Guided trip: Canoe a classic salmon river
Fishermen know the Gaspé’s Bonaventure River as one of the country’s best Atlantic salmon streams. But it’s also a paddling paradise, with its mountain scenery, frequent rapids and crystal clarity. (The Mi’kmaq called the Bonaventure Wagamet, which means “clear water.”) Starting narrow and shallow, the Bonaventure flows out of its namesake lake high in the Chic-Choc Mountains, then runs 121 kilometres to the Baie-des-Chaleurs, near the New Brunswick border. Missinaibi Headwaters Outfitters takes eight days to cover the length of the river. The first few days require teamwork to negotiate tight drops and rocky rapids. Day four brings the highlight, The Gorge, where the mountains hug close and the river steepens creating a day-long adventure of ledges and rocky drops, up to class III. Then the mountains pull back, the forest closes, the river relaxes and the fishing improves, with salmon sprinting away from the boats and leaping from the water. There’s plenty of time built into the itinerary to hook one of the wily fish from the gravel bar campsites.
When: June 12 to 20
This article was originally published on March 15, 2012