The Province of Quebec, in eastern Canada, is a wealth of old and new, port cities and poor towns, closed down factories and wood processing plants, and an ever-shrinking wealth of natural resources. Quebec has a lot of mountains which house world-famous ski resorts that turn into golf resorts in the off season, and close to 8,275 lakes pepper the land, mostly in the central, eastern and northern regions. Traveling to northern Quebec is not only an adventure, nor is it merely a battle of life and death against the never-ending swarms of mosquitoes and black flies, but it is a camper’s and a fisherman’s paradise.
If you take a look at a map of Quebec, you will see that starting in central Quebec, there is more water than land, and most of that water flows into the Arctic ocean, Hudson’s Bay and James Bay. The largest lake is Lac Mistassini, which has many rivers and creeks feeding into and out of it. Fisherman have called many of the rivers that flow out of Lac Mistassini “black water”, for the number of fish backs that can be seen swimming up stream during spawning season, as well as for the speed and depth of the water.
As an avid fisherman, especially for speckled (or, brook) trout, brown and lake trout, as well as Arctic Char and sea trout, the rivers that flow into James Bay and Hudson’s Bay from Quebec are deep, fast, full of rapids and waterfalls, and chock full of trout. It seems to be that the other species of sport fish just gave up and swam away, giving the pristine, crystal clear waters to the trout to prosper in. And prosper they do, as catching a five-pound brook trout every day becomes expected and not a heart-stopper, as they were the first few times that you landed some of them.
Of course, there are a seemingly endless supply of one to three pound brook trout, but the bigger ones will be caught, and mainly at the ends of long rapids, or at the bottom of high waterfalls, which seem to be everywhere in northern Quebec. Just drive north to Val D’or, and then follow the signs for the James Bay frontier. You will have to sign in at the entrance to the highway, but there are no tolls, this is for your safety, as well as for regulations.
The only real problem with northern Quebec and the abundance of near endless fish catches is that the roads and highways do not reach even five percent of the rivers, creeks and lakes that are teeming with trout and other species of sport fish. There are many fly in fishing lodges, but they are quite expensive, and you have to fish with guides, which can be a blessing at times, as they know where the fish that you want will be plentiful at the time of year that you are visiting.
Another problem with the fishing, driving and camping in northern Quebec is that the ice does not even leave the rivers and lakes until the end of July to the start of August. With that in mind, if you want to experience the Province of Quebec in all of it’s splendour and glory, travel along the Saint Lawrence River corridor. From Montreal to Quebec City to Saint Louis De Ha Ha, there are cities new and old to discover, and sporting activities to keep the harshest adrenaline junkies quite satisfied.
For more information on visiting the Province of Quebec, visit the Tourism Bureau at http://www.bonjourquebec.com/qc-en/accueil0.html. Enjoy your visit, you will most definitely be back.