Orvis invites you to escape to Fortress Lake Retreat for a week on a memorable group fly-fishing trip to British Columbia.

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Orvis Week at Fortress Lake Retreat


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Dates:

August 14-18, 2023

Length of Trip:

4 nights, 4 days of fishing (3 full days, 2 half days)

Price:

$5,200 Per angler, Double Occupancy (shared room/shared guide)

Highlights:

  • Pristine wild fisheries that hold some of the largest brook trout on the planet
  • Select dates for prime fishing
  • Fly-fishing expedition in a region classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Round-trip ground transportation from Calgary to Cline River, Alberta
  • Round-trip helicopter transfer from Cline River, Alberta to Fortress Lake Retreat
  • Receive personal instruction from professional fly-fishing guides, and gain quality skills for a lifetime of fly-fishing enjoyment.

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

Learn More

Click here to learn more about our reservations, deposits and our cancellation and refund policy.

The Story

For this unique Orvis Week we invite you to escape to Fortress Lake Retreat, and enjoy a memorable fly-fishing expedition. Fortress Lake is tucked away in a stunning, remote valley of the Canadian Rockies and is dominated by peaks towering a mile directly overhead and glaciers in a 360 degree “Fortress”. Fortress Lake offers some of the largest brook trout on the planet. This unique wilderness retreat provides anglers a full service lodge accommodation and guided fishing experience. It also accommodates hikers, canoeists, and kayakers a back country oasis to discover stunning lake vistas, and several hiking trails. Fortress Lake is kitty corner to Jasper and Banff National Parks and Lake Louise, located in the province of British Columbia’s Hamber Provincial Park, and is an integral part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are no roads, no industrial activity, and there is no motorized ground access. The valley is dominated by several mountain peaks. The lake is at 4,400 feet elevation and the mountains angle steeply to heights over 10,000 feet. The fly fishing and the scenery experiences at Fortress Lake Wilderness Retreat are second to none—except, perhaps, the flight accessing this location. Described as “an IMAX movie come to life” by Fly Fisherman Magazine, guests will enjoy one of North America’s most scenic Rocky Mountain flights.

At Fortress Lake:

Remote luxury is the best way to describe the accommodations at Fortress Lake. Their beautiful wilderness retreat includes the several guest cabins, a lounge/dining yurt, kitchen yurt, shower yurt, the guide shack, two outdoor flush toilets, and a utility shed housing a solar power system that runs fridges and freezers, lighting, the pressurized water system, stereo, and a few other utilities.

Every guest cabin has a queen bed and a single bed, each handcrafted from log, and all beds have new memory foam mattresses, new linens, pillows, and duvets. The cabins are bright, clean, well kept, and provide an inviting atmosphere where you can enjoy personal time. All cabins are furnished with wood stoves for a little extra warmth during those cooler spring or autumn nights.

Fortress Lake recently added a wood-fired cedar hot tub. This is perfect for relaxing after a successful day on the water. The Lodge has satellite wi-fi, so guests are recommended to turn on their wi-fi calling well before they arrive.


Food & Drink:

The gourmet comfort food quality matches the Rocky Mountain fishing and ambiance, ensuring that meals rank among our guests’ favorite memories of their trip.

Breakfast includes omelets, homemade pancakes with a variety of berries, and real maple syrup; egg dishes like frittatas or Eggs Benedict; fresh muffins still hot from the oven; yogurt; fresh fruit; and homemade jams. Bacon, ham, or sausages are generally served with each breakfast.

Lunch can be either an in or out experience, depending on the weather and your desire. On poor weather days, staff will prepare hot meals of soup, chili, or stews with fresh rolls, beer bread, or biscuits. For those wishing to fish, hike, or paddle all day, they offer packed lunches.

Dinners are a favorite time as staff work their BBQ magic to prepare beef tenderloin, steak, chicken, rack of lamb, ribs, etc. Enjoy your favorite items while relaxing with a beverage of your choice. A complimentary glass of house wine or a beer will be served with supper. Please note the kitchen staff are able to cater to those guests who have special food requirements, and they will be happy to accommodate your request.


Alcohol:

All beverages, along with a small selection of house white and red wine and domestic beer are included in trip price.

Day 1: Arrive at Fortress Lake

Guests will be picked up at their hotels around 8AM and drive 3 hours to the heliport at Cline River for a noon flight. Enjoy the 30-minute Helicopter flight through the Canadian Rockies. Guests will fly near and over the world-renowned Columbia Ice fields of Jasper National Park before landing at Fortress Lake. Upon arrival staff will take your bags into your cabin. You will enjoy a charcuterie board and an introduction to the Lodge. The Head guide will then assign your guide. Your guide will get you outfitted with Orvis gear, and you will go fishing for Brook Trout! Dinner will be around 6PM. After dinner guests can choose to relax or take a soak in the hot tub or go out for more fly fishing.


Days 2-4:

Guided fishing each morning starts with a substantial breakfast at 8:00 AM in the dining yurt. Following breakfast, you will meet your guide outside and gear up for the day. You'll head out to fish a different spot of the lake that day, taking your lunch with you to eat streamside or heading back into camp for lunch, which will be decided that morning. If you're fishing close to the lodge, you can return to eat lunch in the dining room. After fishing, you'll return to the lodge around 5:00 PM. When you arrive, you can hang your gear and let it air out, grab a beverage, and relax until dinner. Dinner is served at 6:00 PM each evening.


Day 5: Departing Fortress Lake

Breakfast is served at 8:00 AM. There is the opportunity to fish that morning or take in some of the amazing views and pack up before a quick lunch and time to head back to Cline River. Flight departure from Fortress Lake is 2 PM and arrival in Calgary is around 5 PM. Guests will be dropped off at their desired hotel.

*Please note that this itinerary is subject to change.

August:

Sight-fishing begins to really take shape, and the fishing once again can be exceptional. Trout begin to get darker colors and show like pepper spots in the water. Dry-fly fishing can sometimes be had in the evenings with caddis, sedge, and mice patterns. Pods of fish and fishing along structure is exceptional. The lake’s population is extremely healthy. During the 2020 season sizes were 3 to 7 pounds in appreciable numbers with a few larger fish present and caught. Again, per biological study, the brookies in this lake put on an average of 2 pounds in their third year. Fewer small brookies are caught as these fish grow rapidly thanks to considerable movement throughout the lake, making seasonal use of forage. The lake record is 11.75 pounds. Anglers can realistically hope for a few trout in the 5- to 7-pound range. The Wood River, which flows out from Fortress Lake, provides some river fishing with good structure to work. There are light hatches, and some dry fly fishing occurs. The Wood provides some of the most gorgeous scenery on the trip.

What is Included?

  • 4 nights' accommodation at a remote retreat
  • 3 full days and 2 half days of guided fishing & sharing of lake knowledge
  • Round trip ground transportation from Calgary to Cline River, Alberta
  • Round trip helicopter transfer from Cline River, Albert to Fortress Lake Retreat
  • All meals, beverages, along with a small selection of house white and red wine and domestic beer
  • Use of powerboats & canoes/kayaks, trail & paddling knowledge
  • Fortress lake has a large selection of Orvis rods, reels, and waders—all for the guest use
  • Flies
  • Fishing License

What is Not Included?

  • Gratuities for guides and service staff
  • Accommodation outside of trip
  • Airfare/transport to Calgary
  • Trip Insurance
  • Select fishing equipment not available at camp

How many people are on this trip?

10 maximum.


What skill level is suggested?

All skill levels are welcome.


How strenuous are the activities?

The trip can be tailored to an individual's fitness level.


Is this a child friendly trip?

Children are permitted. Parents should use their discretion regarding their children's level of maturity and patience if they will be joining the trip as an angler.


What other activities are available?

Fortress Lake Wilderness Retreat offers guests a unique opportunity to paddle the lake in single or two-person kayaks or by canoe. They also offer guests the opportunity to hike several trails in the valley, either up the Chaba River on level terrain or up one of the valley passes to one of several stunning alpine destinations. This is a great destination for photographers or anyone who seeks breathtaking scenery.


What is the typical weather?

Fortress Lake is located at the Continental Divide, surrounded by stunning mountains and glaciers with several of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies nearby. Their weather is influenced by the mountains and the weather can change often. During a typical season, late May through mid-October, the weather is generally pleasant with temperatures in the 20° to 30°C range (70° – 85°F). Precipitation is not generally heavy nor long-lasting during the year, but they do get rain. Guests should come prepared for rain and sun, with temperature extremes from freezing overnight (late in the season) to 35°C (95°F). While peak of summer temperatures can get to the mid-30s C (90s F), the cool air of the glaciers drops overnight temperatures beautifully each night. It is best to dress in layers and always carry a raincoat or wading jacket to adapt adequately. It's best to check the local weather forecast just prior to your trip for the most accurate weather conditions.


What gear do you recommend?

Helicopter baggage bound for Fortress Lake is restricted to 30 lbs. per person. This is a safety measure, and Transport Canada Regulations require that gear be weighed when you arrive at the base. A detailed packing list will be sent to guests upon booking.

Reservations, Deposits & Payments

The deposit is 50% of the trip price unless stated differently in the itinerary. Deposits may be made by check or credit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card. The balance of the trip cost is due 90 days before departure, except where specified differently on individual itineraries. The balance will be charged automatically to the credit card used for the deposit, unless otherwise specified. Any changes made to the method of payment after the final balance has been collected are subject to processing fees.

A reservation form and release are required prior to departure.

All prices must be paid in U.S. dollars. Deposits are not transferable from one trip to another.

Prices quoted are based on foreign exchange values and tariffs currently in effect and prices are subject to change. Orvis Adventures reserves the right to adjust prices accordingly until the time of departure.

Planning information

When your reservation is confirmed, you will receive planning information to guide you through trip preparations. Details about arrival and departure, clothing and equipment, trip cancellation insurance, pre- and post- trip extensions, visas and documents and activities are included in the planning information.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Although cancellation fees may be higher for some trips, the following minimum cancellation fees will apply:

Days Prior to Trip Fee
+ 90 days $300 per person
89 days or less 100% of cost

For trips that include an Orvis gift card or Orvis merchandise, the retail value of the gift card or merchandise is non-refundable upon delivery. Cancellation fees cannot be waived for any reason, including health, business or personal emergencies, or weather.

We strongly urge you to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

No refunds will be made for unused portions of a trip, including late arrival or early departure. Guide fees and hotel costs are not refundable if unused as outlined in the itinerary. Orvis reserves the right to modify an itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control. In the unlikely event that Orvis must cancel a tour, all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes a full settlement.

Orvis is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation of any canceled trip, including airline tickets and visas fees.

Cancellation Insurance

Your planning information includes information for travel insurance covering cancel for any reason, cancellation for medical reasons, trip delay, medical expenses, lost baggage and medical evacuation. We urge you to obtain this coverage.

Share policies

Trip prices are based on double occupancy. Single rooms & cabins are limited. If you request a single room, a single supplement will apply as noted in the itinerary. We will confirm the single room as early as possible, but in some cases it may not be earlier than 30 days prior to the trip. If you request a roommate, we can usually pair you with another guest of the same gender, and no single supplement will apply. If you request a roommate, and one is not available, we will only charge you the single supplement if required by the lodge or facility used in the trip.

Children under 18 must share a room with a parent or other family member. In some cases this may be waived.

Passports and documents

International trips require a passport. Check your passport early and make sure it has six months validity at the time of travel. A visa is needed in some countries and we will send you complete details and instructions.

Arrival and Departure

Group transfers from a central location such as an airport are described in the itinerary, and are included in the land cost.. Transfers are not included in the land cost if you arrive early or leave after the scheduled departure day.

Equipment & Clothing

You will receive a detailed list of appropriate gear with your trip planning information.

Airline reservations

The land cost of your trip does not include airfare.

Limitation of liability

This section defines Orvis Travel’s responsibility with regard to all travel arrangements made by Orvis Travel, including individual travel and pre- and post- trip extensions. Please read it carefully.

Upon sending your deposit to Orvis Travel, you acknowledge that you have read and understand all the terms and conditions outlined here, and agree to be bound by them.

All trips that involve outdoor sporting activities such as shooting or fishing, or travel through remote places by vehicle, boat, small plane or on foot, put you at risk for accidents and serious injuries in the normal course of the activity. That is the nature of travel to such destinations and you acknowledge that you accept these hazards as a condition of participation.

Orvis Travel, its Owners, Employees, Associates and Agents give notice that they act only as the agent for the owners, contractors and suppliers providing means of transportation and/or other services and assume no responsibility howsoever caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service resulting directly from: acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays, expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, thefts, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, terrorism, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or changes in transit or hotel services over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.

Baggage and personal effects, including items purchased, guns, fishing equipment or sporting goods are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times and no employee/agent of Orvis Travel, its subsidiaries, affiliated or associated companies is authorized to accept these for storage, safekeeping, or transportation.

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