WHY WE FISH III
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit a few expositions and activities this past winter. I (thankfully) didn’t do the booths. I mostly gave conferences about my home waters (the Ste-Marguerite River) and Atlantic salmon fishing in general. Basically, the theme of the discussions I gave was that fly fishing for Atlantic salmon in Central Quebec is not just for Pros, the rich nor the famous. It is quite affordable and as simple (or complicated) as one wishes to make it.
In the Q&A sessions as well as in the corridors, one particular question always seemed to come up: I always answered; “Yes, I fish pretty well on one single river. I don’t really have enough time to get around to visiting others, but this suits me just fine”.
To put this into perspective, one has to realize that I fish as an excuse to get out into Nature. It is an activity which demands my concentration and I get to meet friends and newcomers alike.
The truth be told, I guess I don’t concentrate all that much anymore while I’m presenting a fly to a lie. I am far from being an elegant caster, but I look where I want and the fly just goes there. The mending, stripping and recuperation of the line just seem to get done at the proper moment all by themselves.
Case in point: On the #45a pool, there is a broken rapid running left to right. A midstream sunken gravel bar means that there are TWO lanes running with a slower current in the middle. When I fish this run with wets, I know that the farther lane gets fished less (as it is a lengthy switch cast). When I lay down a cast I will lift and send a downstream mend which will fish the fly. An upstream mend mid-stream makes the line swing properly and a second delayed upstream mend close in helps keep the line nice and firm.
I do this all automatically as I watch the leader and fly.
Downstream from André, we can see the two lanes on the 45a.
On the other hand, if I start thinking about anything like the office, phone calls missed or looming deadlines, even the cast itself, I’ll soon have a #10 Green Highlander stuck in the back of my hat!!!
As for meeting friends and newcomers, I suppose that it’s one of the reason’s I like going back to the same waters week after week. I am comfortable there. Everyone knows my name (and I theirs!). There is something reassuring about that.
There is also the fact that as a Guide on my home waters, I get to meet newcomers from all over the World. There is no experience like it. Every day out with visitors, I get to re-experience the wonderment of discovering the river through their eyes!
Fellow Guide – Romain Tremblay
We teamed up in 2009 to initiate a group to Salmon fishing.
When I sit down and actually try to figure out why I fly fish, the answer is simple. A mix of good friends, wonderful surroundings sprinkled in with some serious concentration make for a nice break from the Rat Race.
Even lounging on the beach to select a fly can be a relaxing experience. There is no rush. The salmon have been coming to the pool for nearly 10,000 years. They can wait another 10 minutes.
Finally, with over 100 km of runs, rapids, pools and slicks, the Ste-Marguerite River offers quiet time if I prefer to seek that out.
Sunrise on the #3
Marianne Courteau Photo.
I know some of the reasons why I fish. My reasons aren’t your reasons. It probably doesn’t even matter if you know or not. I believe the only important thing is to get out and go fishing. ... Hey, you might as well bring along a friend or two!
Christopher Chin, Chicoutimi, Quebec.