Giant Pike in Wollaston Lake: Four-Day Trip

For Fly Fishers   —  June 15 -19, 2018 — Saskatchewan, Canada

For more information call Tim Holschlag at 612-781-3912 or use our Contact Form.

Seeing is Believing

The fish in Wollaston Lake Saskatchewan simply have to be seen to believed.  Like the lake itself, the pike are absolutely HUGE.  Minor Bay Lodge (located in the fertile Minor Bay on the south end of gigantic Wollaston Lake) is home to some of the heaviest pike in North America.  And I should also say, some of the strongest, hardest fighting pike in the world.  What’s more, these fish are very shallow in June.  Many are in shallow bays, so flies and lures worked on or very near the surface are blasted by these powerful water rockets.  Fifty-inch pike are caught at Minor Bay, and fish over 40 inches (20 pounds) are taken every day of the season.  Fifty, even 60 or 70 fish in a day for two guests is possible.  Ten- and twenty-pound pike streaking across the surface to smash your fly is truly heart-stopping excitement!

Expert Guides

This deluxe trip is fully guided. Your personal guide will have your boat ready each morning, take you to the best spots and put you on fish all day, landing and unhooking all your fish. The large, top quality boats and motors get you around well on the big lake and are very comfortable to fish from. All in all, an excellent fishing experience. And if you want to try another lake, the lodge’s float plane and pilot on duty will fly you and your guide out for the day to a nearby wilderness lake.

Minor Bay Lodge:

Minor Bay Lodge is kept on the small side (under 20 guests), and the staff to guest ratio is nearly one-to-one.  This means excellent personal service with outstanding meals, very comfortable cabins, good TV and Internet service, plus a well-stocked bar.  (There is even ice for drinks waiting for you in your cabin when you return from a day of battling pike.)  The lodge managers, Randy Duvell and his wife Bev, have been part-owners of the lodge for many years, and they really know how to treat guests well.  (And by the way, I have had an excellent working relationship with Randy for 16 years, since he is also part-owner of Slippery Winds Lodge in Ontario.)

Getting There:

While Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, isn’t next door, it is much easier to get to than many other lodges outside of the US.  Major airlines like Delta have regular flights to Saskatoon. There is a comfortable Marriott Hotel very near the Saskatoon airport, and you will be met at the airport and taken to the hotel.  Early the next morning you are picked and driven to the aircraft that will fly you 2 hours due north to a small airport near Wollaston Lake.  In fact, you will arrive at the lodge before 10 AM for a big breakfast, and your guide will have your boat ready to take you out for 8 hours of fishing that very first day.

Friendly Fly Fishers

This is a small group trip of fly fishers, so the great comradery is another special part of this trip. Tim Holchlag is the trip host, and you will have an opportunity to get acquainted with Tim and with your fellow guests at the Mariott Hotel the evening before you get to the lodge.  The hotel has a nice restaurant and bar where we can socialize, and Minor Bay Lodge is also a great place to be with other fly anglers.   Tim has been booking and hosting group fly fishing trips for 16 years and has seen many of the guests make lasting friendships with other guests.  Being in a group of friendly, helpful and likeminded fly fishers is a great experience.  And of course, Tim is on hand to assist you with whatever angling issues you may have.

Flies and Tackle

These fish take large, flashy streamers very well.  Tim and his busines partner Dan Johnson have developed superb pike patterns and terrific light wire leaders over the past 20 years.  The Glider, Sizzler and Pike Pleaser are quite lightweight, easy-to-cast and durable flies that really turn Wollaston pike on.  If you wish, you can obtain both flies and leaders from Smallmouth Angler before or during the trip.  Other patterns also work, but Tim advises against large “bunny flies”  (5 inches or longer) with long rabbit strip tails.  The fish like them, but they are very heavy when wet and very tiring to cast.  The province of Saskatchewan also mandates barbless hooks, but just pinching the barb down will do the trick, and this makes the guide’s job of unhooking your fish much easier (and of course, better for the fish).  (Dan and Tim lost very few fish after they struck with the debarbed flies.)

Tackle can vary, but 9- and 10-weight fly rods are recommended.  An extra fast action and stiff 8-wt may do, but it will be more tiring to cast big flies with it, especially if a little wind comes up.  Loading the rod adequately with a floating line one weight over the rod’s rating is strongly advised for easier casting.  A slow-sinking full-sink line can also be used, but shouldn’t be needed unless it becomes quite windy.  (A full-sink line will cut through wind and cast much better than a floating line.).

If you want to bring conventional tackle for a backup, Tim Holschlag recommends a medium-heavy casting or spinning outfit loaded with 20 or 25 pound test line.  Shallow running crankbaits, in-line spinners and other baits all produce. Talk to Tim for more lure advice.


Trip Package Details

 June 15 -19, 2018

  • 4 Days of Fishing,
  • 4 Nights at the lodge, one Night at Saskatoon.
  • Fly in from Saskatoon Early the 1st Morning.
  • Fly out after breakfast at the lodge the last day.

Battling Pike on Wollaston Lake

Package Price of $3,995 includes:
Plane Service to the Lodge from Saskatoon,
Daily Guiding
Lodging, Meals

Package also includes:

  • unlimited pre-trip advice,
  • Informal Seminars in the Evening at the Lodge
  • For an extra Fee, an Optional Fly-Out to Another Pike Lake
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is serviced by several commercial airlines, with direct flights from some US cities.
Special Note from Tim Holschlag

I’ve caught a lot of pike on the fly, thousands actually over the years,  but my first trip to Minor Bay Lodge was life-changing.  I had never seen so many huge pike and so many that fought so hard.  And talking to other guests at Minor Bay I quickly realized why so many of them keep coming back year after year.  There isn’t much other freshwater angling that can compare to Wollaston Lake pike fishing.  No matter the tackle, they wear out with their sizzling streaks and lightening fast charges.  Add fly tackle and you enter a new realm of angling excitement.  So many explosive strikes, so much rod bending action, such finger burning runs.  You have to experience it to believe it.  And everyone should experience this fishing at least once in their lives.  So why wait?  — Tim Holschlag

Pike on Wollaston Lake

An Average Size Wollaston Pike

Wollaston Guide Al with Tim’s Fish

Minor Bay Lodge

Main Building at Minor Bay Lodge

Minor Bay Aircraft

Aircraft from Saskatoon to Minor Bay Lodge

Guests Eating

Guests Having a Lodge Fish Fry

Dan and Pike

Dan and Another Big Pike

Fly in Pike Mouth

Streamer fly, the Sizzler in Pike Mouth