Let's go back in time a bit. Franck was born in the Beauce region, more precisely in the town of Sainte-Marie, located a few kilometers southeast of Lévis. His childhood took place between his hometown, the southern suburbs of Montréal and the beautiful city of Québec. At a very young age, he had the chance to discover fishing, hunting and trapping when a school friend invited him, on several occasions, to his cottage in Bellechasse. Already at that time, the young François felt the attraction of the countryside and each stay in the forest cultivated in him the flame that animates him today.
After studying physical geography at Laval University and three years of service as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, Franck worked in the restaurant business before being approached by a friend in Calgary who was looking for a representative for Eastern Canada for a company in development that specialized in financial management software. It was at this point that his career took off. Trained within the firm, he held various jobs, but mainly he was in charge of the development and operation of stock purchase plan and compensation management applications for more than ten years.
"Living on major arteries in the downtown area has its advantages, but François has always appreciated the different pace of the campaign."
And after many years in the corporate world, he dreamed of new challenges. Despite the vacation time, the salary and the many other benefits offered by his employer at the time, François did not feel fulfilled by his work. By a happy coincidence Fred Campbell called him for a morning of duck hunting on Île d'Orléans with guide Mathieu Tremblay. Once there, he realizes that in addition to his friends and hunting partners, a few cameras are set up to capture the experience. The Hooked on Hunting series was slowly coming to fruition. A few weeks later, Fred invited Franck to take on the role of host for the series. Without hesitation, he chose to take an eight-month unpaid leave of absence to take on this new challenge. During the shooting, an old feeling is confirmed: he must change his life and get closer to nature, to his true passions. But the contract expires and he has to go back to work, in front of his computer.
After the firm he works for is acquired by a big player on the financial scene in 2019, he receives a call from his friend Alex Mallais who offers him to come and guide for the Salmon Lodge on the Great Cascapedia.
The idea of leaving the city life to get closer to nature imposed itself. He decided to sell his house and move to the Gaspé Peninsula to find happiness, without really knowing what life as a fishing guide had in store for him. Moving in a time of pandemic brings its share of difficulties, but the motivation that his upcoming reality brings him carries him. Faced with an uncertain future, he chose to rent a small temporary home with his wife and three children. Not having been able to say goodbye to their friends because of the confinement, they find the start difficult. But after a busy guiding season and with his new experience, Franck chooses, for the 2020 season, to renew the experience and develop his skills with the Cascapedia company by becoming a salmon fishing guide on the 17 mile sector, in addition to keeping his job at the Salmon Lodge. In the spring of 2021, François decided to make his move official and bought a house in Cascapedia St-Jules, close to his friend Jean-Philippe Tessier, a renowned salmon fishing guide who has greatly inspired him.
"It is said that a happy worker is a productive worker. It is not therefore not by chance if François is noticed by Evan Sexton, owner of the of the boutique Sexton & Sexton and and manager of the Middle Camp on the Great Cascapedia, who offers him a job at the prestigious lodge."
After careful consideration, he accepted the important position of co-manager of this mecca of Atlantic salmon fishing. This new adventure will lead him to manage a dozen employees, including eight fishing guides. He is also responsible for reservations, payments and welcoming clients. To make sure that the clients do not miss anything, he reviews the material orders and answers special requests. In short, he takes care of everything and even manages to guide from time to time.
In spite of this intense work - he works seven days a week during the entire salmon fishing season - François is finally perfectly happy. And his family, especially Alexandra, his wife, has played a very important role. Without her support and encouragement, none of this would have been possible. From their very first conversations, when this was just a sketch, a dream, she supported and encouraged him to follow his heart, his instincts and to go for it. He now has a job that he is passionate about and he lives it to the fullest. In the winter, he works at the Pin Rouge ski resort, taking advantage of this quieter season to rest in order to start the next fishing season in top shape. Recently, he even bought a small woodlot where he can retire from time to time to hunt and spend time with his family in the forest. As for his children, they have integrated their new school, made new friends and love their life in the country. Finally, at 42 years old, François feels at home.
"After nearly three years of living on a human scale with those he loves, Franck says it straightforwardly: It would now be very difficult for me to return to a conventional job. Thank you life!"
Text by Guillaume Morin