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Why these fishing buddies can’t stay away from Beauchêne

Beauchêne on the brain

Stunning scenery, awesome angling and backcountry bliss. No wonder they keep coming back to this slice of Quebec wilderness

It just never gets old, that first view of Birch Lake (above) as you round the last corner on the dirt road and drive down to the shoreline outpost cabin. Last summer, I made my seventh consecutive pilgrimage to Quebec’s pristine Beauchêne Wilderness Lodge, and I’m counting the days until I head back again this August. The reasons are many.

For starters, there’s that first view of Birch Lake and the cozy, off-grid cabin, and that welcoming feeling of solitude and adventure that goes along with it—just imagine having a wilderness Canadian Shield lake all to yourself for four days, with no other anglers than you and your fishing buddies.

Then there’s the camaraderie of fish camp (speaking of buddies), complete with some friendly angling competition, good food, après-fishing cards and cocktails and plenty of laughs. Joining me once again last summer was my old neighbour and fishing pal Jon Baker, who has been on every single trip since 2011, along with long-time friend Billy Shields, who’s been joining us since 2013.

The author with a 2017 catch

Sadly, one of our stalwart crew members from the beginning, Pat Trudell, understandably couldn’t make it due to the passing of his mother. (We will make up for it this year, Patty!) In his place, we brought along another good neighbourhood friend, Gord Browning. It was great for Gord, as he’d long heard about our Beauchêne exploits and was keen to get in on the action. And it was great for us because Gord happily agreed to take on Pat’s camp chef duties. Now that’s what you call a win-win.

Most of all, though, it’s the fishing itself that draws me back to Beauchêne year after year, whether it’s to Birch Lake or the Foley Island outpost cabin on the west end of Lake Beauchêne itself, where my buddies and I have twice set up our base camp. But don’t just take my word for it—here’s what the boys themselves have to say about Beauchêne.

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh is Outdoor Canada's Editor-in-Chief and Brand Manager. He grew up fishing and hunting in Bracebridge, Ontario, where he began his magazine career in 1983 as assistant editor of Muskoka Life magazine. Since then, he has worked for a variety of media, both in Canada and abroad, earning numerous writing and editing awards. In 2005, 2011 and 2012, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named him Editor of the Year, while Outdoor Canada was honoured as Magazine of the Year (in the medium circulation category). Walsh has been at the magazine's helm since 2000.

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