This Never Gets Old
This past week I had the opportunity to mix some out
of town meetings with family time. Off to Quebec City
for some conferences. The family hung out at the hotel
and then we stayed on for a few days to relax, see the
sights and shop. Of course, shopping included hitting
one of the bigger outdoor sporting goods emporiums in
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec
While many couples would find shopping a conjugal obligation,
with my family, it's quite something else. I think we must
have spent at least 45 minutes just looking at reels! Renée
kept comparing her favourite reel to those in the show case.
Was her reel better, lighter, smoother? Luckily the answer
was yes on almost all accounts.
We tie all our own flies, so of course we spent close to an
hour looking over the bins of flies. As this shop is located
a short three hours from several salmon rivers, the offerings
included Atlantic Salmon flies as well as traditional and some
"new" trout flies. We look over the flies to get ideas for some
we'd like to tie and eventually try. (We must finally try out
that Club Sandwich).
Over to the rod racks. Racks and racks of rods! Good thing
the rod testing area was closed for the season or we would
have been there all weekend. Instead, some medium weight
trout rods got the 'ole wiggle test (we ALL do that),...
we're looking for a slightly better trout rig for Junior.
For the price, all the rods from various manufacturers appear
to be excellent value. We just can't nail down a choice. (This
could possibly turn into a rod building project).
The owner of this shop is a real class act and I noticed him
sizing up a young man for a rod. He was giving good advice,
knocking 50 bucks off the fellow's budget to make sure he had
enough for backing, leaders, a box of flies and taxes.
The Boss called me over to make sure the rod was the right
length/weight for the type of water the customer would be
fishing. I helped choose some flies and had him buy two spools
of quality tippet material, foregoing the knotless leaders.
I'll send him some hand tied ones next week instead.
As we exchanged business cards, I couldn't help smiling,
remembering that very first rod I had bought. I remember
standing by the rod rack at Yosh's. A local legend of fly
fishing showing me the difference between graphite and glass.
He showed me how the wiggle test really won't show me much.
Out back, how to pick up the line with smooth acceleration
and how to wait on the load on the back cast. He had me cast
several different rods to find one I felt right with.
I don't know exactly where that glass rod and Pflueger Medalist
reel have gotten to. I think they are still in the forest service
cabin on Adam's Lake (if the cabin is still there). I do however
remember the feeling of riding my bike home with that new baby.
I wonder if I would have been more exhilarated, had I know then
what it was, with a Wulff, Kusse or Taylor bamboo rod. I doubt it.
I guess it never gets old. I mean, we weren't the only ones
in the shop looking (drooling) over new rods. There were
youngsters, baby boomers and some older folks there.
We finally left the shop with only a new pair of fishing
glasses for our son. Looking back on the thrill of getting
a new rod,...your very OWN rod, I think we'll build one
together for him. ~ 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
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