The Outaouais: an open door to a world of wildlife possibilities
The choice of the destination appealed to me a lot because the Domaine Shannon outfitter belongs to good acquaintances of mine, namely the brothers Serge and Sylvain Danis. In my opinion, it is a great place for entertainment with its 335 square kilometers of diversified habitats, in addition to being located in a region rich in species.
The Outaouais is an excellent escape destination with a territory of 33,000 square kilometers, 80% of which is covered by forests and is home to a multitude of bodies of water, including two vast reservoirs and a host of rivers. Who hasn't heard of the extent and quality of the beaches of the immense Baskatong reservoir located in the Gatineau Valley?
This tourist region has everything to satisfy anyone who wants to discover a diversified nature with family, friends or as a couple. Whether it's simply to relax, or to fish for lake trout, brook trout, tasty walleye or combative northern pike, there is something for everyone. In fact, one of our expedition objectives, besides catching a black bear, was to foil a large freshwater shark, where I knew I could find one.
Fighting fish at the end of the line!
On Fred's birthday, our group got up at first light with the goal of taking advantage of a perfectly sunny day to head to a more remote lake where there would be less fishing pressure. Known by the Danis brothers for its pike of various sizes, it presented a fairly good potential for the capture of a larger subject. With little time to fish and wanting to experience the thrill of having caught a few pike in the past, Fred and I decided to go for a big pike. Sometimes you just have to think of a goal before you get on the water, and then be impressed.
Since we wanted to return to our bear hunting site early in the afternoon, we quickly prioritized the best places to catch pike, near the grass beds and the various stream entrances rich in food for them.
The weather was ideal, and all the tips and tricks shared by our guide increased our chances.
Our approach was methodical and rigorous, so much so that our reel brakes quickly began to sing when faced with medium sized pike at the end of our lines. In short, we were biting! Then, while letting my line drift in the wind, I presented a lure in front of a weed bed near a large submerged tree; to me, a dream hideout for the underwater torpedo we were looking for.
Not surprisingly, a very strong attack came and the echo of the fiery and combative nature of this athletic fish still echoes in the surrounding mountains. The head of the pike in question was simply gigantic.
This fight will remain engraved in me forever. It is difficult to estimate or measure the size of the fish that we released, but its weight and its strength showed me an exceptional catch that all, beginners, amateurs or fishing enthusiasts, would appreciate at the Outaouais outfitters.
That morning, aboard our comfortable boat and taken care of by our experienced guide, everyone succeeded in catching pike and the atmosphere was very festive.
As the weather was still very nice for the next day, we organized a last walleye fishing trip, this time on the big lake Séguin where most of the cottages are located.
"There was no way we could end this very diverse stay without a succulent shore lunch prepared on one of the many beaches of the area."
To me, no gourmet restaurant menu can compete with fresh walleye and pike. As I ate this meal fit for kings, I looked at Fred, who was sniffing his feet in the water, and thought to myself, "Here's a guy who's entering his 40's with the best Mother Nature has to offer!
Text by Michel Therrien
Read the full article in our latest magazine here.