Our occupations related to the business of off-road vehicles allow us accessibility for the discovery of a multitude of fantastic places and their paradisiac landscape. Some are real revelations by their unique charm and features that distinguish them. Despite the many years of experience we have in this industry, we still have new opportunities to discover places that are undeniably real revelations. Last winter, we had an invitation from Domaine Bitobi, for a weekend stay to explore the nearby snowmobile trails. This stop in the winter season had highlighted the possibilities of an early spring season for our annual fishing trip. At least once a year we book this type of adventure for all members of our team and this interlude allows us quality time between co-workers, which has developed into friendship over the years and the many adventures made together.
Domaine Bitobi Outfitter
Located in Upper Gatineau, Domaine Bitobi is a private property of a few hundred acres on the shore of the picturesque Gatineau River. It offers a haven of peace and tranquility in an exceptional natural setting. Located about 3 hours from Montreal, a few minutes from the La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve and accessible by asphalt road, Domaine Bitobi offers access to hundreds of lakes and rivers as well as off-road vehicle trails.
Several 4-star chalets are furnished and equipped with all the necessary equipment for a great stay. All you have to do is bring your food to cook your meals and bring your own bedding to make your stay unforgettably relaxing. They also offer the possibility to book accommodation in a ”Rustic Loft”.
Nature lovers will find all the best for revitalization away from the hassle of everyday life. In the summer season, fishing activity will let you catch walleye, whitefish, pike, sturgeon, and bass. It is precisely these possibilities that made us book there for a 3-day fishing trip.
An almost canceled adventure
The exceptionally rough winter that we experienced in 2018-2019 has brought all the worst conditions to make life difficult for us. The large amounts of snow over the long period of cold that we experienced had devastating effects in many areas during the spring melt. Record high levels of watercourses have caused several headaches for many residents. The outfitters also had to deal with ”Mother Nature” climatic chaos and the abnormally high amounts of water. Never mind, our adventurer side has taken the lead to face this slight inconvenience, with of course a dose of respect for the unsuspected strength of nature.
So, despite everything, we discussed the situation and finally made the decision to get there at the scheduled date with the intention to tease the fish. Since our reservation included a cottage with all the necessary facilities for the preparation of meals, we made a prior stop at a grocery store in Mont-Laurier to make the necessary purchases. Even with this interruption during our trip, we were still on time for our arrival at destination. It should be mentioned that we had previously reserved some Mahindra ROXOR vehicles for our stay. It is a privilege that our profession allows us and these vehicles are adapted for the frequent trips that we had to carry out on the outfitter. The vehicles’ keys were handed to us upon arrival by the representative of Mahindra and at the same time we saw the endless possibilities of these vehicles in this type of environment.
Our first day at Domaine Bitobi allowed us to prepare our equipment and familiarize ourselves with the surrounding environment. We took the opportunity to discuss with our hosts, Alain and Diane, to know the possibilities offered and the constraints forced by the abnormally high water levels. Some portions of the road were exceptionally submerged in places and their access was precarious without the use of a vehicle adapted to these conditions. It was at this time that the ROXOR vehicles were put to good use to clear the obstacles and launch our boat.
The second day was filled with hope.
The spring of 2019 was very timid to take its rights with warm days over the cold winter that preceded it. For example, our first night at Domaine Bitobi offered temperatures near the freezing point. Although this situation is not unusual at the end of May, it is not very favorable to a successful catch. Never mind, we agreed to be out of bed by 5 am for an early presence on the watercourse. Our host Alain kindly invited us to have coffee in his company before tackling our activity of the day. We quickly consumed coffee and a muffin to take place in our vehicles and rode the few kilometers to access our boats.
We have witnessed a majestic sunrise and the strong rapids caused by the unusually high water flow. We decided to go to less agitated places for the first launch of our lines. We used canoes where we found submerged trees at their bases. The canoe advantage was undeniable for the accessibility of one water body to another. Although our expectations were lowered because of the conditions, our first catch of the day came very fast. Mario caught a really nice bass. Being more in a sportsmanship mood than in a need to bring back a large amount of catch, we had previously agreed to carry out the most possible releases to enjoy our stay and keep the most beautiful specimens as a trophy.
Our first getaway on the water was shortened back to the mainland to warm up in our cottage and to have lunch. We must mention that when we were on the water before, the thermometer was a meager 4 degrees Celsius. It was chilly and we agreed to go back to teasing the fish when the temperature would be more appropriate. On the other hand, don’t forget that we had ROXOR vehicles to travel from Bitobi’s private trails to the Crown lands to fill the times when we were not on the lakes.
When we came back to the water after dinner, the more pleasant weather allowed us to be more comfortable and to take full advantage of the areas available to us. It is in this kind of activity that it is not necessary to have a sustained conversation: the contemplation of natural attractions is responsible for filling the uninhabited times of words.
Each time, the specimens caught create euphoria, anticipation and a prediction of its exact nature. This is probably what attracts a multitude of followers to this popular activity. It is often in simplicity that we find the most satisfaction. Teasing is not only made with the fish, but also with the people with whom we practice a common activity.
Despite the time spent on the surrounding waters of Domaine Bitobi, our catches were the first ingredients necessary to showcase a ”Shore lunch” prepared by our host Diane. This meal in good company was a moment to discuss our experiences during our stay. Good memories will remain for all members of our team. It is undeniable that some events will be reported during our next getaways in memory of our good times together. All in all, we must face the facts, our annual fishing trips are only excuses to be together in harmony, and to share common affection for the outdoors.