Everybody has their favorite travel spots, from tropical islands to National, State or Provincial Parks, mountain streams, beaches and fishing hot spots, to theme parks and countries yet unvisited. Dependant upon your idea of an ideal travel hot spot, you can plan well in advance to possibly get cheaper rates or upgrades, by making reservations on-line or over the phone. Most sporting and adventurous people go to an area that is perfect for the sports and activities that they are most into, and tourists flock to where they have yet to travel to.
For this scribe, the isolation, the campfires under blankets of stars, and the aurora borealis at night, is only a portion of what my favorite travel hot spots must supply. As long as there are speckled trout, brown trout, lake trout, grayling, walleye and/or sturgeon in the waters where I camp, I am in paradise. If there are no other people around, it is all the better, and that type of isolation, along with the constant catching of beautiful sport fish, makes for the ideal favorite travel hot spot.
As a younger man, the ideal travel hot spots had to include concerts by the likes of David Bowie, the Who, Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, Queen, Neil Young, the Beach Boys, and other, typical 1960’s through late-1970’s rock and roll bands. As I got older, my favorite travel hot spots started to become more and more isolated, with crowds of people becoming less and less important than the quality and quantity of fish, the isolation and the wildlife that are present in isolated and far-flung places.
Specifically, the Rupert and Broadback rivers in northern Quebec, Canada are my favorite travel hot spots. In exchange for about 20 hours of driving north and east from Ottawa, Ontario, much of it on the James Bay Highway and Quebec Hydro line service roads that make mountain biking trails look like sidewalks, we land different species of trout on almost every cast. And, these trout are typically 2 to 7 pound speckled and brown trout, and lake trout from 20 to well over 80 pounds, in waters so fast that the rip tide carries a canoe faster than two men could possibly paddle.
With daily glimpses of black, brown and grizzly bears, the odd moose and many a predatory bird, the millions and millions of black flies and mosquitoes are bearable. It is almost impossible to take three steps, with complete concentration, without stepping on a blueberry bush or ten. There are ominous road-side billboard-sized signs, more frequently displayed on the sides of the highways the further north you travel, especially the James Bay Highway, telling the travelers to pull over and pick as many blueberries as they can possibly pick and carry. Makes for wonderful blueberry pancake breakfasts.
For a true trout fisherman, there are fewer better travel hot spots than the Rupert and Broadback rivers, which drain most of Quebec’s waters into the James Bay and Hudson’s Bay. Sea trout are frequently caught in the rivers when fishing closer to the two Bays, and it is quite impossible for the bears to swim one of the fastest flowing rivers in the world.
One of the best things about traveling to the far north in Canada is that the camping is wilderness camping, just find a spot that you like and set up camp. There is more wood on the ground, perfectly dry, to keep a good sized camp fire lit for a couple of weeks, without having to travel more than a couple of hundred yards to collect enough for a couple of day’s worth.
An abundance of necessary and comfort resources, as well as the privacy and the wildlife make the Rupert and Broadback rivers the ultimate favorite travel spots for the adventure campers and the fishermen amongst you all.