Our Man In Canada
August 13th, 2001

Lac du Cerf, Part 2


Landlocked Salmon
By Ari Vineberg, Photos by Mark Krupa

Adjacent Lakes

Lac du Cerf region
There are several other lakes in the area that can be accessed from either Petit or Grand Lac du Cerf. These lakes are smaller, but have some interesting opportunities available. Above Petit Lac du Cerf, nestled in a valley of first-growth pine, is a small jewel of a lake, Lac St-Germain. Although it's only about 40 acres, it holds ounaniche, smallmouth, and pike. A short walk above this lake is another small lake with both smallmouth and brook trout. The brookies run small, averaging 8 inches, but they rise readily to most dry fly presentations. Other lakes in the area, such as Lac McPhee and Lac en Poire, hold nice populations of brook trout, producing fish each year in excess of 5 pounds. These are trophy fish no matter where you go in the world.

Most of these lakes involve some sort of portage and are best fished from a float tube, canoe, or an inflatable. At Lac en Poire, however, there are a few homemade Vercheres boats tied to the shoreline by locals, which are generally available for anyone's use.

On these smaller lakes basic attractor patterns, such as the Adams, PMDs, Grizzly Wulffs, Olive Parachutes and most terrestrial patterns in sizes #10-18 work well. In the fall, just before the season closes, ladybugs swarm over the water, and the trout will gorge themselves on them, ignoring virtually everything else.

Where to Stay

There is a wide variety accommodation available in the area to fit anyone's budget. In the heart of the village you will find the Motel Près du Lac, where a bed and television set can be had at around $29 per day, double occupancy. While the accommodations may be spartan, the motel is within a minute's drive to the boat ramp. Further up the main road is a campground where hookup amenities are available for a trailer as well as campsites.

Current Issue

While French is the language spoken here, non-French speakers should not be concerned about being understood, as most Francophones have some English and are willing to put up with even the most maladroit attempts at French. French Canadians are known for their generosity and joie de vivre. Moreover, a common interest in fishing and the experience of the wild and lonely countryside transcend language barriers.

There are a few outfitters operating out of the area offering a full range of services, including knowledgeable guides that have fished the area all of their lives and understand the idiosyncratic nature of its lakes and their inhabitants. For the first time visitor, a day or two on the water with one of these guides can certainly shorten the learning curve and provide familiarization with a few promising areas to which he can return later to prospect on his own. Pavillion Chasse et Peche, run by Gisele and Maurice Meloche, is a good place to try. As long-standing President of the Fish & Game Association, Gisele is a wealth of knowledge regarding the lake and its inhabitants.

PLACES TO STAY
  • Camping Dicaire
    275 Chemin du Camping
    Route 311 (819) 595-2888

  • Domaine du lac Malloon
    141, Chemin du lac Malloon
    (819) 597-2896

  • Pourvoirie pavillon du Cerf
    18 Chemin Valiquette
    (819) 597-2055
    www. pavillonducerf.com

  • Motel Pres des lacs
    216 Rue Principale
    (819) 597-2255

Yet, even with a guide, the lake is no pushover, and the fishing is not always easy. Under the best of circumstances, Lac du Cerf is challenging and there are no freebies. You will have to work for your fish and roll with the punches, never being afraid to switch tactics and fish for another species if the one you're targeting is not co-operating. As a general rule, there is always something on the menu that is active at any given time. Enjoy the area for what it has to offer at the time. One way or another, you will leave with fond memories. And you will want to return - soon. ~ Ari Vineberg

We thank the Canadian Fly Fisher for re-print permission!

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