Built in 1952, the all wood and steel Pierre-Noël bridge overlooks the Bras-Saint-Nicolas River in Saint-Cyrille-de-Lessard. Higher up, it gathers the waters from the Guimont and Bras d’Apic streams, whose cascades swell into rapids down along Saint-Eugène, meandering under the bridges of towns and cities to finally plunge into the Saint Lawrence.
Near the Pierre-Noël bridge, with both feet in the clear waters, one can do a bit of fishing and there, luckily, the eye may catch down below in the riverbed: the channel darter (Percina copelandi). A rare and endangered species, the channel darter is highly sensitive to pollution. Its presence here is therefore a sign of good water quality. And so it is – the discovery of a tiny threatened creature led to the protection of its habitat in the Bras-Saint-Nicolas River, and consequently, of all the surrounding aquatic life.
Fly fishing is an art and a practice of patience and immobility. One must advance slowly without breaking the water, remain completely silent, wait and wait some more. At the tip of the line, the fly made from feathers, coloured fur and string looks just like the insects that the fish adore. One swings the line skillfully forward to make the fly land in a natural way on the calm waters, under which the hungry fish languish, attracted by the jittering flies on the surface.
The Bras-Saint-Nicolas River is not only a fishing destination, but also a place to admire Nature at its best. Immerse yourself in the forest, breathe its wild perfumes, appreciate its tranquility, while listening to the murmur of the water. It is the ideal spot to stretch your legs and walk your dog, or go for a peaceful swim in a still beautiful and limpid body of water. Walk upstream and you will soon find falls, pools and a complete ecosystem that will move you. No doubt, you too will then feel the need to protect it so that one day, you or your children and future generations may have the chance to come here and rest in the shade, watching the frisk movements in the current, and maybe, after a patient effort, master the art of fly fishing.