It was supposed to be the second Beauchêne Invitational, a rematch, if you will, of last year’s Labour Day weekend angling competition pitting three fishing buddies against each other: me, Jon Baker and Pat Trudell. The only major difference with this past weekend’s three-day fish-off at Quebec’s famed La Réserve Beauchêne was the addition of Pat’s older brother, Randy. Well, that and the fact that, this time, we competed as two-man teams: me and Randy versus Jon and Pat. (And yes, you may recognize those names from my recent dispatches about the Haverhill Boys FC Weekend Extravaganza 3.0.)
Otherwise, the fishing and fun went down pretty much the same as last year’s outing, as documented in my story, “Battling the boys in Beauchêne” (see the current Summer issue of Outdoor Canada magazine). In short, many fish were caught, a few cocktails were consumed back at the cabin on Birch Lake and no end of laughs were had. There was just one hiccup, and that involved the competitive aspect of this past weekend’s tournament: simply, our record keeping of the fish caught ended up taking a backseat to the actual fishing.
Things started out somewhat seriously enough on our first night, Thursday, on Birch Lake, and by the end of the following first full day, Pat and Jon held a slight lead. But by day’s end on Saturday, with team members switching up and a couple of competitors retreating to the cabin for some R&R (ahem, Pat and Randy), things pretty much went off the rails in terms of keeping an accurate tally.
In all, we fished Birch, Devil, Little Beauchêne and McConnell Lakes, primarily targeting the reserve’s coveted, dark-bodied smallmouth bass (although Jon hooked a small lake trout that mysteriously rose boat side to slam a spinner at the end of the retrieve). Including the dinks, we must have caught upwards of 150 fish amongst the four of us, with Jon getting the trophy of the trip: a 21-inch wild-beast bass. And we managed all this great fishing despite some truly hot afternoons and a long line of thunderstorms that pestered us all weekend long—all part of Beauchene’s drive-to Quebec wilderness experience.
Thanks again to La Réserve Beauchêne’s General Manager, Tony Avramtchev, for the hospitality and setting us up at Birch Lake. Much appreciated, my friend, and we hope to see you again soon. Until then, here are a few photos from this past weekend’s adventure.
To learn more about Beauchêne’s fantastic angling opportunities (40 lakes, six species of fish), click here.