Sioux Narrows and Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre
Sioux Narrows just 50 km south of Kenora is blessed with a newly built architecturally pleasing Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre. Its location is ideal on the East side of Hwy 71. The winding highway is picturesque with lakes, forests, sometimes wildlife appear and easy to find. The building location is high above the bay overlooking the water inlet and docks of Regina Bay. Its large walled windows give a clear view of the breathtaking location, also perfect for celebrating one of life?s events too.
It has been recently constructed and opened several months ago. It houses some interesting facts of the area and fishing information. It is in the process of acquiring more artifacts and fishing ware. Interestingly, the fishing in the area is one of the worlds renowned, making it the perfect spot for this centre. The area is known for its abundance of Muskie, Walleye, Bass, Northern Pike, Sturgeon, Perch and other fish species.
Some of the current exhibits include videos and comments from the locals fishing guides and pro-anglers, such as Dave Bennett who explains the habitat and fish species, Gord Pyzer with his fishing knowledge and expertise from the area and many other pro-angler stories, it is worth checking out. The exhibits on fish species, original lures, display and history of Rapala and jigs are but a few of the artifacts on display. More casements filled with tried and true lures, rods and reels are in the process of being showcased. The staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, also very proud of their new building.
History of area
Sioux Narrows itself has quite a variety of history; there are remnants from the German POW internment camps from the World War 2, over 38,000 prisoners of war were brought to Canada between 1939 and 1945, an agreement between Britain and Canada. In this area were approximately 600-700 Prisoners of War, averaging 100-125 POW per camp site. The 6 primary internment camps; # 56 was at Alfred Inlet, #57 Ghost Bay, # 61 Oak Point, # 52 Red Cliff, # 43 Adams River and # 60 Berry Lake. During that time, there was a shortage of man power for wood, fuel and pulp for paper. The Company called Ontario-Minnesota pulp and paper Co. and J.A. Mathieu employed these camps. These camps consisted of 3-4 sleeping quarters, a dining cabin, canteen, first aid house, black smith and stable. The men were required to cut ¾ cords of wood a day, a pay of 50c per day, 6 days a week. There weren?t any fencing around the camps as the wilderness prevented their escape. Most were content to work and stay in the camps.
Another fact of this area is the gold mining, in 1894 were the first settlers and the Regina Mining Company was formed, With parent company Rajah Gold Mining of London, England. In 1895, 35 men were employed creating a 50 foot shaft. It produced in that time $85,000 in gold was extracted from the mine at a gold value of $21 per ounce. By 1902 it was sold to Black Eagle Mine. The main shaft now employed 71 and shaft length of 535 feet. The mine was sold again in 1907 to an English syndicate, and sunk deeper to 545 feet with 9 levels every 60 feet. A vein on principally quartz and gold was found. The mine was finally closed in 1942 after many different owners. With the current price of gold there is talk of reopening the mine and extracting gold deposits.
The locals are friendly and most helpful, there are several restaurants and had the opportunity to hear some interesting fishing stories from a local named Pete Corky, He?s day was filled with muskie fishing and the catch of a 46? Muskie. There are several pro-guides in the area that are well versed in fishing knowing the location and types of fish to make a full fishing day successful.
Accommodations and Restaurants:
The area has many attractions from lodges to house boat rentals and boat rentals facilities with or without fishing guides. There are several restaurants and cabins, Big John?s was where I stopped and was delighted being on the water, close to the bridge, good atmosphere, food and customer service. Some of the lodges and cabins I passed on the way were Totem Resorts, Tomahawk, White Pine, Crawford?s, others too. Checkout: www.ontarioresortsandlodges.ca/SiouxNarrows.
One of the local and well known lodges is Totem Resorts; I had the pleasure of touring this 5 Star family friendly lodge and cabins. I am quite impressed with the landscape, buildings, staffing and surrounding nature and wildlife. Some interesting history was explained to me by Eric Brown Jr. is that Totem Lodges and Cabins was originally built over 77 years ago.
Beginning in 1935, owned by Mrs Metcalf who named it Qui-Qua-Quay Lodge till 1948, Mrs Metcalf also drove the first car over the famous Sioux Narrows single span wooden bridge. The 2nd Owner was Mel Stinchfield till 1954, renamed Mel?s Canadian Camps till it was purchased by Bill and Lucia Salvador who did much renovations and expansions. The Brown family purchased this property in 1978, and now next generation, Eric R Brown III owns Mrs Metcalf?s original home, where above the original stone crafted fireplace rests a moose head she shot.
As current owners the Brown family now each of the 3 children all run their own lodges and 2 brothers live side by side on the edge of the property, and a staff of 200, all friendly, helpful, working hard and proud of today?s Totem Resorts.
Today?s Totem resorts consists of 4 lodges housing all together 350 beds all at Five***** Star rating quality. And have consistently maintained that status for 25 years. The total property is 52 acres of picturesque natural wildlife habitat property on a beautiful scenic secluded lake front property! The union of these four Grand Canadian Lodges has created Totem Resorts - Northwestern Ontario's "Jewels of the North".
For those that are there for the world class fishing on Northwestern Ontario?s, Sioux Narrows and Nester Falls area the boat docks house a fleet of 100 boats to create a world class paradise.
Come on out and stay a while in this community that has an interesting history, great people and awesome fishing for all to enjoy! By Genevieve van Oers