We all lead busy lives, and sometimes we don’t have the time or money to fly away from home. For a weekend getaway, we generally can drive to a location that’s a maximum four hours away from home. You can easily prepare a weekend getaway fishing. There, in good company, you will enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors, away from the everyday stress of the city.

I have the chance of having a wonderful active girlfriend who likes being out there in the wilderness, hiking, camping, fishing, snow shoeing, cross-country and alpine skiing, and many other activities. My father also loves fishing. Fishing allows me to have a wonderful time, one on one with someone else, undisturbed from everyday distractions such as mobile phones, internet, radio or television.

After university, moving and working in New York city for a few years, building a career and generally keeping busy, I had not returned to the woods of my childhood to enjoy the region there. I was born in Joliette, Quebec, and when I was young, my father would bring my brother and I fishing. My grandfather also had a vacation home in the woods in St-Zenon, Quebec, and he would bring my brother and I every Saturday.

There, we would hike in the woods, ride snowmobiles, build tree houses, eat wild berries, and many other things. I have great memories from my childhood. My grandfather died a long time ago. I am grateful that he communicated his love of nature to us.

The Lanaudiere region in the province of Quebec is a great place for hiking, fishing, camping and other activities in the wilderness. Contrary to the nearby regions such as the Laurentians, in which tourism has developed tremendously over the last few decades with world class accomodations, international ski resorts and such, the Lanaudiere region has remained mostly a region of pristine wilderness, only known to fishermen, hunters and snow mobilers. So if you are looking to get away from the highway traffic jams and the crowds of the heavily touristic regions, and are ready to enjoy the simple, rugged outdoors, then the Lanaudiere region is for you.

The first outfitters my girlfriend and I visited was the Pourvoirie Domaine Bazinet. This outfitter is a great place for a family vacation. We chose to camp in a tent on an isolated island in the middle of a lake. We had the island all to ourselves. On the wooded island, there is a dock, a picnic table, a site to setup your tent, and an outhouse. While exploring the island we found nesting ducks. At night the island is home to several hundred birds, and a few common loons.

We had a great time there, but sleeping on an island of the outfitter’s main lake meant that we would be fishing from that lake, rather than go back to the car and drive to another lake on that day. We only caught a few trouts on the lake, but that was enough for us to have a trout dinner on the island, with potatoes and mushrooms. The next day we woke up late and hit the lake late in the morning, and the fishing under a full sun in July was not too good. Nevertheless, we had a great time my girlfriend and I. When you go there, as with other outfitters, the boat is included, and for 35$ cdn per day you also get an electric engine and battery. You only need to bring your fishing gear and life vest and you’re ready to go.

The second place, Auberge La Barrière, I visited twice in July. First with my girlfriend, and the second time with my father. We didn’t have much luck on the lake in front of the main lodge, but on Lake Fourchu, both times we caught our limit within a few hours and were very happy.

The second time I visited, with my father, there were only two other boats on the lake on Saturday, and we were alone on this big lake most of Sunday! We both had a great time being with each other. My father is getting older, and I know how lucky I am that he still alive and well enough that we can spend time together.

Pictures cannot tell how beautiful this place is. Common loons, come close to the boat, and fish. These animals are so beautiful.

Common loon

We also had a few ospreys flying over our heads. I even saw one dive into the lake to catch a fish. On another occasion, a female osprey caught a fish and was flying away with it in its claws when another osprey tried for a good five minutes to steal its prey from it, flying and turning around it.

About the fishing gear we use

We are very successful at catching trout, including rainbow trouts, arctic char, and brook trout. We use fairly cheap gear and few items. My grandfather started me fishing by crafting a rod using a small branch, fishing line, a small hook and a worm. He used to say that fish do not know the difference between that and a very expensive fishing rod. He was so right! In fact, I caught my biggest trout ever, which was 21 inches long, using a ten dollar fishing rod which I had purchased on the same day at Wal-Mart.

So without further ado, here is what I fish with:

A 10$ basic trout net Trilene ® Big Game ® 12lbs green fishing line

A 6’6″ (2 meters) medium action spinning fishing rod (12$)

A Quantum Nomad 40 spinning reel 70$
Quantum Nomad 40 spinning reel

A fishing lure from Ma-Jik (6$) A Ma-Jik fishing lure (Mouchetee #1)

A swivel clip Swivel clip to attach the fishing rod’s line to the lure

#8 fishing hooks from the dollar store (1$)
A Ma-Jik fishing lure (Mouchetee #1)

Berlkey® Trilene ® Big Game 12lbs monofilament green fishing line (13$)
Berkley® Trilene ® Big Game monofilament 12lbs green fishing line

Worms.

A 25$ spinning reel and medium action fishing rod combo would have worked just as well. In fact, that’s exactly what my girlfriend is using and she catches as many fish as me. It’s just that I splurged by getting the Quantum Nomad 40 reel, simply because it had more metal and less plastic in its construction, and looked nicer.

The fishing rod’s line is attached to the swivel clip. Then we clip the lure to the swivel. Then we take a 40″ (1 meter) long piece of line, attach one end to the lure and the other end to a hook. The last step involves cutting a worm just long enough to completely hide the hook. Note that the swivel makes the lure free turning in the water without twisting the rod’s line. The 30-36 inches of line and the hook turn with the lure. So be careful not to put a swivel between the lure and the hook.

Other necessities include a pair of scissors, a pair of longnose plyers (to unhook the fish), a pair of cheap gloves (fish are slippery), sunscreen and bug repellent.

Now let’s discuss the fishing line I use. If you’ve been to a store that sells fishing gear, you know that there is very expensive fishing line out there. I only fish using Berlkey® Trilene ® Big Game 12lbs green fishing line. It’s only around 13$ at Canadian Tire for 1175 yards (1.1 kilometers). I use it because it is dirt cheap, it is reliable and does not stretch or twist into a mess like other lines, and because I seem to take as much fish with this line as with other more expensive lines.