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.
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
Thanks for your testimonial and feedback, its a shame that this year the fish are late, it looks like they are going to be 2 full weeks late. As a regular customer you know that the first 2 weeks can be risky but also if the fish do arrive, they are both fresh and hungry. Plus they are cheap weeks. See you again in a few weeks time.
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
Thanks for choosing our Lodge for your Holiday
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.
Wow, thanks I do not know what else we can say. I will pass on your comments to all the staff, hope to see you again soon.
Camp Bonaventure provided all that was necessary for a successful fishing experience. The staff at the lodge were exceptional in their desire to provide everything necessary to have a happy stay. The food was unbelievably well prepared and delicious. The guides were well informed and competent, extremely helpful and companionable.
Thats a great review thank you so much for taking the time.
Lets hope we see you back soon.
The location, the service, the staff, the guides, the food, the facilities....all very special! An experience of enjoyment and learning rarely matched
Peter thank you for your kind words the staff very much appreciate them.
Everything was just perfect!
The staff, the guides, the lodge and the fishing.
I recommend this lodge to everyone!
Thank you for your stay and feedback very much appreciated.
Friendly staff, great food, exceptional camp and successful this year again.
Got excellent coaching from the guides.
Returning next year.
Glad you think the guides are 1st Class as so do we.
Hope you return soon and thanks for the review.
Accommodation fantastic,excellent catering.very impressed with the professionalism of the guides.
As a long time salmon fisherman, I would recommend Camp Bonaventure as the salmon fishing trip of a lifetime.
Can't wait to return well done everyone.
Thank you so much for the recommendation and review.
I had a wonderful week at Camp Bonaventure in early August this year.
Everything was excellent, guides, food , fishing, lodge.
Glenn and Johnny who run the Lodge were the perfect hosts.
Nothing was too much trouble.
Signed up already for next year.
Tim its a nice time of the year to fish there.
Glad you had such a great time
I have just returned from another wonderful week at Camp Bonaventure. 18 trips in the last 18 years so obviously I think it is wonderful.
The guides are knowledgeable, professional and friendly. Management and staff all work to make your trip enjoyable and successful.
Many years I have gone solo and been partnered up with compatible and enjoyable fishing companions.
The lodge has access to plenty of good water on three different rivers and is not locked into a defined rotation.
Everything that Camp Bonaventure can control to give you a rewarding experience is done.
18 years thats a testament enough in its own right.
Thank you for sharing.
It was one of those fishing holidays that I will remember the rest of my life.
It was everything I expected land more as I was treated like a king during my stay.
The people and the food were exceptional. The guides were very knowledgeable. Both Jean Mark as well as Carol worked with us on our casting technique so that I was able to land a salmon on my first day.
I have never seen such an aggressive fish as it jumped three times while I was reeling it in.
Thank you and I look forward to my return trip soon.
Tom, a very nice review thank you for taking the time to share your views.
All the best
I’ve just returned from fishing one of the most storied waterways in North America, The Bonaventure River in the Gaspé Peninsula, QC.
If would-be lodge owners were looking for the best way to learn the hospitality business in the sporting industry, I would send them to Camp Bonaventure to see how it is done best.
It was not only a successful fishing outing for me, but for everyone I met at the lodge.
The clarity of the water in the Bonaventure stands out. If you’re looking for that once-in-a-lifetime Atlantic salmon fishing trip where you’ll stay in a lodge that attends to every detail and treats you like a king who’s after “the king of fish,” definitely check out:
Excellent review thank you so much and a great help to future customers.
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 away fishing 4 times per year and we are hard to please so I guess that tells it all.
Dale thank you for the review, shame the timing did not work out for you both.
Until next time
The trip was, as always, extremely well organised from start to finish.
Both Camps, Bonaventure and Salmon Lodge, were excellent with the accommodation, food and service by all members of the respective staffs superb.
Whist little can be done about weather and river levels, our first days fishing were made particularly difficult by the lack of water and the subsequent collection of fish in the many pools.
The Guides' general obsession with 'dry-fly' even when conditions were clearly unsuited was 'disturbing' but some (guides) were prepared to succumb to our wishes to 'go below' with some success.
The rain mid-week made a substantial difference and both rivers 'picked up'.
It would have been useful to know that there is a catch limit on both Rivers fished. The journeys to and from beats can be long and 'steal' a substantial part of the fishing day. To have to stop fishing in a matter of hours would not be particularly welcome (Peter had two Fish in less than an hour and, without an 'understanding' Guide, would have spent the rest of his day thumb-twiddling!!). I imagine this could be commonplace on days when the river is right and the fish are running.
On a more personal note, my injuries prior to the trip made moving let alone fishing difficult for me.
I am extremely grateful to Peter for the care and attention given to me.
The Group was extremely well balanced and it was a pleasure to fish with them.
Thanks do much for taking the time to write a review and also for your time on the hosted trip. It was also a pleasure to get to fish with you for a day after all these years.
You have made some very good points above and ones I totally agree with. I am addressing these points with the lodge and they will not be an issue for next season. In relation to the catch limit as we know its a softish rule and in most cases fishing can continue. Its more of a rule (Which I do understand) if both anglers max out in a day as this saves any beats getting too much pressure in anyone day. However if like in my case you max out in just 15 cast and your fishing partner has not had a fish, it is only far to let them fish through the rest of the day first a couple of times and yes then the guide was happy for me to continue to wet a line. Mind you if everyone caught 2 or 3 Atlantic Salmon each and everyday I am sure everyone would be extremely happy.
It was a pleasure taking good care of you and I will ensure you receive the same service with me in Argentina.
Great group lots of laughs and look forward in fishing with you again.
Two very different rivers is a strength of this trip.
The Bonaventure is unique in its size and gin-clear clarity.
Challenging intriguing yet capable of giving up her goods when she chooses.
The Grand Cascapedia on the other hand more familiar to Scottish anglers, but has plentiful large fish in a wild picturesque setting.
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback and your comments as they are very important to us and future customers. I will be reviewing all the pre trip information and amending as necessary with the new information gained from our latest trip.
Congratulations on catching your personnel best salmon on the trip in that pool it must have been one hell of a fight.
Just also like to say thanks for joining me on the hosted trip, it was a pleasure fishing with you and I hope we get to do it all again one day soon.
In all a very satisfying trip. Well organised, excellent company, service and accommodation.
Fishing for Atlantics understandably influenced by initial adverse river conditions.
Tackle instructions e.g. cone heads etc could have been more helpful.
Guides sometimes reluctant to deviate from their well practised plots.
Thanks for the feedback and your comments. I have already reported back about some of the comments and findings about some guides not liking trying different methods when water conditions are not perfect, and I believe that Glenn will have this all sorted out.
As we know we the conditions due to the lowest water levels for over 40 years was always going to provide us with some tough conditions, however I think the group did extremely well considering the challange, with some nice Atlantic Salmon coming the the net and also some new personal bests on the trip.
I enjoyed having a couple of days out with you, one on the Bonaventure and one on the Grand as they were totally different days but we did have such a laugh on both of them.
Just like to say a huge thank you for choosing Sportquest Holidays, I know this was your first trip with us and I am sure it will not be the last.
Kind Regards Peter
I would like to start with a big thanks to Peter, as always a great host with a fantastic ability to look after the group but not forgetting each individuals needs. Also a thanks to all the guys on the trip, some new friends and some old ones, but all happy to share information and tackle.
I found both lodges to be first class, with Julie and Jonny always on hand to answer any questions and give details of the plans for the following day. The food was great with the staff going above and beyond to cater for my fickle taste buds.
The guides on the bonny were first class, we did not see the river at its best because of the low water and my poor results were more to do with my inefficiency’s than the efforts of the guides. I must give a mention of “skinny”Marc, I found him to be a fantastic teacher and the tips he gave me will stand me in good stead for future trips.
We encountered the cascapedia in high water conditions and this set a list of new problems for the novice Atlantic’s angler in me and after a chat with the other guys on the journey home we felt the guides did not give us the best of advise on the use of sink tips and the use of these by the more experienced guys showed in their better catch rates, another lesson learned!.
So in summing up, I found this a much greater challenge than that of Pacific’s on the west coast, but no less enjoyable and a prize hard fought for always means so much more.
Thanks for such a good clear and fair review of the trip. Yes it was a great group and a great trip but one that did also challenge us all with fishing methods and technique. I believe you are spot on with your comments about experience and the guides. I am already looking forward in returning next year when hopefully we will have some better water conditions and we will be far better prepared with the knowledge of what to expect.
It was a pleasure as always having you on the trip and also spending some time fishing with you. I will look forward to next time my friend.
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