What to Bring
The clothes you wear at the club are strictly up to you. It all depends on the time of year, the temperatures and how much of a sunburn you want. Before you go, take a look at the weather forecast. There is a direct link on the home page. People wear anything from shorts, T-shirts and sandals in the summer to fleece jackets and snowmobile suits in early spring/late autumn. Regardless of what you wear, be sure you have good rain gear - a full suit, top and bottom. Be sure the rain jacket comes with a hood. That's the most important piece of clothing you need. It may not rain the week you're there, but odds are it will and good rain gear will make all the difference.
Here are some of the essentials besides the rain gear:
- Sweatshirt and/or fleece jacket (even in the summer).
- Swimsuit during warm weather months.
- Sneakers - two pairs (that way you'll have a dry pair to wear after you get soaked by the rain).
- Hat, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses.
- Towel, washcloth.
- Twin-sized sheets and blanket or a summer-weight sleeping bag, pillowcase (pillows are supplied). Early and late in the season, be sure to bring a warmer bag or extra blanket.
- Small cooler for your drinks, water bottle (the club has an ice machine). If fishing with a club member, he may already have a cooler available.
- A small bag to carry in the boat with your rain gear, extra clothes, small amount of money, camera, etc. - a waterproof one is ideal.
Money: You'll need some cash for a fishing license (unless you bought yours online ahead of time) and maybe for meals if spending the night in Canada and of course tip money for the cook. Bring a check to pay for your guest fee and per diem while at the club. You may bring US cash, but a check is preferred.
Fishing gear: You can go wild here. Best thing to do is get tips from whomever you'll be fishing with. Some have the notion that the more gear the better, while others go with the simpler approach. It is suggested that you do bring a couple of rods and reels, as backups if you break something and also to have several rigged and ready to go at the same time. You might have one rigged for trolling, another for casting a plug and maybe another for jigging. Generally, you don't need very heavy rods. Most any medium action, 6 - 7 foot rod will do. It's nice if they break down, for easier transport. Six to fourteen pound line is adequate, maybe something heavier if you'll be doing much trolling. Needle nose pliers are a must-have item and maybe some nail clippers or nippers for cutting line would be helpful.
The PA club strongly encourages catch and release fishing, however some groups will keep enough fish for a shore lunch or fish dinner. It's hard to beat fresh pike or bass!
Bugs: They're usually not a major problem, unless you're there early in the year (May-June) when the black flies and gnats can be brutal. It's adviseable to bring a headnet those months. When you're on the water, during the day, they usually don't bother you too much. Once the sun goes down, they do come out in force. So for some of us, that's the signal to head back in. If you plan on portaging over to another lake, then the skeeters and flies will come after you while you hike from one lake to the other. So do bring some bug spray for those situations.
Boats: If operating a club boat, you will need to have on your person proof of boating competency such as a boating operator card or a Canadian-issued pleasure craft operator card. All boats must be equipped with the following gear. You will get fined by the Provincial Park Rangers or OPP if caught without them:
- Life preserver for each person on board (seat cushions don't count) - the club has an adequate supply of these.
- Oar, paddle or anchor with 15 meters of rope.
- Bailing bucket (an old plastic detergent bottle with the top cut off works well).
- Signaling device (whistle).
- Buoyant heaving line, not less than 15 meters in length.
- Watertight flashlight or three flares.
And of course, don't forget your liquid refreshments. You're responsible for bringing your own.
Phone: The club has its own phone line: 705-746-8699. All outgoing calls must be made with a phone card or credit card. Cellphone coverage has improved dramatically in recent years and calls can now be made right from the cottages and most of the surrounding waters.
The foregoing are just some of the essentials that you might want to think about. Don't forget the usual things such as: pants, shirts, underwear, socks, toiletries, something to read, passport/passport card for crossing the border. Just be sure to leave all your worries and cares at home. Remember: Sans Souci!