A Year in the Life of a Fanatic
The season wound down then the office turned into
a mad house for 2 months. I guess it's the curse
of being a fly fishing forester in Quebec. The annual
final push to get our sylviculture applications in
for next season rolls around at the same time that
the river closes and our weekly reality check gets
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere Quebec
Once things finally slowed down to a mere break neck
pace, I finally got some time (driving) to reflect
back on this past season.
We had a blast this year. Once again, we fished
exclusively on our home waters (Ste-Marguerite River).
We tried for salmon in the heat and humidity of June
and July. The summer was exceptionally dry and the water
levels dropped to some all time lows.
With the cool nights and low clear water, the sea run
brook trout and salmon were exceptionally difficult this
season. Waiting for the bugs to hibernate and the
temperatures (air and water) to become respectable, the
family didn't fish too much over the summer and I spent
more than half my days on the banks with newfound friends
Many lessons were re-learned this year too. With the
difficult fishing, I had to go back to the basics on
many occasions, re-thinking strategy and breaking a
few bad habits...generally just getting out of a well
Once the Geese started migrating South, the fishing
picked up. We had a 48 hour reprieve when the remnants
of Katrina came roaring through (blew out some stream
crossings and re-arranged the #23 pool). The second run
of sea run brookies arrived in force this year. Cool
nights and sun filled days were the norm for several
weeks in paradise.
We had some wonderful days releasing trout, keeping a
few, laughing a lot. Some days were so good that Renée
practiced on dries and wets just to see which take she
preferred to feel on the rod.
We put back more than a few salmon this season, something
that hasn't happened in several years. I guess going back
to basics is important.
Even with some spectacular air shows from our friends Salmo
salar, sunrises to wake the dead, sunsets painted by the hand
of God and bountiful shore lunches provided by Mom Nature,
the real stand out memories of this season were of the folks
Over the season, we had the wonderful opportunity to meet
more than a few fellow anglers from the US and Canada, as
well as several from across the pond and parts way down
South. To name a few,...I thank you all for sharing time
with us in our little piece of heaven.
To Joe and Christy,...try to keep your passports in a safe place.
And finally to my Renée, Vincent, our friends (and Kenny the Dawg),
Thank you for all that you have brought into my life. May there
always be a run to explore together.
To Robert, the pool IS deeper than your waders are long.
To Joe and Joseph , see y'all the first week of July '06.
To David and Donna from Nashville and Scott and Dee from Tx,
You folks are a class act.
To Caroline and Peter, You see, the wind does EVENTUALLY die down.
To the two Guides visiting from Gaspé, Peter and Paul,
I can't wait to drop by your waters.
To Lévy, Jérome, Adrian, Daniel et.al. as well as to the
wardens, have a safe winter.
To our long lost Michel...there will always be a cot by
the wood stove and an extra rod in the rack for you up here.
Until next season, ~ Chris
Chris Chin is originally from Kamloops,
British Columbia. He has been fly fishing
on and off ever since he was 10 years old.
Chris became serious about the sport within
the last 10 years.
"I'm a forest engineer by day and part time
guide on the Ste-Marguerite River here in
central Quebec. I've been fishing this river
for about 10 years now and started guiding
about 5 years ago when the local guide's
association sort of stopped functioning."
Chris guides mostly for sea run brook trout
and about 30% of the time for Atlantic Salmon.
"I often don't even charge service fees, as
I'm more interested in promoting the river
than making cash. I like to get new comers
to realize that salmon fishing is REALLY for
anyone who cares to try it. Tradition around
here makes some of the old clan see Salmon
fishing as a sport for the rich. Today our
shore lunches are less on the cucumber sandwich
side and more toward chicken pot pie and Jack
Chris is 42 years old as of this writing. He
is of Chinese origin although his parents were
born and raised in Jamaica. He has a girlfriend,
Renée. "She and her 12 year old son Vincent
started fly fishing with me in October 2002."
To learn more about the Ste-Marguerite River,
~ Christopher Chin
Our Man In Canada Archives