The role of a fishing guide has always been quite simple: A good guide is a person who knows where the best fish can be found. In the early 1900s, Indigenous guides were often the most highly sought-after by U.S. sportsmen, who visited Upper Mauricie in large numbers to take advantage of the many fish-packed lakes.
Remember that for the Atikamekws, fishing and hunting were for many years their only means of subsistence. That’s why they came to know the region like the backs of their hands. They had a special interest in keeping a sharp eye on the fish if they didn’t want to come back empty-handed at nightfall. Their expertise made them marvellous guides, and well-off clients were quick to capitalize on their knowledge.
Today, many outfitters still provide guide services. Whether Indigenous or not, guides put their fish-finding talents to good use. However, their roles go far beyond simply accompanying clients to the best fishing spots. They also serve as advisors, educating their clients about the best bait and techniques for catching fish, which they often end up grilling as part of an idyllic beach lunch.
Fishing guide (subtitling available in FR / EN) View this video with a transcript (EN)