Our bamboo rod-builder, Troy Jacques, spent a fantastic week at Camp Brule earlier this summer with a number of guests fishing for atlantics with his handcrafted rods and other Thomas & Thomas graphite offerings. Here’s Troy’s write-up from the trip (make sure you read to the bottom for the stellar gallery of pics):
The week stay at Camp Brule was incredible. The memories, along with a few choice pictures, will hopefully hold me through to my next visit.
Fishing with only the bamboo rods I brought definitely made it that much sweeter. I’m glad to write that they handled the task beautifully. Although I will tweak a 9′ #8 impregnated 2 pc I brought just a bit. The weather was clear for the first part of the week. Sunny warm days, followed by cold nights. Water temps were in the high 50′s to low 60′s on the Petite Cascapedia where Camp Brule is nicely situated over-looking the river.
The last part of the week brought overcast skies and evening rains with all the river systems getting a bump, which turned the fishing on a bit more, although we did have action every day prior. That said, my success was due primarily to listening and learning from the guides—Kevin, Steve, Burt, and Joe. Their enthusiasm was contagious, especially when they got that feeling you were going to hook up in a certain situation. They are right more than enough times to keep you paying attention. I enjoy swinging wet flies, but fishing bomber flies (dries) is hands-down my favorite—the visual aspect is incredible. Many times you will spot one or more atlantics first, then situate your self down stream a ways before casting. When you see that Salmon lift up to the Fly, and then back-down once (or a few times)… talk about getting your heart pumping! Funny thing is, I’ll go through the process of changing to a few different dries then sometimes change back to the original and they take. And wow what a take it is! The willingness of these large Salmon to crash a dry on the surface just blows me away.
I appreciate the willingness of these Guides to not only fish till sunset but encourage it. That last hour of light is magic. Not only do good size sea-run brookies come out of dense log jambs (which you may catch accidentally since the flies you swing in July are size 10 and 12), but more important, the salmon also get very active. The magic hour—there is no better name for it. The failing light turns them on in a big way. Many other camps do not fish till dark, choosing to simply guide throughout the day and end in time for clients to be back in time for supper. I personally would rather have the opportunity to fish the evenings. Brule chooses to take a daytime break—lunch back at camp then returning to the river when most camps have left for the day. Lunch is a major meal here at Brule—from lobster to T-bone steak to halibut to roast beef and all the trimmings. The desserts are also incredible. After the meal, you can take time to relax, cast the line-up of rods T&T has there (maybe even choose one to fish for that evening if you wish), or you can just take a snooze for a bit and recharge for the late afternoon-into-evening fishing.
And while lunch was fantastic, I can’t forget about supper. After a day of salmon fishing we were definitely hungry—even after that lunch. Salmon fishing does work up an appetite, and upon our arrival back at Camp there was a table set to serve up another Gourmet meal prepared by Lisa, Sue, and Deanna. The night would wrap up with some good talk and laughs with the other guests in attendance: Rick Cunjack, Stu Peeke ,Coleman Peeke, Topher Brown. Finally, Graham Davy and Kevin McWhirter always gave us the game plan for the next morning before we hit the sack.
Our mornings started with fantastic made-to-order breakfasts—just about anything you could think of. Then the guides would give us the run-down and insight on what the day may bring. Camp Brule being right on the Petite Cascapedia, you may be stay right there on one of the camp’s own personal pools and runs one day (my personal favorite), or one of the other nearby rivers, such as the Grand Cascapedia or Bonaventure, drifting in a canoe or wading. Morning fishing was also very productive. New salmon had moved up into the river system under the cover of night, and some of the fish we might have seen the day before were likely still there. We always left camp with high hopes that they’d be on and our lines would be stretched. This week, our hopes were well founded.