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A father and son feasting after fishing

In the spring of 2021, I told my 89-year-old father that we'd be going on a combo bear hunt and speckled trout fishing trip together. He was thrilled, and his eyes got even brighter when I told him it would be in the Mauricie region at Pourvoirie Waban-AkiThis link will open in a new window.

Approaching the bear

This particular trip was part of a film shoot for the series Browning on the Road with the Chasse Québec team, but I didn't tell him too much so that he'd forget the presence of the cameras at his side. On the second evening of the hunt, a promising crackling sound from a branch signaled the approach of a bear, and my father was stable and not too nervous in the cache. Then the uniformly-coated ursid came silently towards us, as if his footsteps were treading on absorbent cotton balls. The detonation of the Browning 308 was heard, and the bear died right in front of us without so much as a twitch. The eldest of the group, with his wrinkled hands, still had an eye for a shot, but it remained to be seen whether he'd kept his touch for deftly hooking beautiful speckled ones.

The promising pit

The day after our successful bear outing, it was fishing time for the 2 of us, and I knew the lake we visited would be promising, having fished it before with Bruno Caron, the ever-smiling owner of the outfitter. There was a promising pit in my memory, and I knew that if we passed by there we might hear the exciting sound of our reel brakes on a beautiful Mauritian Salvelinus fontinalis. I travelled back in time and memory with my soon-to-be nonagenarian father, recalling all the expeditions we'd made together, and what followed would remain forever memorable in our father-son recollections. As we approached the magic pit at the right pace, two big, beautiful speckled trout simultaneously attacked our lures and it was a party in the boat as we put these 2 beautiful trout in the landing net and then on the scales. She weighed exactly 2 pounds, but my father's was an ounce heavier, which amused him a little.

Memories and complicity

On the way back to the butcher for the bear meat, we chatted about a multitude of subjects while gazing at the magnificent Saint-Maurice River, which lit up for us as if straight out of the film The river runs to it. In fact, it was my father's first real NATURE outing since his isolation. The day after he returned home, my mother texted me to say that "I had no idea how much good I'd done my dad by taking him deep into the woods". Then she asked if the story about the two 2-pound speckled trout doubling up was true, and I replied: "Of course, but each of our trout weighed 2 and a half pounds, Mom, and Dad's was slightly lighter than mine". I was amused by the mischief I had provoked, and I knew very well that my mother would candidly report my little exaggeration to my father, and there, through my words, would be a new, beautiful father-son complicity emerging between us as we reminisced about that sublime father-son trip of 2021.

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By Michel Therrien, speaker, author and hunting professionalThis link will open in a new window. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Chasse Québec.