Paul Plante - The Man

A fly fisher for forty years, he was a model for everyone. He was a very discreet man who never tried to amaze people. He was, however, always ready to share his knowledge with whomever would request it.

Paul Plante

As a fly tier, he was known by many fly fishermen. Paul was very skillful but always remained humble-hearted. Yet, he was a great person for all those who knew him.

He loved fishing the brooks and rivers of the Eastern Townships, but a small lake called Crystal was his favorite fishing spot. He also fished regularly for Atlantic salmon on the Matane and Matapedia rivers.

 Paul was always willing to help and answer with tactfulness and precision every little question anyone would care to ask. He would always say, « Il faut que la mouche tombe d’aplomb! »

 In 1984, when Paul was very sick, the members of the ATOS Brotherhood of Fly Fishers and some of his friends requested his authorization to hold him up as a model for all fly fishers. Although he was surprised by this request, he humbly accepted.

 The Award

 This is how the Paul Plante Award came to be.

 This award was presented yearly by the ATOS Brotherhood of Fly Fishers, upon selection by the regional representatives of ATOS. The chosen person was someone considered to have made a remarkable contribution to the advancement of fly fishing throughout the years, mainly in the fields of education and conservation.

 On December 23rd, 1984, the friend of all fly fishermen, Paul Plante from Granby, died after a long fight with cancer.

Mention Paul Plante

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1985
Simone Plante was the first recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante award in April of 1985.

Paul et Simone

She was Paul Plante’s wife. The couple did not have any children so Simone would always go with Paul to fish lakes, rivers or streams Together they fished for walleye, bass trout and salmon. Whenever Paul would get a large order for flies she would prepare and lay out all the materials to make Paul’s work easier. For many years he was involved with ATOS brotherhood of fly fishers as  secretary for the board of administrators. She passed away in late1992.

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1986
André A. Bellemare was the second recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in April of 1986.

André A. Bellemare

Since 1962 he has been an active jounalist at LE SOLEIL Québec’ daily newspaper.

He writes a hunting and fishing columns for the paper, speaks on the radio, appears on television and co-authors a book entitled SAUMON ATLANTIQUE. He is among the first supporters of Québecs’ lakes an drivers,  protection of the environnement, and hunting and fish habitat.

At the fly tying vise he has created many original patterns. He is a founding member of « l’association des pêcheurs sportifs de saumons du Québec » (APSSQ) that was to become « la Fédération québecoise pour le saumon atlantique (FQSA) en 1984.

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1987
René Longval was the third recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in April 1987.

René Longval

During the ‘60s  he was a founding member of la Société mauricienne des pêcheurs à la mouche (SMPM). He was still involved in 2007.

Friends call him the «Patriarch». He was responsabile for the  rise of many Québec flyfishers such as Bill Dousset, Louis Tanguay and Jacques Juneau.

He was a founding member of the Club des 20 and has inspired two generations of anglers to study and practise all domains of fly fishing. René has created a number of fly patterns, collects fly fishing related objets but what he likes the most is to fish!

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1988
Jean-Paul Dubé   1988 was the fourth recipient of the pretigious Paul Plante Award in April of 1988.

Jean-Paul Dubé

As a lawyer he coordinated atlantic salmon fishing for Québec’s department of parcs. He was raised near the junction of the Matapédia and Restigouche rivers and operated his father’s outfitting rights on the Patapédia river.

His nephew Pete Dubé still operates the Restigouche hotel in Matapédia. He retired in New Carlisle where he wrote seven atlantic salmon fishing books, did many wood sculptures of birds and salmon. He often had the company of important people from the fishing world like Jos. Bates, Roland Mitchener and Richard Adams whom he took with him to attend many ATOS fly fishing Salons. In 1990 he was presented with a Canadian Recreational Fisheries Award by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He died in 1994.

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1989
Claude Bernard was the fifth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in the spring of 1989.

Claude H. Bernard

He was a High School teacher. Respected by his peers  he used his magnificent pedagogical talent teaching all aspects of fly fishing throughout the Province of Québec and Canada.

He was involved in stream habitat improvement projects to help maintain and restore quality fly fishing on both shores of the magnificent Saint-Lawrence river.

As an involved member and second president of ATOS  Brotherhood of Flyfishers became the most important fly fishing organisation of the province under his leadership.

As a renoun tyer he created many original fly patterns thought off highly by many Canadian anglers. In 2006 he was presented with a Salar from the FQSA.

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1991
Paul É. Poirier was the sixth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in March of 1991.

Paul É. Poirier

Technical teacher and administrator during his career he actively got involved to make sure that Atlantic salmon fishing would be accessible to all on the Bonaventure river.

Toward the end of the ‘70’s, the ministry was proceeding to the dismantlement of private clubs everywhere in Québec. Paul was the president of l’Association des pêcheurs sportifs de la Bonaventure. The APSB  obtained  management of the resource of the river along with  the control of fishing. Under his leadreship the Bonaventure river obtained  its’ letters patent of nobility.

He directed a gigantic research project dealing with the re-conditioning of black salmon which led to major scientific discoveries. The FQSA presented him with the François de B. Gordeau Prize. Today the Bonnie has a high end salmon river status.

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1994
Jacques Juneau was the seventh recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in March of 1994.

Jacques Juneau

As a cooking chef, Jacques was always able to mix fly fishing, gardening and cooking. At age twenty he was fishing walleye, pike, bass, lake and brook trout with a fly.

He  co-founded and  for five years, presided the Société mauricienne des pêcheurs à la mouche (SMPM).

He created the Maurucienne Muddler to honor the association. As a lake fly fisherman he wrote many articles for Sentier Chasse-Pêche and Atossement Vôtre magasines.

As a high level fly tier he created many original fly patterns besides acting as a speaker everywhere in Québec.

He is also a talented angling artist.

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1995
René Richard was the eight recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in march of 1995.

René Richard

As an architect in the Hull/Ottawa area he strived for a long time with the Pêcheurs à la mouche de l’Outaouais (PMO) from the very beginning as a member and as president.

He also presided the Fédération Québecoise des pêcheurs à la mouche ATOS for a few years in the early ’90.

He used hia art to create original fly patterns and to develop presentations to PMO members through sketches and drawings.

Fishing was part of his nature from a very young age. A natural leader and communicator his premature departure in 2001 created a great loss for the fly fishing community.

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2003
Jacques Demers was the ninth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in February of 2003.

Jacques Demers

Veterinarian by trade he worked all his life helping farmers keep their cattle healthy. Living in Nicolet he was always near water where his favourite fish, small mouth bass,  was found.

He created many fly dressing for bass, walleye and salmonids.  For many years he was inspired by the Société mauricienne des pêcheurs à la mouche (SMPM).

A generous man, for five years Jacques returned the favor by acting as president of the Société mauricienne des pêcheurs à la mouche (SMPM). With his wife Réjeane they both did a lot of work for the advancement of fly fishing in Québec.

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2004
Gilles Aubert was the tenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in February of 2004.

Gilles Aubert

He worked in education as a guidance councillor in Lévis. Very young his dad got him fly fishing. Besides  fishing most everywhere in Canada he also cast a fly in many places in the USA.

For Gilles fishing was not enough, he had to get involved in the organisation of the sport. He was an active administrator in the APSSQ and acted as an advisor to the Minister MLCP on different aspects of recreational fishing.

He tought many fly tying courses and in many fly fishing schools. He is a co-author of the book entitled SAUMON ATLANTIQUE. He write a regular colunm in Sentier Chasse-Pêche since 1980.

In the (MLCP) film NOBLESSE OBLIGE he is the angler that ties a dry fly on shore, fishes it, caches a salmon and releases it .

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2005
Louis Tanguay was the eleventh recipient of the pretigious Paul Plante Award in February of 2005.

Louis Tanguay

He worked in education as a guidance councillor in Trois-Rivières. He has been deeply involved in organising activities for the Société mauricienne des pêcheurs à la mouche (SMPM) for many years with his mentor René Longval.

He has often acted as a juge for world fly tying championships of the Fédération pour le saumon atlantique (FQSA) besides being a champion fly tyer himself.

As a high level speaker, Louis has studied and fished speckled trout with his great friend Pierre Magnan, professor at the Université du Québec in Trois-Rivières.

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2006
Léon G. Larocque was the twelfth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in February of 2006.

Léon G. Larocque

Léon was a time and motion study specialist besides acting as a professional photographer for Albany Felt in Cowasville.

He was born in the USA and still very young he met Ray Bergman. This was a stroke of luck since this incident  would make fly fishing, Léon’s lifetime sport. He moved to Cowansville with his parents in 1953.

While fishing close to home, he met the fisherman, fly tier and bamboo rod maker Andy Barr.

He began tying flies professionally for the Houle brothers and for John Cuco. Many of his writings were published in fly fishing magasines.

Besides teaching fly tying and fly fishing he has been involved in painting  fishing scenes and sculpting salmonids. Now he is involved in bamboo rod making.

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2007
Carol Aubin was the thirteenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award  in February of 2007.

Carol Aubin

He was a technician for Bombardier in Valcourt and for Amada in Granby.

The fly fisher in him made him one of the  three co-founders of the ATOS Brotherhood of Flyfishers in 1975. For fifteen years he occupied various administratives duties with ATOS.

For the last twenty-five years he has been deeply involved as a member of the organising committee for most all the fly fishing Forums/Salons. Many times he was instructing in fly fishing schools.

Tireless worker he has transmitted his passion to a large number of Québecers.

Comme technicien, il fut à l’emploi de Bombardier à Valcourt et d’Amada à Granby.

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2008
Jean-Guy Riendeau was the fourteenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award in February of 2008.

Jean-Guy Riendeau

He was an electrician but always had fishing on his mind. In 1989 he joins the Moucheurs du Montréal Motropolitain (MMM) to better his knowledge of fly fishing. He was already pretty good but after three years of intensive training he became an instructor. From 1993 to2008 he held different administrative positions within the Moucheurs du Montréal Métropolitain (MMM) and the Fédéraion québecoise des pêcheurs à la mouche ATOS (FQPM ATOS). In 2002 he won a silver medal in the FQSA world fly tying championship. He was in charge of the planning and the  MMM  20th anniversary celebrations.

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2009
Gérald Lefebvre is the fifteenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award presented to him in February of 2009.

Gérald Lefebvre

Very good with numbers his life carreer was spent with the Caisses Populaires Desjardins. Starting out as a clerck he quickly went up the ladder becoming manager. After a few years at the head of the Caisse in Waterloo he moves to St-Félicien, Saint-Hyacinthe, Sorel, Magog and Eastman. In 1978 he became involved with ATOS. He was in charge of finances and later became president of ATOS Fly Fishing Forums. From 1988 to 2001 he presided the ATOS Brotherhood of Fly Fishers. In 1999 he is back this time as president of Granby’s Québec/Maritimes Fly Fishing Forum. Spending a lot of time fishing, he became a fly fishing instructor and now spends sum mers next to the Bonaventure River fishing and guiding salmon anglers.

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2010
Gérard Bilodeau is the sixteenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award presented to him in February of 2010.

Gérard Bilodeau

A natural administrator, he gradually went up the ladder to occupy a high level executive officer position with les Caisses  populaires Desjardins for Canada and the United States. A fly fisher in since is teens and self educated entomologist,, he got involved with the A.P.S.S.Q., with  AT.O.S. and the F.Q.S.A.. He has taugh fly tying,,fly fishing and was often a speaker at fly fishing events. He has contributed with many fly fishing magazines and is still involved with Saumons Illimités. He is co-author of the book «La saumon atlantique» and

«Lae saumon: 400 and d’istoire et de passion au Québec». He is the Québec representative to Canada’s, Fisheries and Oceans Recreational Fishing Awards selection committee. He was one of the first Quebecers to promote the live release of his fish caught on a fly.

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2011

Jeannot Ruel is the seventeenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award presented to him in February of 2011.

Jeannot Ruel

On a 1977 salmon fishing trip to the Matane River with my friend Viateur Gauthier, I found a small book entitled, « La truite et la pêche à la mouche » while visiting Georges Maul’s fly shop.

At last I had found a book written in French by a fellow from home. At the time I already owned many fly fishing books in the English language. Really, it was the fact that I found one in my mother tongue that pleased me the most, besides being few and far between.

At the time, the author was writing for « Québec Chasse & Pêche » magazine which later changed to « Sentier Chasse & Pêche ». I really enjoyed his articles dealing with fly fishing such as his paper on « Pêche à la mouche en profondeur » « Deep water fly fishing ». What can be said about the hand drawings that always improved most of his memorable documents? What can be said about the dressing of his super streamer the J.R. Cisco?

Sure, he is not only a fly fisherman since he uses other fishing techniques. He also takes part in many hunting excursions.

A talented artist, he studied drawing in the United States. Commercial art got him employed at the magazine when Henri Poupart, co-founder and president, recruited him. You must have seen or read all those books he worked on dealing with moose, deer, Atlantic salmon, the art of fly tying, fly fishing, game, hunting and many more. Glance through or read those books once more: You will be thrilled by what our recipient has to say, by the illustrations he has drawn over the years and by his photography skills.

His writings done either from his home or his office at the magazine have helped many anglers and hunters better their knowhow and skills.

For fly fishers he has made everything available for them to pursue essential knowledge and ability to become a fly fisher!

I am sure you have already recognized the 2011 recipient of the Paul Plante Honorary Mention; none other than Jeannot Ruel!

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2012
Yvon Gendron is the eighteenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Honourable Mention which was awarded to him in February 2012.

Yvon Gendron

In the 1960’s he fished and he mounted flies at a young age with whatever accessories and tools were within reach.  Yvon constantly sought to become a more efficient fly fisherman.  He had made a connection between the phases of the moon and his success on his fishing outings.  He had found and adapted to his own needs the principles of the solunar tables, published in several Québec magazines.   He has written of his methods of fishing in many articles, and displayed the three criteria of his success; fish at the restaurant - fish when the meal is being served - and present an imitation of what Mother Nature is serving.  He mounted masses of flies for his commerce.  The creation of his business “Mouches Neptunes” took off after the purchase of the Houle brothers’ business.  Today hundreds of fly tiers from Kenya and from Nicaragua make the Neptune flies distributed in North America.  The key to success for Yvon: his generosity!

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2013
Yvon Côté is the nineteenth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Honorable Mention which was awarded to him in February 2013.

Yvon Côté

Yvon has a masters degree in biology from McGill University. He was introduced to fishing for Atlantic Salmon by François de Beaulieu Gourdeau. In the mid 1970’s he got a job with the Québec Ministry of Wildlife and Natural Resources. For some twenty years he held various positions related to Atlantic Salmon biology. In 1996 when he retired from the Ministry he was the head biologist. He is a founding member of the Association des pêcheurs sportifs de saumon du Québec (APSSQ), the ancestor of the Québec Atlantic Salmon Federation (FQSA)  for which he is acting president since 2000.  Among many others, he was presented with the Fondation François de Beaulieu Gourdeau Award in 1991 and the FSA Happy Fraser Award in 2011.

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2014
Claude Hamel is the twentieth recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Honorable Mention, awarded to him in February 2014.

Claude Hamel

Psychologist by training, he devoted himself to Atlantic salmon fishing since 1985. Now graduated from the Mike Maxwell Spey casting school he is recognized as a high-level fisherman. Many salmon anglers benefited from his advice as instructor at the Bonaventure River salmon fishing school. Actively involved in several tasks for a dozen years in the Quebec Atlantic Salmon Federation, he is now an integral part of the «Mentoring» activity. Occasional salmon fishing guide he is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Fly Fishing Museum Inc. In 2010 he received the Salar Pierre Tremblay and in 2013 the François de Beaulieu Gourdeau Medal.

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2015
Mario Viboux is the twenty first recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award presented to him in February 2015.

Mario Viboux

Towards the end of the eighties, as a director, he put together a group for fly fishing youngsters in Verdun at the ‘Maison des jeunes’ Point de mire.   The young people were drawn by his charisma and enthusiasm to participate in all his projects.  Many of them have become not only seasoned citizens of every-day life, but also marvellous fly fishermen and (fisher)-women.  He has assisted many young people to become well-known top level monitors of fly-casting by the FFF.  In 2009 he received the Roderick-Haig Brown Prize from the Canadian Wildlife Federation, and in 2013 he was awarded the medal celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth ll.  Mario, as well as being the co-founder of the Sherbrooke Spey Forum, is also a writer for the revue Sentier chasse-Pêche.

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2016
André Boucher  is the twenty second recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award  presented to him in May 2016.

André Boucher

Skilful at getting his message across, he held an important position for the Leasure, Fish and Game Department and special adviser to the Minister. The job André had to do was to get the world to know about the great hunting and fishing opportunities Québec had to offer. He accompanied important people and guided many foreign journalists fly fishing our rivers and lakes. As an experienced film producer he has many films to his name such as «Noblesse oblige», written for television and has spoken about salmon fishing with a dry fly and  fly tying.

Now retired his favorite passtime is sculpting salmon and wading staffs.

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2017

Alain Lemieux is the twenty third recipient of the prestigious Paul Plante Award presented to him in April 2017.

Alain Lemieux

At age 11, his uncle gave him a small bamboo rod and a dozen flies. In 1966 he buys his first «real» but second hand fly fishing equipment. With this was a small box containing fly tying material, a few tools and a fly tying instruction book. Alain got involved building salmon flies in 1974 and took to salmon fishing on the Matane River in 1976. During the ’80s, he studied and practiced tying full feather wing salmon flies with Paul Bean. In 1990, he was invited to fish the Grand Cascapedia with Pierre Ruelland and landed a few fish with his «Lady Ruelland». In 2008, he puts on line his magnificent historic québécois web site: fabri-mouches.ca.

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2018
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