East of the Mackenzie River, Great Bear Lake is one of the world’s best freshwater fishing lakes, and it has the records to prove it. This lake holds world records for all line classes of lake trout and arctic grayling; the overall world record trout weighed in at a whopping 32.5 kilograms (72 pounds) and measured more than one meter (three feet). The lake also holds world records for most classes of arctic grayling, including the overall record.
Around the lake are small fishing lodges offering all-inclusive packages, including Great Bear Lake Lodge operated by Plummer’s Arctic Lodges (204/774-5775 or 800/665-0240, www.canadianarcticfishing.com ). Accommodations, all meals, guides, professionally equipped boats, and round-trip air charters from Winnipeg or Edmonton  are included in the package; US$4,600 for seven days.
Formerly known as Fort Franklin, Déline (meaning “flowing water”) is the only community on the lake. In 1825, Sir John Franklin wintered at the trading post here before setting off on one of his many expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage. Today, the Slavey Dene of Déline live a traditional lifestyle, trapping, fishing, and making crafts including moccasins for which they are well known.
The tepee-shaped church is worth visiting, and the hike along the shore of Great Bear Lake offers rewarding vistas and passes several historic sites.
Right in town, Grey Goose Lodge (867/589-5500, www.greygooselodge.ca , $185 pp including breakfast) is a modern accommodation with 12 guest rooms, canoe and motorboat rentals, and fishing charters.