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Joined: 11/08/2003
Posts: 1
My experience in Nunavik

Willie's camp
57th parallels Nunavik.

You come by plane... or not at all!
Don’t look for the road because their is none.

I am ready the plane will take off and judging by the sound of the reactor of the 727 of First Air from Dorval (Montreal) /Kuujjuaq the plane seem to be as impatient as the passengers on board, I have to say we are a good hour late, it seem that somebody doesn't have their luggage on board, a few of them are still on the wagon that transport them , I am happy to find out that none of them are mine because going to Nunavik, Quebec without your gear is not a good idea.

As soon as you get to Kuujjuaq you feel the freshness in the air of the North.

I am welcome to the north by Duggie and Denis Lapointe from Artic Adventure for me been my first time working for a outfitter here I feel a bit lost around all the commotion of taking care of 6 hunting camp and 3 of fishing in Nunavik it is not a easy task the weather here control the agenda since everything is transport by air.

I come here to cook, after 4 years of cooking in restaurant, hotel and now 13 in a hospital I decide to take a leave of absence to live a experience .
Even do it is not my first time here, I came last year to do a survey for the CSN a labor union in Quebec the attraction of the north is something that keep me coming here.
I will fly from Kuujjuaq to Qamaniq lake me and my new Inuit friends Adami, Larry, Willie, Mary, Matilda and Jamie.
The trip take about 50 minutes in a Twin Otter from Air Inuit, it is a trip of great pleasure and splendor, we will see heard of caribou and even to our surprises a small group of musk ox crossing the famous Koksoak and Meleze river.

The further north you go the less tree there is, only the spruce seam to have some relative growth success here, the top of the hill are almost bare except for some small scrub and lichen.
Willie’s camp is situate on the biggest point of the 5 miles long by 1miles large Qamaniq lake.
Almost as soon where off the plane, we are greaten by a small group of caribou crossing the lake.
All the first week long they will cross the lake like Santa Claus parade, but later will change route to cross further south at the end of the lake.
Seeing small groups of caribou crossing is a spectacular site that you will see in only a few place and specially here because you are in caribou country imagine a estimate 1 millions caribou live here in Nunavik and Willie’s camp is right in the meddle of the two greatest heard of caribou on earth the Leaf river heard and the George river heard.

Even dos you are in the North, the installations are formidable and comfortable camps are brand new and made of solid wood (not tent )and are provided with oil stove heating.

A camp equip with washing machine, hot shower and a other with dining room are also part of the accommodations.
A generator provided the electricity and water is pump from the clean and pure lake Qamaniq.
As for me I am equip with propane gas stove, which I like for cooking because this is fast and efficient.

The Inuit are friendly and seam to always have a smile in their face, and what is impressive is their way of locating the caribou, Willie seam to smell them like a bear would.
Fifty year ago the Inuit where living in igloo and tent made of caribou skin and the evolution as we know it was for them a culture shock, but there live remain link to there beloved tundra, in George river where Willie and is family come from, the site of a polar bear is not exceptional in fact Willie shot one from is kitchen window, the bear put is big paw in the window and Willie decided that the intruder was not very well behave so he...shot him throw the window.

Last year at Bobby’s lake a polar bear was spot in the meddle of the lake, very uncomment site this far south about 60 miles from the coast of Ungava Bay.

If polar bear are not a common site, willow ptarmigan, caribou and black bear are.
Speaking of black bear Brent Sparks our camp manager is a man with a live full of hunting stories to the delight of our guest, imagine 87 bear’s that he kill himself or guided, 6 grizzly and a multitude of caribou, mountain sheep and all kind of other animal.
He is also a taxidermist and take great care of client hunting trophy’s.

But me my main attraction is trout fishing as my name very well suggest, and Qamaniq lake and the Poitier river are stuff with fish like a aquarium in a pet shop.
Big fish are there, but the quantity is more the attribute of these bodies of water, lakers in 5 feet deep are not uncommon this far north because the water here is cold all year long, even river’s have good population of lake trout.

I will catch and release many fish of 6 to 10 pounds here during my afternoon break from my cooking duty.
And the lake trout couth here since they live in shallow water are very flighty compare to the laker of the south that you catch with downrigger in 100 feet of water.
Pixie spoon, Daredevil white and red are good but big 6 inch silver Whitefish from William are the best.
Occasional brook trout are catch in the river also, no monster in size but beautiful in color and quite a feast at the dinner table when you can keep them in legal season.
If the truth outdoors is what you are looking for, with friendly people this is the place.

They ask me if I be back next year....It will be hard for me to say no!

Oh by the way the success rate for caribou hunting for the four group during my stay there was 100 % meaning everybody killed 2 caribous.


[ This Message was edited by: Trout Machine on 2003-11-09 08:09 ]

Location: Juneau,Alaska
Joined: 02/21/2006
Posts: 31

Trout Machine,
Thanks for sharing your story. It was interesting.Hope you make it back this next season.