Category: fishing

Fishing Nunavik Northern Quebec

Arctic char on the fly

Episode 2/4, by Colin McKeown

Once we arrived at a specified location such as an island, then we broke out our fly fishing gear. Here you need to bring good quality rods and reels that can take the punishment of saltwater and large fish that seemingly never tire. Our go-to setup was a nine foot fast-action rod in a nine weight married to a large arbor reel. Ensure you have lots of backing of 50lb test as these char will definitely test your equipment with their powerful runs. You absolutely need a good quality drag system, preferably one with a sealed system.

Large arbor reel

My favourite line to use was the RIO InTouch Sinktip with a 600 grain 24 foot head

The large arbor will come into play when the fish often run directly at you and pick up of line must be quick. The flylines we are used were full-sink and long sink-tips. Both worked well if the sinking rate was five inches per second or greater. My favourite line to use was the RIO InTouch Sinktip with a 600 grain 24 foot head. This line was easy to cast in heavy winds and got the fly down quickly in the water column. You don’t need long leaders here, just a six foot piece of heavy mono or tippet of 1x or 2x size. You want at least a 15lb rating for the tippet as the char will often slam the flies with gusto and break-offs can occur with lighter systems. The flies we used were streamers and large green woolly buggers. However, the lodge will give you recommendations on what to bring plus the guides will have some flies for you to use.

Arctic fox hunting in the toundra

It hard to describe in a short article all that makes this unique land so very special. Lemmings running around everywhere, the aqua-blue color of the water in bays or even spotting a beautiful flower hanging precariously on the side of rock wall, this is all why coming to Nunavik and Inukshuk Lodge is so very very special. If you have a bucket list of places to go before you die, then you absolutely must add this lodge in one of the last pristine wildernesses left in the world.

Fishing Nunavik Northern Quebec

Arctic char on the fly

Episode 1/4, by Colin McKeown

This season we visited one lodge that was unquestionably in the top five places we have ever had the pleasure to fish…Inukshuk Lodge in Nunavik. Owned and operated by Paul Ostiguy in Montreal, this unique lodge in nestled on the rugged shores of Ungava Bay in northern Quebec. The reason for this superior rating can best be summed up the word Supernatural. In our opinion, this is the ultimate total fishing experience. Casting flies for huge and hard fighting Arctic Char that average 10-14 pounds, seeing seals, polar bears and whales…. this is all part of the exceptional experiences you get at this very special lodge.

Pitsic traditionnal inuit dry Artic char

Less than 4 hours to Montreal to fish  from the edge of Ungava Bay.

Your journey begins when you fly to Montreal and catch the flight to the small town of Kuujjuaq in Nunavik (Nunavik is Quebec’s arctic region). This wonderful town is populated by Nunavik Inuit who will welcome you warmly to their corner of the world, introducing you to the distinctive characteristics of their cultural and linguistic heritage, art and history, as well as traditional clothing and tools. You are now in the land of wild tundra, taiga forest, scenic mountains, majestic rivers and countless lakes. After a short flight of 45 minutes you will land at Black point track. Less than 4 hours to Montreal to fish  from the edge of Ungava Bay

Ungava Bay sea run Brook Trout

There are three species of fish that you can angle for at Inukshuk Lodge: Brook Trout, Atlantic Salmon and Arctic Char. We came for the large Arctic Char, which run up local rivers to spawn in late August or early September. We came in the first week of August when the char were cruising around the bay’s many sea islands hunting for krill and baitfish. These are really big fish that are exceptionally strong. Our average Arctic Char weighed approximately 10-12 pounds with our largest of the week coming in around 22+ pounds. In some locations we also spotted Sea-Run Brook Trout, which we cast to, with some success. Atlantic Salmon can also be caught in the saltwater in certain locations; they too are busy feeding on krill and baitifish called Lances.

Availables dates 2019

The booking for the next season is open

Availables dates for 2019 – 6 persons per week

28 June – 5 July : 6 persons
5 July – 12 July : 6 persons
12 July – 19 July : 6 persons
19 July – 26 July : 6 persons
26 July – 2 August : 6 persons
2 August – 9 August : 6 persons
9 August – 16 August : 6 persons
16 August – 23 August : 6 persons

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Nunavik, a land of promise for Arctic char fishing

Nunavik, a land of promise for Arctic char fishing

Our plane has just left the tarmac to reach Black point 40 minutes northeast of Kuujjuaq. We guessed through the mist the track of Inukshuk Lodge just before the Otter dropped us off on our promissed land. We are welcomed by Johnny May and his family. A true living legend, he is the first Inuit aviator in Nunavik and has more than 40,000 flight hours. Children and adults have now loaded our luggage and the 4 wheels are already rolling towards the lodge.

We came here for the Arctic Char whose orange livery of males during spawning attracts fishermen from all over the world. Known as a powerful fighter, Arctic Arctic char chase a few dozen individuals in schools in the millions of sand eels that populate Ungava Bay.

The first day is devoted to the preparation of our equipment and the scheduling of outings taking into consideration the tides. Indeed, with heights of up to 44 feet, the landscape changes drastically. The vastness of Ungava Bay at high tide leaves room for a multitude of islets at low tide that make navigation very dangerous. Tomorrow we leave for the first day, I will have the great privilege of fishing with Jeff Currier.

We use 9-foot rods with 150 m backing padded reels and an 8-foot diving silk of 300 grains Scientific Anglers. Our leader are 15 lbs tippets.

We are moving towards Duck Island, a place listed as very productive. After 15 minutes we are already on the scene, our first drifts show that the place is good. We spot fish that follow our flies. The water is extremely clear and the white edge typical of fins does not leave room for doubt. We drift with the boat parallel to the islet in a powerful current. The tanks follow our streamers imitating the sandeel. Jeff prepared a two-fly tandem montage with a purple wooly bugger at the top and a silver streamer at the tip.

After several drifts without more success, we leave for Island pigeons.

As soon as we arrive, we see a ballet of murrelets. We see them leaving the rocky island to dive in search of sand eels. This ride is a testament to a lot of activity. For us, it’s clear! There must be arctic char underneath.

After a few minutes our intuition becomes a winning move. We catch several fish in a row. Jeff even did two doubles. Our afternoon is punctuated by the many schools of Arctic char that prowl around the sandeel benches. Their appearances are synonymous with success. We each catch more than a dozen fish.