37 Years of Great Fishing at Budd’s Gunisao Lake Lodge

Budd's Gunisao Lake Lodge - 37 Years - 1987-2024

The 2024 fishing season marks the 37th Anniversary of Budd’s Gunisao Lake Lodge.

Over the seasons Gunisao has seen many guests, staff and trophy fish.  If the Lodge walls could speak, we all know that they would have some interesting stories to tell.  Tales of amazing trophy catches, fish that got away, unannounced bear arrivals at shore lunch, and everyday guest banter, would be just a handful of the memories/stories you would hear.

You can view/download our commemorative 30th Anniversary photo collage here.

Doc, Dusty, and Ann Louise - June 2019
Doc, Dusty, and Ann Louise - June 2019
Dusty & Jennie - May 2022
Dusty & Jennie - May 2022

The origin of the Lodge is an exceptional story in itself. Gunisao Lake was once commercially fished for several years. It was not fished for walleye nor for northern pike, but rather for lake trout. The “Old Fishing Station” near the middle of the lake was the staging area for harvesting the fish. Also, there is an old ice shack on an island just north of the Lodge that would store the ice for shipping the harvested lake trout. Natives from Norway House brought wood boats up 42 portages from Norway House and set up tents, and Gunisao Lake became a formal fishing destination. Some years later a gentleman by the name of Jim Gulay, from Fisher Branch, Manitoba, purchased the operation. He built the Lodge, runway, and cabins. Gulay operated the camp for close to eight years before selling it to brothers Dr. Jim and Don Budd.

The love of fishing and hunting was the driving force that led Dr. Jim (Doc) and Don into purchasing a fishing resort in the fall of 1987. They put the word out within the fishing industry that they were looking to make a purchase. It took a couple of years for them to find the right combination of location and fishing to strike an interest, but it was a search worth waiting for. Together they visited many lodges, carefully considered a few, and in the end fate took its course. One day Doc’s phone rang and on the other end was Jim Gulay. Mr. Gulay had heard that Doc was looking to purchase a fishing resort, and was calling to tell him of his fishing lodge in northern Manitoba. It did not take much convincing for Doc and Don to head up to Manitoba and take a look at this lodge with their own eyes. They spent nearly a month at Gunisao in the fall of 1987 fishing their way around the lake and trying to decide if this was truly the right place. In the end they realized it was, and Doc and Don decided to purchase the lodge and name it Budd’s Gunisao Lake Lodge.

In the years that Doc owned and ran the Lodge, he surrounded himself with family much of the way. His brother Don was the cook in the kitchen and assisted Doc with handiwork and many other things around camp during the first few years. Don’s wife Barb was actively involved with the Lodge during the summers and accompanied Don to sport shows in the off season. Ann Louise, Doc’s wife, was also involved throughout the years working the occasional sports show, answering the phones, lending helping hands to the serving and cleaning staff, and expediting in Winnipeg. Brendon Budd, the fourth of Doc’s six children, was also with the Lodge in the beginning. Brendon helped Doc manage the Lodge for thirteen years. During these years he met and married his wife Lisa, who was the Lodge’s expeditor at the time. They were both involved in everything from sport shows to bartending during the regular season. Dusty, the youngest of Doc's children, began working for the Lodge as a guide, bartender and store assistant during the summers of 1996 to 2000. In 2002 Dusty became the General Manager. During that same season he met his wife Jennie, one of the serving and cleaning staff at the time; they later married in 2005. Together with Doc, Dusty and Jennie managed the Lodge and were always seeking ways to make improvements around camp and to the experience that they provided for their guests. During these years Dusty and Jennie also welcomed their children into the world and of course into fishing resort life; son Jackson born 2008, and daughter Dakota born 2010. In the fall of 2013 Dusty and Jennie officially became the owners, and 2024 is Dusty’s twenty-third season managing the Lodge.

Budd’s Gunisao Lake Lodge is truly the World’s Best Trophy Walleye Fishing destination. One look at the master angler list in Manitoba’s Master Angler Record Book can attest to that. Just ask any of our long time patrons; most anyone that has ever fished Gunisao waters knows exactly why it is such a special place, and such a diamond in the rough.

If Trophy Walleye’s Your Game, Then Budd’s Is The Name!™