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About the Camp & Your Hosts

Seine River Lodge was established in 1932 as a fly in or train in fishing camp.

The camp has a colourful history, and it will have to be documented one day. Stories of crazy trappers shooting at each other down the train tracks, and the booming lumber town of Banning Ontario (that burnt down early in the 20th century), the famous "Hot Stove Murder" during a prohibition era Flanders Ontario. Log booms, countless colourful characters including trappers, guides guests, proprietors and their adventures will surely all be a part of the history of Seine River Lodge.

I was 7 months old when my parents, Carl & Joan Branch bought the camp in 1967. My Dad built a road connecting our camp to Highway 11.

I guess I'm one of only a few people of my generation able to truthfully say he grew up in a tiny log cabin in the middle of the wilderness with no electricity or plumbing. It made for some long, cold - albeit interesting - winters.

I can remember my Dad letting me hook up our black & white TV to the battery out of our truck on Saturday nights to watch "Hockey Night In Canada".

Of course when I tell my kids now how I used to have to snowshoe a mile to catch the school bus my wife Lori rolls her eyes and shakes her head. I guess it does get a little tired sounding.

I'm not sure when the camp started the canoe outfitting portion of the business, although it was noted on our first brochure in 1967 as well as all of our future brochures. Whether or not the previous owners provided that service I'm not sure.

Some of my earliest memories are riding on the back of our 1 ton 1967 GMC truck en route to bringing canoeists into Quetico.

My Dad was a prospector & geophysicist for 20 years or so before buying the camp. He bought the camp because, although he loved being in the bush, he wanted to settle down. He often says he lived in a tent for 20 years. He did, and year around as well.

For several years our canoe outfitting gear consisted of my Dad's old prospecting equipment. Although this was truly professional gear, it wasn't exactly what you'd call ultralite.

In 1997, my wife Lori & I decided to replace/ upgrade all the old gear with some of the more modern, ultralite gear. After doing so we put together a separate canoe outfitting brochure to tell everyone about our great new gear.

Prior to that, we always got our canoe outfitting business by default. It seems that just by the fact that we're located near Atikokan / Quetico we always received interest in it.

We always had that service, but never really advertised it. After expanding and upgrading, along with consistent advertising it's been growing & growing each year.

We've really focused on the quality of the gear. Everything we use we test ourselves, and whenever possible we use local, or at least "northern" products. Souris River Canoes, Duluth & Ostrom Outdoors Packs etc.

We even are planning a custom pack with Ostrom Outdoors that will be based on the cut of some of my Dad's old prospector packs.

Of course, as you may have guessed, I grew up at the camp and spent many years guiding fishing & camping trips.

My wife Lori became involved with the camp in 1990 when I met her. She keeps me in check and is responsible for a lot of the creature comforts at the camp as well as actively choosing gear and designing our trail menus.

We've got 3 kids Wyatt born in 1994, Tegan born in 1996 and Kiana born in 1997.

They did their first Quetico trip in 2002 and had a great time!

My parents retired in 2001, but are still around to help out and offer suggestions. Believe me, that's a good thing, because you just don't find experience like that anywhere.

Besides we have a lot of repeat guests over 50% - with many coming for 10- 25+ years. A very important part of your life as an outfitter is seeing these old friends, and you just can't walk away from that!

Business is going great, and seems to be getting busier each year.

We love to see that but we don't have any plans of being a "big outfitter" (or camp). We're committed to the quality of service (& life) that comes from running a smaller business. We enjoy knowing everyone and helping everyone.

The Atikokan area is known as a world class destination for canoeing & fishing.

We feel strongly that the Atikokan area will continue develop into a world class destination for all types of wilderness trips mountain biking, wilderness art & photography, hiking, skiing, and adventure travel of all sorts.

We really want to continue to be a part of that.

We hope that you come to visit and contribute to the ongoing colourful history of Branch's Seine River Lodge / Wyteki Outfitters.

Thanks for checking out our web site, and please contact us at any time with any questions.