Picking our 2022 Destination
Regular readers would know that my groups does our fly in trips every two years. Our last big outing was in 2020 to the Root Bay Outpost on Lake St Joseph with Slate Falls Outposts Root Bay Report which means 2022 is a trip year baby! I have also covered off that I am a planning freak Planning Part 1 Planning Part 2 Planning Part 3 Planning Part 4
I wanted to walk through how we got down to our choice.
We try to meet within a few weeks of getting back from our trips. The goal is twofold – divvy up expenses and to make some notes on the high’s, lows, do more and do less of the trip. This can cover lake size, menu, items missed, items that weren’t used, travel details and so on. We also start talking about what everyone is thinking about for the next trip.
From those notes we (typically me to start) spend some time researching destinations, lakes and outfitters and begin to put together a spreadsheet of all of the possible choices. I included a snap shot of the spreadsheet but key items are: Jump off point, Lake size, species, cabin details, price, boats and motors, travel distance (drive and fly) and I try to include a few links to trip reports and/or testimonials.
For 2022 we had to try to coordinate a lot of our conversations and meetings virtually – no worries, by now we were all zoom or teams’ experts. We also wanted to try to get or choice down earlier than normal. Due to the pandemic 2020 and a good chnunk of 2021 were bust for our friends in the USA there would be a lot of carry overs and late booking dates - we needed to get to a choice early and try to lock down our preferred week. In early March we got on a call to discuss the list. Two key points jumped out: 1) we really liked flying commercial in 2020 and 2) we wanted a lake that was over 10,000 acres. Awesome, refine the list, re send and schedule the next call.
We checked in again virtually in May to answer any questions, look at a few websites and catch up. Fast forward to June and we could a meet up in person. Sweet! Our session took place in Mark’s garage. We typically do a round table to make our case or support someone else’s case about a lake we really liked. A few twists came up – some keeners had contacted the outfitters they really liked and between rollovers and our week preference a few were already out! This had us reset as the consensus number 1 pick was in that group. Okay – lets’ vote.
Our top 3 ended up being:
· Miniss Lake with Slate Falls Outfitters SFO Miniss
· Mojikit Lake with Mattice Lake Outfitters Mattice Mojikit
· Whiteclay Lake with Boreal Forest Outfitters Boreal Whiteclay
From there we re voted and our number 1 was established. Phone calls were made to try to confirm the week. We needed to wait a bit as the outfitter figured out border openings and previous season rollovers but soon enough, we go the call – our week was open!
We quickly confirmed timing and the pick was in – Miniss Lake (West Cabin) with SFO! Its interesting as Miniss was supposed to be our destination in 2020 but due to the pandemic SFO only opened the Root Bay camp and we switched (and loved every minute of it) – so we would get out chance at Miniss after all.
I am confident any of the top 3 would have been great – we knew Slates Falls and were really impressed. Both Boreal and Mattice both have stellar reputations. In the end we were excited by the size and make up of Miniss, working with Ryan in 2020 was amazing and we will be old timers (not) travelling to Thunder Bay and making the drive to Sioux Lookout this second time around!
Next up for us – figuring out travel logistics, starting to research the lake, buying new gear (my favourite part) and meeting up again in the garage! I can’t wait