Mr. John Ivanchuk of Flin Flon, Manitoba had a thriving commercial fishing operation back in the 1950’s. By many accounts he was a hardworking, adventurous, driven outdoorsman, with a tough pioneering spirit.
Reindeer Lake, even back then, had a reputation for being a fish factory producing countless giant trophy Pike, Lake Trout and Walleye. That coupled with the tremendous beauty of Reindeer Lake made it a natural place to set up a fishing lodge to share with people from all over the world.
In 1956, he chose a very remote beautiful private spot on a clustering of islands in the northern half of the lake to set up his fishing lodge business. The island’s shoreline offered a massive expanse of white sandy beaches with a sheltered channel offering protection from rough waters as well as scenic views of the nearby islands.
John immediately set to work building sturdy log cabins and hauling massive rocks by hand from all over the outer reaches of the island to lay against the shoreline directly in front of the cabins. This was both decorative and beneficial as it kept the waves from washing away the sandy cliffs. Even today, remnants of this tremendous feat are one of the first sights you’ll see coming in to the dock after a day on the lake. Meanwhile, before long, log cabins dotted the point of the island and a busy fishing lodge was in full swing. Some of these cabins still stand today, 60 plus years later.
These original cabins have become an important piece of the history surrounding the lodge. The original lodge is now the office and the tackle shop. Its beauty and excellent craftsmanship is still evident today in the glossy veneer wood found throughout the rooms. One cannot help but admire the vintage closet armoire standing proudly in the corner of the original sleeping quarters. The doors on the armoire still click smoothly closed and secure even though it has seen summers of plus 30 degrees Celsius in the heat of July and winters of 50 below zero throughout the 60 years it has been guarding the gear of fishermen.
Amenities such as a root cellar below the kitchen floor and a built in bookcase in the sitting/dining room offered the conveniences of 1956. Standing in this heritage log building, admiring the work of the Ivanchuk’s, one can envision Louise bringing up a jar of preserves from the root cellar while John chooses a volume from the bookcase as they prepare to spend a chilly evening inside by the fire while the blue waves of Reindeer lap against the rocky shore.
A great find some years ago here at the lodge, in this exact log building was a yellowed and weathered slip of paper simply entitled REINDEER LAKE LODGE 1956 Rate Sheet. It was a glimpse into the history of this beautiful camp when John & Louise offered weekly fishing trips for the princely sum of $300.00 each for a party of two. 20ft Freighter canoes were the boats the guides used to put the guests on the fish; no casting platforms and air ride cushion seats back then!
The original guides that brought the guests of the original Reindeer Lake Lodge to the fish, were the fathers, grandfathers and uncles of today’s professional Reindeer Lake Lodge guides. They know where to take you, they’ve grown up watching and learning and honing their skills passed down through generations. This is the wonderful heritage of Reindeer Lake Lodge with many modern conveniences and equipment. Now offering great fishing adventures to folks with that same adventurous spirit as the Ivanchuk’s where the Adventure of a Lifetime still awaits.
Reindeer Lake Lodge is one of the most established and trusted lodges on the lake with over 60 years of putting together great fishing adventures you dream and brag about long after you’re back home.