Camp Bonaventure is a premier Atlantic Salmon Lodge on Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula on the east coast of Canada. Nestled in a natural stand of white birches on the bank of the Bonaventure River, it’s a sporting lodge designed for the most discriminating fly-fishing enthusiast. Ideally located to fish three rivers; the Bonaventure, the Petit and the Grand Cascapedia River; it offers some of the best and most renowned Atlantic Salmon fishing in the world.
The Bonaventure begins its journey high in the Chic Choc mountain range and cuts its way through the breathtaking Canadian landscape for over 100 kilometres. Legendary for its unbelievable water clarity, the indigenous Mi’kmaq called the river Wagamet, which means “clear water”. It’s a river famed for its sight-casting opportunities, and underwater visibility can exceed over 100 feet. Some of the very best Salmon fishing on the river gets enjoyed when other rivers are experiencing poor fishing due to high water temperatures or low water conditions.
Out of all three rivers, the Bonaventure enjoys one of the most substantial runs of Atlantic Salmon. From around late May onwards, considerable numbers of fish start to enter the waterway. The fish average around 10lb in weight, but trophy fish of over 40lb get landed each season.
When staying at Camp Bonaventure, anglers will have the chance to fish in three different rivers, the Bonaventure, the Petit and the Grand Cascapedia River. With a total length of over 120 kilometres, set amongst some of the most incredible landscape on the planet, a trip to the Camp is a freshwater fly fishing experience of a lifetime. Although it’s not possible to know exactly where and which rivers you’ll be fishing, the variety of water and conditions are typically a massive asset in ensuring you will encounter excellent or exceptional fishing.
The Bonaventure River is famed for its unbelievably clear water; in fact, it’s one of, if not the clearest running river in the world. Its gin-clear water is perfect for sight fishing, and that’s one of the things it is renowned for. Casting dry flies to fish you’ve spotted with your own eyes, watching them turn and then inhale your neatly presented dry, has to be one of the most satisfying experiences in freshwater fly fishing. However, despite being rewarding, this style of fishing can be emotionally exhausting in equal measure as you pit your wits against a very obvious but wily quarry.The river is accessed by both wading and from a canoe and remains relatively cool throughout the season.
Unlike the Bonaventure, the Grand Cascapedia doesn’t run clear and often carries a slight tea colour reflecting its drainage area. It usually has a good volume of water, some well-defined pools and most importantly, an abundant number of Atlantic Salmon. In fact, out of all three rivers in Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, the Grand Cascapedia sees the most extensive run of fish. The river starts in the Chic-Choc mountain range and runs for around 112 kilometres, cutting its way through the scenic spruce and alder forests before emptying into the Bay of Chaleurs. The river gets split into seven sectors for fishing, and Camp Bonaventure has access to a sector.
Like the Grand Cascapedia, the Petite Cascapedia also begins in the Chic Choc Mountains. Formed by an array of underground springs, the river’s temperature rarely rises above 60 degrees, even in the hottest of summers, and this helps keep the fishing stable all year round. As the name suggests, it’s a lot smaller than its bigger brother and the most intimate out of the three rivers found in the Gaspé Peninsula. Despite its size, it still produces some trophy-sized Atlantic Salmon and fish to over 30lb are not uncommon and regularly get landed every season. Due to its location and the fact that most of the river can only be accessed effectively by canoe, the river receives very little angling pressure.
When fishing the Bonaventure, the Petit or the Grand Cascapedia River, the fishing is split into two types, wading or fishing from traditional 26-foot river canoes. One thing for sure, though, is whatever sort of fishing you’re doing, you’ll be doing it on miles of pristine river and amongst some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet. As a general rule, early in the year, wading and boat fishing are as good as each other but come later in the season, the pools get best fished by stealthily wading for your quarry.
On all three rivers, a whole host of techniques work, everything from swinging traditional flies through to the art of parachuting dry’s. On the two smaller rivers, the Bonaventure and the Petit Cascapedia, single-handed or light switch rods are ideal for the job and allow for perfect presentation. Although anglers use floating lines 90% of the time, it is always advisable to try some intermediate or slow sinking tips, especially when the Salmon are less energetic.
Anglers travelling to Bonaventure Lodge can take all their fishing tackle if they wish; however, it is available for hire. The lodge has a selection of top brand named rods, reels, waders and boots in various sizes, which are all available to rent for a nominal fee. The lodge also has a very well stocked small pro shop with more flies than you will ever need, plus spare lines, tippets etc.
To find out more about fishing in Canada and Camp Bonaventure, visit our YouTube channel.
The team of guides at Camp Bonaventure are Orvis-endorsed, dedicated professionals and have fished all three rivers in the Gaspé Peninsula for many years. Their profound knowledge and experience will enhance your fly fishing days on the river, but most of all, their passion for Atlantic salmon fishing and friendly approach is what see’s anglers return year after year. Rest assured, all the guides will go the extra mile in search of your fish of a lifetime.
The season on the Bonaventure river opens in June and runs through until September. The first Salmon begin to enter the rivers in late May, and by June, good numbers of fish are found not only in the Bonaventure but also in the Petit and Grande Cascapedia. The middle of June and the month of July are the prime weeks, although good water conditions will always dictate the fishing prospects. For those anglers wanting to fish with dry flies, then the months of July, August, and September are the best; however, the fishing can often remain good throughout the season if the rivers are running colder than average.
The summer climate in Quebec’s Gaspe peninsula varies between 8-30 Celsius, and the water temperature usually sits between 10-15 Celsius. Travelling fly anglers won’t typically experience many rainy days, but showers and thunderstorms appear from time to time.
The main Lodge at Camp Bonaventure provides the perfect setting for your fly fishing holiday – a laid back and relaxing atmosphere featuring a spacious and comfortably appointed living room and dining room with a thirty-foot river-stone fireplace. There is a fully equipped fly-tying desk in the living room, where you can create the perfect fly for your next day’s adventure. The large deck overlooking the river is ideal for enjoying a morning coffee or nightcap under the stars while exchanging fishing stories. With four comfortably appointed guest rooms, each with a private bath and screened porch, the main Lodge accommodates up to eight guests.
In addition to the main Lodge, the private guest house is perfect for a family of four, two couples or a business trip of four associates who are seeking a little more privacy. Designed for relaxation, it features a spacious private living room with a vast thirty-foot fireplace, screened porches and a terrific patio complete with Adirondack chairs. There is no need to come to the Main Lodge before breakfast or dinner, as the staff delivers fresh coffee and juice in the morning and hors d’oeuvres before dinner. The guest house has two spacious bedrooms, each with private bathrooms.
A convenient and well-designed rod room is where you will keep your fishing tackle and meet with your guide each morning. Located in a separate building, it’s where the action takes place. It includes private storage areas for each angler’s gear, a rod rack that can accommodate 15-foot Spey rods and a radiant heating system that will dry your waders and boots overnight. The rod room always has fresh coffee in the morning and cool drinks when you return after your day on the river.
Breakfasts feature a host of favourites, including homemade wild berry jams, local maple syrup and fresh bread baked daily. Lunch is either on the river or at the Lodge. Before dinner, you will enjoy tasty appetizers with your favourite drink. Evening dinner gets served in the dining room overlooking the beautiful Bonaventure river, and the chef’s menu boasts fresh local seafood, prime beef and many other mouth-watering creations.
Wine gets included with lunch and diner, but personal alcohol is not; however, guests are welcome to bring their own. The Lodge supplies all ice, mix and necessary ingredients for the perfect drink at the bar area and is only a short distance from a very well-stocked liquor store.
Although fly fishing for Atlantic salmon is the main activity, the Lodge can help with non-fishing activities for the non-fishing guest. There is everything from hiking, birding and biking. There’s even an excellent 18 hole, par 72 golf course situated just ten minutes away.
For your convenience, the Lodge also offers free high-speed wireless access. A computer for checking e-mail or sending fish bragging photos is also available for your use in the main Lodge and guest house.
The below itinerary is flexible should you require additional fishing days or additional free days to explore; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available)
Arrive Montreal Depart Montreal
You will arrive very early hours of the morning and take a taxi to your hotel.
Overnight Accommodation: Atlantic Host Hotel Bathurst (Twin Room) B/B
After a good rest, a representative from Camp Bonaventure will pick you up from your hotel early afternoon to drive you to Camp Bonaventure Lodge. This is a two-hour journey. You will arrive at the lodge in time to unpack and for hor’s d’ oeuvres, drinks before evening dinner.
Overnight Accommodation: Camp Bonaventure (Twin Room) F/B
Each morning after breakfast you will depart with your guides, this is based on two anglers to one guide. Fishing is done either by wading or from our traditional 26-foot river canoes. Early season can allow for a combination of both, while later in the season our pools are better fished by wading. Additionally, you can relax during a float trip along miles of pristine river, where you will experience not only great fishing along the way but the breath-taking scenery the area is famous for. Whether you are a beginner just learning how to cast or an experienced fly-fisher seeking to perfect your skills with a single-handed or Spey rod, our talented team will take care of your every need.
Overnight Accommodation: Camp Bonaventure (Twin Room) F/B
You will spend a whole day fishing as above, after returning to the lodge it is time to pack and depart to the airport. You will be transferred back to Bathurst Hotel.
Overnight Accommodation: Atlantic Host Hotel Bathurst (Twin Room) B/B
Note: flights are normally early evening which does give you the whole morning free. If you wish you can even arrange a morning’s Striped Bass fishing with a guide. Take a taxi back to Bathurst airport for return flights home.
Arrive Montreal Depart Montreal
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 83%
"We just got back from Camp Bonaventure and unfortunately we got there ahead of the fish this year. We knew it was risky but this is such a great place that we just could not wait. My Brother and I go there 4 times per year and we are hard to please so I guess that tells it all"
"I wanted to thank you all for a wonderful experience. My week at the camp greatly exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed the guides. They were a pleasure to speak to and not just about fishing :-) They are knowledgable and bring interesting perspectives on current affairs and I can't even begin to compliment their fishing skills. Also, please thank all the staff, from the cooking to serving to room cleaning to Johnny who was always available to help in every way. The meals were exquisite from breakfast , lunch, and dinner and I believe I put on a few pounds post trip which I will have to work off. Thanks you all again and looking forward to seeing you next summer"
"Having fished for Atlantic Salmon around the world, in lodges and on my own, I can say without hesitation that Camp Bonaventure provides the finest overall fishing experience. It starts with the quality of the fishing. The Camp has access to the finest areas on three great salmon rivers, including the most prolific private waters on the Bonaventure river. Regardless of conditions, they'll put you into fish. They also provide the best possible guides. Most, such as Marc, Bruno and Mario, have grown up on these rivers and bring an intimate knowledge of every pool and lie. The lodge and the food, while secondary to the fishing, is also first class. Often overlooked is the overall operation of the camp. Everything runs flawlessly and predictably. We all know that salmon fishing places you at the mercy of so many variables, such as weather, water, airlines and simple bad luck. When the unexpected does happen, the camp managers always have a contingency and, in that way, have turned many near disasters into fond memories."
The season runs from June to October.
Season: June to October
Weight: 5lb to 48lb
Average Weight: 9lb
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.
This Sportquest Holidays exclusive offers travelling rods the chance to fish some of the most picturesque and productive freshwater fly fishing rivers in all of Iceland. Our beats, located in the northern part of the country, offer two days of quality fishing on each of the Laxá In Aðaldal, Reykjadalsa & Mýrarkvísl Rivers.
The Vatnsdalsá River is one of the most famous Salmon rivers in Iceland and is renowned for the size of fish it produces. Located in the country's North West, approximately three hours drive from Reykjavik, it flows for over forty kilometres and offers a vast array of quality pools and beats. It produces between 700 and 1,200 Salmon each season, with a healthy average size.
The Laxá In Aðaldal, also known as the Big Laxá, is one of the most famous rivers in Iceland. An enchanting river that fishes consistently well throughout the season, it's renowned for being one of the best Trout rivers in Europe and even the world, producing significant numbers of Brownies, averaging 2lb to 3lb, with a good sprinkling of specimens to over 8lb.
The River Lónsá is situated in northeast Iceland amid the Langanes Peninsula and is a name renowned amongst the freshwater fly fishing community. The Lónsá is home to an abundant healthy population of Brown Trout and is also considered one of the very best rivers in Iceland to target and catch the beautiful, elusive Arctic Char.
The Reykjadalsa river, in the northern part of Iceland, is a tributary of the lower section of the Big Laxá I Adaldal and is known as one of the countries best wild Trout and Char rivers. Renowned as a surface fishing and dry fly anglers paradise, it produces high volumes of fish, and it hasn’t been unusual for the river to produce over 3,000 Trout per year.