Exciting Arctic Char Fishing…above Canada’s Treeline
Coordinates – Latitude 60° North, Longitude 70° 40’ West
Payne River fly fishing is second to none. The Payne is a major Arctic river flowing into Ungava Bay. It is the main watershed for the northwest tip of Quebec. The Payne River Camp is situated on the 60th parallel, 1100 miles due north of Montreal; 150 miles northwest of Kuujjuaq, and approximately 25 miles upriver from the village of Kangirsuk. The camp is only minutes away from the best Arctic char fishing to be found anywhere in North America.
Access has been simplified as guests travel to camp aboard a Twin-Otter on wheels and land on the camp’s 1100 foot landing strip a short distance behind camp.
The Inuit of Kangirsuk (Payne River) were traditionally nomadic, following the caribou and fish along the torturous coast-line of Ungava Bay. When several families decided to form a small settlement, they chose the mouth of the Payne River as the base from which fishing and hunting excursions would be made.
The Payne River Inuit are cheerful and relaxed. They have a thorough knowledge of the waters they fish and they handle their freighter canoes with native expertise. They will be waiting to greet you upon your arrival at camp– all set to embark on a memorable fishing vacation.
The main lodge at the Payne River Fishing Camp has indoor toilets, showers, a dining room and lounge area where our guests enjoy friendly conversations with their Inuit hosts. Guests stay in cabins adjacent to the main lodge which are electrically heated and equipped with toilets, running water, linen and sleeping bags.
A diesel generator supplies the camp with electricity and a satellite telephone system keeps our camp in touch with our office in Kuujjuaq. Guests are served three hearty home cooked meals each day which normally includes a delicious mid-day shore lunch prepared by our Inuit guides.
The new 18′ x 36′ lodge was built for our guests needs in mind. It has quickly become the place to gather after a day on the water to exchange fishing experiences, tie flies and share a drink or two before dinner. The four guests cabins have been upgraded and each cabin now has its own toilet and running water. New flooring was also installed in the four guests cabins and in the main lodge. The camp’s upgraded facilities are designed to enable corporate groups to conduct business meetings and enjoy an extraordinary Arctic char fishing experience above the tree line.
The significant tides in Ungava Bay fill and drain the Payne fjord of salt water twice each day. Guides work according to the tidal schedule and know where the fish stack up when tides are lowest. Besides offering non-stop action for Arctic char from our 24 foot freighter canoes, anglers can explore the shores by wading.
Fish are plentiful at Payne River and fly fishermen can experience dynamic action using streamers, dry and wet flies. A variety of effective fly patterns are available for sale at camp. Arctic char will attack most silvery spoons, but anglers with spinning gear have the best results using two and three inch Daredevles, Mepps spinners in sizes two and three, and various colored three inch Pixies.
Pro Advice on Fly Fishing for Arctic Char in Payne River
“I recently experienced World-Class fly-fishing for Arctic char at Arctic Adventures’ Payne River Fishing Camp in the Ungava Bay region where it was possible to catch 20 to 30 char a day with a fly rod. And I’m not talking about small fish. The average fish weighed over five pounds, fish between six and ten pounds were common and the camp record is 18 pounds!…”
Read the full Pro Advice on Fly Fishing article by John Beaven, frequent visitor of Payne River & Tunulik II.