Home Away From Home
It never seems to amaze folks, the amount of gear that we
can pack into the truck for a weekend of fishing. Then again,
we go back to the river every chance we get to have fun and
relax. Roughing it isn't really in the cards for us.
Planning and preparation goes a long way
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec
Home away from Home - Roughing it on the #23 pool
After several seasons fishing as a family, the weekend ritual
flies pretty well on autopilot now. Once the season starts,
the end of one outing is really just the start of another.
Around Wednesday evening, … I'll do the grocery shopping
for the week, including any special treats we want for the
coming weekend. Unpacking the perishables, we'll freeze
meats in individual portions (makes them easier to thaw
out). The dry goods go directly into their "Rubbermaid" box.
We have over 10 plastic bins. Depending on the temperature we
mix 'n match boxes of gear. The "standard" boxes are one each for:
These all go in the truck box with a cooler for drinks and a
cooler for food, along with the stove, 3 landing nets, lantern,
fire starter, dawg food, fly tying kit and kit bag of fly boxes.
- Cooking gear and dishes
- Dry goods (conserves, junk food, bread, coffee)
- "Wet" box for waders, gravel guards, belts and wading boots
- Outer gear (jackets, sweaters, hats, vests, gloves and scarves)
- First aid (kit, splints, headlamp, water, rope etc.)
- Clothes and toiletries.
We use "Baja" bags to put the (extra) tent, pillows and
sleeping bags on the roof. On the roof rack also go the
folding chairs. Outboard on the roof rack go the canoe
paddles and on the other side 4 rod tubes with 5-10 rods.
On top of all that goes the canoe.
As you can imagine, we can easily know if we've forgotten
something, there's space in the truck!
The extra box of cold weather gear goes on the deck
Inside the truck, there's room for the box of reels,
the 2nd First Aid Kit, the Dawg and the family.
Loading all this up takes less than 45 minutes. As I like
to sneak away from the office a few minutes early on
Friday's, we're usually locked and loaded by 6 o'clock
in the evening. With a pit stop on the way out of town
for snacks, we usually pull into camp around 7 o'clock.
Here, setting up camp usually runs like a well oiled
machine too. While Renée sets up the bedding, I'll
set out the "kitchen" and set up the lanterns. Vincent
will usually set up the camp fire and gets the wood
stove going. Kenny (the dawg) doesn't really help.
Maybe moral support.
It's pleasant to do a bit of preparation ahead of time.
This way, we get settled in for the evening, relax by
the fire and snack a bit.
Lounging around the camp fire, we'll plan out what we'd
like to do the next day. Maybe we're feeling a bit tired.
We'll sleep late, the trout and salmon will always be there
in the afternoon.
It may sound like we pack along EVERYTHING, well, not really.
The tent is always set up and the BBQ is there too. We also
don't have to bring along the kitchen sink. *G*
So if you're ever in our neck of the woods, drop by the
#23. The coffee is always hot. ~ 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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