us on two more evenings. Although we did not have a "shooter" bear commit to the bait,we did on two separate nights have a bear or bears huffing and clicking their teeth behind us but out of sight,they must have sensed something was up.
Each night on the stand we saw ruffed grouse, a snowshoe hare,countless chipmunks,squirrels and a variety of birds.
Over the week we caught about 30 smallies,4 pike and 4 brookies(a first for both of us). Of course more than half our time was in the bear stand. Gary our bear guide Tony's right hand man was exceptional, he and Tony custom built a stand arrangement specifically for our hunt and even made modifications to it as requested by me the first day!
Tony even cleaned the few fish we kept, I was impressed with his commitment to the resource and we were more than happy to practice catch and release.
This was a great holiday and neither my son or I were ready to leave at the end of our week!
Kudos to the staff at Lost Lake Lodge! WE WILL BE BACK!!
Thanks Again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
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  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

I have just returned from a week at Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge and was curious to see how others rated their experience. Let me preface this by saying that for me and my cousin, this was our 4th trip to the Lodge in the last 3 years (longest stay yet) and definitely the best. I stayed under the previous ownership on my first occasion and let me say that the camp has been literally transformed since Tony and Melissa have taken over.
A few of the changes I've seen :
1.All new modern 4 stroke motors have replaced the old ones on the remote lakes. This was a huge improvement as before the old motors would break down or be hard to start - and gave you little confidence in going to the remote lakes. A bonus is the fuel tanks are now smaller and lighter for the portages.
2.Cabins have been upgraded with new Appliances (key for us as we do our own cooking for the week)
3.New docks put in on some of the remote Lakes.
4. New Camp Mgr Gary. This man was great to us..always pleasantly addressing us by our first names each morning and while driving us to one of the remote Lakes would give us tips and tactics and locations we should try. He said he is a veteran and former owner of a Lodge himself so obviously has the experience to a run a successful camp.
5. Personal Sat. TV in each cabin (hey we all like modern comforts)
6. And most important IMO - there feels like a general change in attitude and feel at the camp. In chatting with the new owners you get the sense they have big plans for this place. They are constantly upgrading or planning to upgrade anything and everything!
As for some of the negative reviews below, I simply can't see how these people stayed at the same place! I have found Tony and Melissa to be totally straight up and accommodating about everything, even before we arrived. I called Tony a few times this summer weeks before our arrival to ask about the fishing. He would straight up say "oh its been off this week or things have been slow the last few days etc.", no hidden agendas or wild claims. As for some of the claims I read below..well I'm not sure what Lakes he was fishing or his expectations that fish in the North will just be jumping in your boat - but the two of us netted over 70 fish (8 or 10 in near trophy size) in 6 days (with terrible cold front conditions the first 4 days) just by simply doing some research on tactics, locations etc and chatting with Tony and others in camp...and we only fish about three times a year so we're far from pros here. Name me a camp/business that wouldn't put pics of their big fish on their website??!!
As for conservation policies, I agree that If they are changing directions - they should post some numbers/policies up front- and I"m sure Tony will be doing this seeing the review below...but we never had an issue or saw anyone else in camp abuse general common sense in keeping fish. The owner actually cleaned a few of our fish for us. We kept 3 trout, 3 bass, 2 pike and 2 pickerel the entire week and ate 90% of that in camp..seems reasonable to me.
I think most guests would agree that keeping the lakes from over-fishing will be in everyone's best interests.
In closing I wanted to write this review to make sure people see what I think is reflective of most peoples experiences at this Lodge. I have a feeling that in a few years this camp will be even more amazing as the owners and staff seem to have so much pride in their camp.
Royston

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

I had spent many hours researching lodges all across Ontario looking for a place to go for my first black bear hunt. I wanted to find a place that would have reasonable rates, an honest commitment to the success of my hunt, a good place to stay for my lodging, and above and beyond customer service.
Let me tell you...THIS IS THE PLACE to go in Ontario!!!
The owners Tony and Melissa are the most kind, genuine people you will ever meet that bend over backwards at your every request. They have an overflowing passion to make every person coming through their doors as happy as humanly possible.

My hunt started immediately upon arrival to the camp on Saturday as Tony and Gary (my bear hunting guide) franticly prepared every single important detail before heading out to the woods.

I have to give a HUGE bit of recognition to my awesome guide Gary! I was told that I was his 127th (or there-abouts?) successfull bear hunt kill in his lifetime. Gary is the experienced guide that every hunter hopes they have when going on a big hunt of a lifetime. From start to finish, Gary made my hunt an easy and fun experience. All of his hard work was greatly appreciated! THANKS AGAIN GARY!!!!!

Unfortunately mother nature threw a curve ball on the weather for my first 3 days of the hunt. This resulted in ALL the baits in the area to shut down and produce no bear activity. I was re-assured that things would pick back up and just be patient for the bear to start moving again.
Of course they were "spot on" with the knowledge of the bears movement, and I successfully harvested a nice sow on my 4th night of the hunt.
I couldn't have been more happy with all of the help I received with getting my bear out of the woods and cleaning it after the kill. Gary and Tony pretty much did all of the gutting, skinning, and quartering of my bear (letting me help when I wanted to) making my first experience with this a breeze. The bear was carefully wrapped and stored in their freezer before the transport of it back home. Every detail required for tagging and bringing the bear back over the border was taken care of, making the crossing stress-free.

The fishing I was able to do with my wife during the non-hunting days produced quality fish. My wife took the award for "biggest fish" with a nice 181/2 inch Smally. Wigwam lake to the north gave us our best fishing results. We were able to have a "sample platter" of fish for dinner with our bass, pike, and walleye that we caught. All of the boats were amazingly maintained. I enjoyed the padded swivel seats, and being able to start the motors with the first pull every time.

I would highly suggest Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge to anyone looking for a hunting or fishing lodge. You will not find nicer people than Melissa, Tony, and Gary who are commited to your happiness and success on your trip of a lifetime!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elverson, PA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Like dffrank below my party was at Lost Lake last week (8/11 thru 8/18) and I can only echo his positive comments on the facilities, the food, the fishing and especially the staff.

Tony and Melissa are in their second year of ownership and have been making continual improvements from the beginning. The boats have all new motors for the 2012 season. They will be re-siding and re-roofing all the cabins next year. They will be adding a couple more boats to Lake Everett.

They are very hospitable and try and accommodate everyone’s wishes. Even their 7 year old son, Logan, likes to help - he got our nightly fire ready to light on several evenings. Gary, their right hand man and all around good guy is there to haul the motors and gas tanks to the drive to lakes and get them on and off the boat for you. Everyone on the staff is outgoing, friendly and always with a smile on their faces. Customer service is their badge of honor.

This was my first visit to Lost Lake and I will go back again. I had a diverse party of 13 family members ranging from my 15 year old nephew to my 81 year old uncle. Anytime anybody needed anything the lodge staff was quick to fulfill the request. All had a good time.

American plan food is the way to go. The food at Lost Lake is as others have described; home-cooked, delicious with ample portions. Breakfast always began with fresh fruit, orange juice and coffee. Dinner always started with a salad. Each day brought something different - lots of variety. Emily bakes bread and deserts for dinner and homemade cookies for lunch. All the meats come from a local butcher. Lasagna was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

My nephew turned 15 on Friday and Emily made him a birthday cake which was desert for that evening’s meal.

The diversity of the lakes available to you for fishing makes Lost Lake Lodge a very special place. From the main lake you can portage into Calcite (100 yard walk - you have to carry your gear and gas). From the main lake you can portage into WigWam (wheel barrows are provided for hauling gear and gas). From WigWam you can portage into Bloom (low water levels prevented us from visiting this lake). There are also 2 trout lakes you can walk to from the main lake. My brother and my nephew ventured up to Sigs one morning. The trout were sipping insects from the surface and unfortunately neither had a fly rod. The fish weren’t interested in spinners, worms or the live toad they found and cast out onto the lake.

Members of my party also fished Leroy Lake (smallmouth bass are abundant, but on the small side). Everett Lake has a very respectable population of big smallmouth bass and northern pike.

I was very surprised by the smallmouth bass fishing – exceptional. Many lunkers over 18” were caught. I had the privilege of watching my nephew catch a 20”, 3.3 pound football. A special fish for him - caught in front of an audience of one of our other boats and just slightly heavier that his fathers 3.2 pound smallie caught a half hour before. One of the others in our crew took top smallmouth honors with a 3.5 pound fish.

Below you will find pictures of my second cousin Chris with some of his more memorable smallies from this trip.

The 2 largest pike that we caught were 37”. Many smaller pike in the 24-30 inch range were caught. We had a couple of giants follow baits to the boat, but wouldn’t bite. Not as many “hammer handles” as I’ve experienced elsewhere. Just wish we could have made it to Bloom where the monsters live.

We caught some walleye’s as by-catch when fishing for the bass and pike. We didn’t spend much time targeting them with traditional and proven walleye techniques. For about ½ hour I drifted WigWam with a worm on a jig and did catch a 16 incher. The walleyes are there but we were having too much fun with the bass and pike to pursue them in earnest.

Rappala Skitter Pops and Heddon Tiny Torpedos were the hot surface baits. Mepps #3 Aglia in any color blade and with or without squirrel tail were the hot casting lures. Berkley Flicker Shad and Rappala minnows were the most productive trolling lures.

Tony has a Lost Lake maximum size limit on walleye (18”) and pike (24”) (let the breeders go). Currently, no size limit on bass, but, I think he should have one. We killed fish for the fish fry dinner and also for our shore lunch one day. Tony’s philosophy is “eat as many as you want while you are here and take 1 home for the memories” He strongly prefers folks get the Conservation License that limits the creel/possession limit to (2) of each species. Some of our guys took fish home and others didn’t take any.

The camp is limited to about 25 fishermen per week and with multiple lakes to fish the pressure on the fish here is not overwhelming.

Management of the fishing resource is the key to the future for Lost Lake and hopefully Tony’s conservation philosophy will lead to many more years of good fishing at Lost Lake. I whole heartedly support him.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

My father, uncle, and I stayed at this lodge last week, and it was our first time at the lodge. Now, we weren't quite sure what to expect, especially since the price was so low compared to alot of the other lodges we were looking into (we did the american plan). First, let me start with the service provided. The owners of the lodge are extremely helpful and outgoing, they take a interest in you as a person, they just don't see you as a dollar sign. The staff mimics their attitude and everyone there really wants you to enjoy your experience. Additionally, they really work with you as far as scheduling. When we arrived at the lodge, we learned that normally their 7 day package check in is saturday, and with checkout the following saturday. However, they had no issues with us doing a sunday to sunday trip, and never even attempted to get us to change our trip to make it easier for them.

The food was home cooked, and delicious. Generous portions are provided, with breakfast and dinner being three courses. For lunch, there is an assortment of sandwhiches that you can make, or a shore lunch kit is provided (the only thing not included is the firewood and fish)

The fishing itself was excellent, there wasn't a single day that we didn't catch something. That being said, I have to comment on Jill C's 1 star review. I have no idea what she is talking about when she says the camp is a catch and release only. While Tony (the owner) IS pro-conservation, he understands that people want to eat some fish. In fact, one of the dinners provided in the American Plan is Northern Pike. We personally kept about dozen fish to eat (we brought 5 nice bass home with us and gave tony 3 pike for the dinner). One of the lakes is catch and release only, but the others were not.

As I mentioned before, we were a bit apprehensive because the price was so low compared to the other camps. While some of the prices listed on other websites might be cheaper, when you add in the stuff Lost Lake includes, they come out cheaper. Included is all gas, all live bait (minnows and worms), firewood, even internet access is included at no extra charge. You can fish and eat all week and not have to pay any more than quoted.

The cabins are very clean, and each has a kitchen, full sized refrigerator, Satellite TV, full bathroom, and two couches. The only issue we had was our cabin had a very slight lean to it, but as alot of the other cabins look to be recently rebuilt and it is only their second season owning the lodge, I can't really hold that against them. That really was the worst part about our experience at Lost Lake, and we really hope to be able to spend some more time up there.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

After doing some research and reading rave reviews of Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge on Trip Advisor, I took my three boys there this summer on their first "wilderness fishing trip to Northern Ontario".
We were all very disapointed.
To start off - we have a summer cottage near Parry Sound where the fishing is decent, so we were really excited to tap into the "non-stop" fishing we were promised. The fishing is much better at the cottage.
To be honest, the new owners are from Michigan and they clearly do not know the lakes the way a local will. Lesson learned. We were there for four days and we caught three walleye, four very small pike and a handful of average-sized bass. Nothing to brag about. From what I gathered when I talked with the other guests, we caught more than anyone else. Two retired guys from Oshawa caught only two fish during their stay. They felt duped.
One of the reasons we went to Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge was to catch pike. According to the Lodge's website, Bloom Lake is one of the best pike lake in Northern Ontario. When we arrived the owner said "I wouldn't go - it's a two hour trip each way, and the lake is too weedy with this summer's lower water levels". We ended up fishing Leroy Lake instead - we were told that we would catch over 100 fish per day. I think we caught 10 - including sunfish and a sucker.
We had some rain when we were at Lost Lake - our roof leaked - luckily it leaked into the bathroom and not on our beds. When I told Tony the owner, he said he was going to be replacing all the shingles on the cabins but didn't offer to check out the damage or clean up the mess.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

My family had been going to Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge for 20 years. Ownership changed hands last year. This year was my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, so they booked for two weeks. I also booked for a week with my kids (an 8 hour drive), and my sister came up with her family from North Carolina for a week so we could all share in this special occasion (a 20 hour drive in total for her).

Midway through the week the owner, Tony, came to tell us that he wanted to move the camp in a more eco-friendly direction and that clients who were taking home freezer chests full of fish were going to be disinvited from the camp. My parents expressed their support of this policy. They are long-time anglers, wildlife lovers, and people who are deeply committed to the natural environment. They eat the fish they catch, and never, ever have exceeded the amount or size of fish regulated by the Fisheries Department. In fact, my father has spent countless hours at the camp showing others who are interested how to clean their fish "better" so that they get more meat and have less waste.

When my parents were packing to leave at the end of the two weeks, Tony approached them and accused my parents of defying his request to not catch and eat fish. My father was shocked and said that he had no idea that is what Tony told the the week before. Tony accused my father of lying and deliberately ignoring his wishes. He disinvited my parents from returning.

My parents are 71 and 69. They have never been accused of lying in their lives. And there's a reason for that They are the most honest people you'd ever meet. My mother cried for hours on the way home, and can still barely speak about it. My poor father, who has great pride and who is a deeply respectful man, can't do anything but shake his head about being accused of doing something dishonourable.

If Tony had decided to change the fishing camp to a catch-and-release camp he should have contacted us and anyone else who booked with them that there had been a change, and offered deposits back if people didn't want to come. He didn't do this. He didn't mention a thing, and I see that there is no notice of this policy on their website.

And if Tony was a decent, self respecting businessman he would have written my parents a lovely note sometime after their visit, thanking them for their 20 years of patronage but clearly stating that his camp was now catch-and-release and suggest that they look for another camp for the following year.

Ironically, the camp will still hold a Fall bear hut. Guess it is ok to kill bears. Just not fish.

Our family spent $5000 to attend the camp this summer. I'm sure there are lots of other fishing lodges that'll be happy to have our money. And yours.

Do not go to this camp. These people do not deserve your business.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tony T, Owner at Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge, responded to this review, August 22, 2012
As new owners we are moving Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge in a different direction, it’s unfortunate that not everyone will support us in this venture. We think these guests are wonderful people and they are obviously saddened and angry with how our changes have impacted them.

We mean no disrespect to any of Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge’s patrons, however we will move forward with choices that we feel are necessary to preserve the resources that are available to us on both water and land. We are confident that our decisions will result in a magnificent fishery and bear management area for generations to come.
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Additional Information about Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge

Address: Highway 560 West, Elk Lake, Ontario P0J 1G0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Northeastern Ontario > Elk Lake
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Elk Lake
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge is a drive to lodge with remote lakes without the cost of flying in. With nine beautiful and private cottages that are your starting point to fish and explore ten serene and clean lakes, filled with a variety of healthy fish species. Here at LLWL we have 6 species of fish for you to tackle. They are Northern Pike, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Lake Trout. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lost Lake Wilderness Lodge Elk Lake, Ontario, Canada

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