COVID-19 Update for
Athabasca Fishing Lodges
Thank you for your continued interest in Athabasca Fishing Lodges. As many of you know, 2020 marked a season of blending the 47-year-long legacy that Cliff and Stella Blackmur have created at Lake Athabasca with enhanced experiences coming to life through the vision of the new ownership of Jeff Smith and his family from Colorado, USA. Together, we have been preparing and looking forward to opening the 2020 season and welcoming you all to Lake Athabasca. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges with the Canadian border now closed to all non-essential travel, which means that Athabasca Fishing Lodges, along with all other travel destinations and fish camps throughout Canada, will not open this season. Based on the information available to us at this time, the possibility of opening the camp, even later in the season, is unlikely. However, should the opportunity to open the camp for small groups of friends and family, if and when the border opens, we will share the good news with you immediately.
What’s on the horizon for Athabasca Fishing Lodges? To the extent we are able to work onsite at the camp, the team will spend the season tending to essential maintenance upgrades and renovating the existing facilities. Under the new ownership, the Smith family desires to improve the well-loved facilities and amenities while preserving the charm of Athabasca Fishing Lodges. We are confident these upgrades will be as exciting to our guests as they are to our team.
Planned Upgrades and Fishing Experience Enhancements:
- New Boats! We have added four new boats and four new motors to the fleet. With these additions, we can take some of the boats to fly-in locations and outpost camps. We can’t wait for our 2020 1825 Kingfisher Warrior Tiller Boats and Yamaha 70 HP motors.
- New Log Cabins! Over the next few years, we are slowly changing out the accommodations for new log cabins. As work regulations allow, we plan to start building three of these new cabins this summer and will have a total of eight new cabins upon completion.
- New Caravan Plane! One of the most exciting things is the prospect of getting a new Caravan plane with floats. With a dedicated Athabasca Fishing Lodges plane, we will be able to provide private day trips, fly-outs to our outpost camps, and sightseeing adventures.
- Outpost Camps! By popular demand, we will be updating our outpost camps at Engler Lake and Poplar Point. These self-guided fly-in wilderness-fishing experiences will include updated docks, boats, cabins, and furnishings. Our intention is to provide guests with the most comfortable off-the-grid experience possible.
To manage these upgrades and renovations, we are pleased welcome and introduce Athabasca Fishing Lodges’ new general manager in-training, Shane Pogue, who will be overseeing the camp on behalf of the Smith family under the guidance and mentorship of Cliff Blackmur. Shane was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and raised on a ranch northwest of Woodland Park, Colorado. His passions have always been hunting and fishing. When the opportunity to manage Athabasca Fishing Lodges presented itself, Shane would tell you that he knew this would be the perfect chance to share his love for the outdoors, while providing a fishing experience of a lifetime. Shane was originally introduced to Lake Athabasca as a guest of Jeff Smith’s on the numerous corporate fishing excursions that Jeff has sponsored over the course of many, many years. The lake and fishing camp are already very special to Shane, not only because of the tremendous fishing, outstanding shore lunches, and amazing guides but also because of the quiet, peaceful atmosphere around the camp itself. He is looking forward to working with the rest of the team to get the camp ready for 2021. And, yes, we are now accepting reservations for 2021 and beyond! If you are interested in booking a future excursion, please do contact us at 1-877-922-0957 or by email at [email protected].
On behalf of everyone at Athabasca Fishing Lodges, thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate through these challenging times and the myriad of ways COVID-19 has affected our ownership transition and our vision for the camp. The Smith family and the Blackmur’s are committed to staying in contact with you and will keep you updated as information becomes known to us. With your support, we will fulfill our mission to provide you and your family and friends amazing experiences and memories for years to come.
~The Team at Athabasca Fishing Lodges