Imagine my surprise when I opened up an email from Wilson’s Fly Fishing Store in Toronto, to learn that I had won a trip to a classic Canadian fishing resort in Quebec, near the town of Tamiskaming. La Reserve Beauchene is an anglers paradise, spread over 50’000 acres of pure Canadian wilderness. With more than three dozen accessible lakes to explore and seven species of sport fish to choose from you have just found yourself in the perfect anglers heaven.
You have the choice to stay in the main lodge aka the White House, on the American plan or you can stay in the various cabins or even camp. Cabins range from big and extravagant to small efficiency cabins. All are very clean and very well equipped.
I stayed in the White House. Very nice indeed! Another guest up there during my stay was Bob Izumi and his family. I believe they stayed at the Eagle cabin but the came for meals at the White House. The dinning room sounded like Saturday morning TV at my house. Be sure to look for his program about this destination in the new TV season.
It has a nice relaxing lounge area with fireplace , games, a pool table, TV, CD/VCR, Computer with high speed internet and an honour bar with some very nice choices. Next to the lounge is the dinning room, which overlooks the water. The food, presentation and service is spectacular. I can’t say enough about the staff at Le Reserve Beauchene. They were very helpful and bent over backwards to make my stay memorable.
If I was thinking properly I would have taken photos of the plates served to me…but who’s thinking when the food looks and tastes as good as it does here.
The boats are included in the package. I hadn’t played around in a power boat since I was a youngster. It didn’t take to long to orient myself and get out there…though I’m sure I looked like I didn’t have a clue. I managed to get where I wanted to go and back without any problems and without crashing into anything. That’s not bad considering the only boat I’ve used in the past 40+ years only needs a paddle. It was fun , for sure. I decided to venture out into the big lake “Beauchene” on the first day. My goal was to try and catch a Lake Trout on a fly rod. It took me the better part of three hours but I finally found some in water where I thought my sinking fly line could get to. With a little luck and a stupid mistake, I hooked into a nice Lac Beauchene Lake Trout.
If numbers count to you, I would suggest bringing a variety of tackle options. You’ll have the best chance at all species in a short amount of time. There are a lot of fish in these waters. This was May and the lakes were COLD. Being a fly angler I was not concerned with numbers so much. I kept my goals reasonable and was able to get what I came for. This reserve is very well known for its large small mouth bass. I decided not to spend a lot of time looking for them because the weather conditions were unsettled as we just had a cold front slide in…. and I can fish for some big ones on my home turf so I really wanted to concentrate on the other fish this area is famous for…brook trout…BIG ones.
To get to the Brook Trout I was hoping for, requires some back road driving to the smaller lakes on the reserve. My first morning out I was lead down this road for over three kilometres by this young moose.
Each lake is marked with a number and a small parking access. Some require short walks…others, longer walks. Each lake also has a john boat available for your use. You just need to bring the electric motor, which they provide. I’m more than happy in my FishCat4 as this gives me the control I want, goes on my back like a back pack and weighs all of 12 lbs.
The really neat thing was that the lakes I fished were probably fished for the first time this year by me. It was the later half of May and the black flies were active. I’ve always believed if you wanted to get still water brookies on a fly rod, black fly season was the time to go. I had a bug jacket with me…. and yes they do work quite well. I strongly recommend it.
After trying a few different tactics with the fly rod, I finally fell into one that worked. I used a sink tip line and streamers, fished not to quickly, seemed to be the ticket this time of year. I won’t say it was easy. It isn’t. It will test all your skills. If catching is important and you’re not confident with your skills, I would highly recommend you hire a guide who knows this reserve, if you want the best chance at getting into some truly spectacular fish. It’s just a wise investment when you’ve already invested so much.
I apologize for the quality of the photos below. I was fishing alone , in a float tube …and my camera has seen the bottom of rivers just one too many times. I missed more shots than you see here. It’s tough holding on to these strong slippery guys without doing damage. All fish were released unharmed.
These are magnificent fish in the spring but they would be truly spectacular in their deep fall mating colors. I’d love a chance to get up there to catch fish for the biologists doing their fish studies some year.
There are also Walleye, Pike, Splake, Lake Trout, SM Bass and White Fish. ALL of these species can be caught on a fly rod…and if that is your game, this is a grand place to play. Is this place designed specifically for fly fishing? No… but don’t let that stop you. This is what the real game of fly fishing is really about. It’s also about beautiful places and this on one of those too.
I think these photos just about say it all.
***By the way…if you book this trip (or any other trip) through Wilson’s, it costs the same as booking directly, however you receive a gift certificate worth 10% of the trip cost that you can put towards any item in Wilson’s Fly Fishing Store.