MATHIEU AND THE GREAT UCIMÂW
From a conservation and traditional perspective, fly fishing and releasing the catch is the best option. This technique, however, is not often used for catching pike. Embarking on a Nibiischii fishing adventure in late June, our protagonists Mathieu, Juliette and Fred were dubious about catching a big northern pike with fly fishing.
Led by Mathieu, the group first left Quebec City in the early morning. It was their first time north of Chibougamau and as they traveled over unending miles, the landscape gradually changed until they were surrounded by boreal forest, a breathtaking and unique environment. At midday, the group reached a tiny village on the shores of Lake Waconichi. Several cottages there look out to the lake and serve as basecamp for daily fishing trips.
“Fly fishing pike is quite the challenge; you need a variety of gear to adapt to prevailing conditions.”
"You have to take everything into account: the water level, the period, the time, the habitat,” pointed out Mathieu as he and his team began their quest. They started their first day without a guide as they looked for these “freshwater sharks”. The water there is so clear that you can see everything, but the Esocidae are wise. One must anticipate their movements and align one's position to catch a pike. The group's high expectations were not met on the first three days. Despite some interesting catches, the monster fish remained elusive. On the fourth day, some took the bait but resisted capture. The group decided to split to cover more ground, only to hear Fred shout from his boat. They found him struggling with his fishing rod and were quick to capture the moment on film. The result: a first catch worthy of the quest with 42-43 inches of monster fish! The angler's dream! The team became all smiles.
On the next day, the group headed out for Lake Robineau, a two-and-a-half-hour ride from Waconichi via the North Road. The northern landscape became more apparent.