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Camp Brule Camp Brûlé The Oldest Lodge in the Gaspé

The classic way

to fish the Gaspé

since 1883


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  Heritage | History | Location | Testimonials | Views

Our History

1883. Seven businessmen from Montreal team up with seven associates from New York and successfully negotiate a lease for the entire Petite Cascapedia river from the Queen’s representative in Canada. The Little Cascapedia Salmon Club is born with its headquarters at Camp Brûlé.

1905. Club member W M Ramsey hooks in to a leviathon in Jack Louis pool. The fish weighs in at 45 pounds setting a Petite Cascapedia river record. Today, the record still stands and Jack Louis remains one of Camp Brûlé’s best producing pools.

1932. American rail road magnates, the Fields/Vanderbilt family, are now enjoying Club membership and spending their summers at Camp Brûlé. On a sunny July morning their grand daughter Marjorie lands two fish of over 30 pounds on Camp Brûlé waters. Birch bark effigies immortalizing this memorable morning still hang in the Camp dining room.

1945. The war takes its toll on Club members and The Little Cascapedia Salmon Club all but fizzles out. It is agreed that member Henry Maclean will acquire sole ownership. Maclean, who made his fortune rebuilding Halifax, Nova Scotia after the huge munitions explosion of 1917, resigns the lease for much of the river concentrating fishing to the productive lower reaches closer to Camp Brûlé.

1954. Maclean, a talented pilot, is entertaining the Canadian Minister for Air and his entourage at Camp Brûlé. When the drunken party ignores his suggestion that drinking stops and fishing commences, Maclean lets off a shotgun above their heads. The shot holes can still be seen on the Camp Brûlé veranda.

1957. Maclean displays a gentler side to his personality. Announcing he is too old for salmon fishing he offers to sell Camp Brûlé to loyal members of the staff - Head Guide Rait McWhirter and his wife Ella, the Camp cook. In an impressive act of generosity Maclean sets the purchase price at one dollar.

1974. For seventeen years Rait and Ella make their living renting the Camp to former guests of Maclean’s. Tragically, Rait and Ella are killed in a traffic accident in New Richmond. With eldest son Ron working overseas, it falls to his sister Helen Campbell to assume the operations.

1976. Helen Campbell acquires one of the first of Quebec’s outfitting licenses and builds the business through hard work, commitment to service and the most comprehensive guide training program in the region.

1994. Ron McWhirter returns to the Gaspe to operate Camp Brûlé. It is around this time that returns of salmon to the local rivers begin to recover as various conservation initiatives by organizations such as the Atlantic Salmon Federation begin to take effect.

1996. Ron and his son Kevin McWhirter take a joint decision to make Camp Brûlé one of the first all catch and release lodges in Canada.

2003. Ron McWhirter spearheads an initiative to force the closure of the New Richmond dump which has the potential to pollute the Petite Cascapedia watershed. With extensive support from the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Federation Pourvoirie Quebec the campaign results in success and commendably the New Richmond Municipality announces the closure. A big plus for the future of the river and a fitting legacy for Ron McWhirter’s tenure at Camp Brûlé.

2004. Ron McWhirter announces his intent to retire and a deal is struck to sell Camp Brûlé to regular guest, Mark Richens. Mark is later partnered by his good friend, Graham Davy. Kevin McWhirter agrees to stay on as Manager, the fourth generation of his family to run Camp Brûlé.

Camp Brule

A good day on the river.

Camp Brule

Camp Brule Ice House.

 

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A few prime slots still
available for 2013.
Email Kevin at
kevin@campbrule.com


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