Exploring new places, new waters and new cultures. That
is one of the (many) special treats of fly fishing.
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec
A week ago, one of our own managed to log off the computer
and changed his voice mail message to, "I've gone to Canada
for a week."
After a few months of planning, exchanging some e-mails,
a quick phone call and some major Googling, Jed and his
wife Joan made their way up into Central Quebec for some
sightseeing. Well, Joan did some planning. In Jed's own
words, Joan is the planning type. He is more the type to
jump out of the airplane and read the instructions on the
parachute on the way down.
After several days of seeing the sights and visiting, Jed
met up with me bright and early Friday morning. What a
thrill finally putting a real face to the name and the
voice on the other end of the phone. A First FAOL'er
that I've had the opportunity and the pleasure to meet.
Jed and I make our way up the river to the Association's
office to sign in. Joan stays on to pack up their stuff
and we leave a note explaining where to meet for lunch.
The weather had changed dramatically over the past five days.
The drought was over. The river has risen over a foot and
doubled in flow overnight. No sight fishing to salmon this
Grey skies over the run into the #38
We start out slowly working the run behind Bardsville.
This guy can cast like the Devil Himself
I know there are salmon in the run. Jed is fishing on faith
(in me). We spend an hour or so working the run then start
working our way up the river visiting a few runs and rapids.
The morning goes by in flash. I suppose that this has
something to do with the wonderful company I have this day.
As the water has come up, casting stations are often small
and far between. We do manage to nestle into some nice
lies. If we do connect in the current, this could be very
Jed working the #39 from the only place to cast from.
Are we having fun yet?
Waiting for Joan to arrive at the picnic shelter on Glass
Pool, we run up to the #48 to scope out a camping site for
Jed and Joan for this evening. A quick tour of the premises
and we're back down to Glass Pool to set up for lunch.
Just as we're getting the gear out of the pick-up, Joan
arrives. A Wonderful lady. We settle in for a snack and
just as the morning has done, the lunch break goes by
all too fast.
While Joan scoots back to the village on a grocery run,
Jed and I return to the #37. As it is some of the most
fishable water on this half of the river, we decide to
seriously try for the salmon which are holding in the
While rotating in and out of the run, we meet up with some
anglers who will be drifting the #2 zone tomorrow. Two other
anglers fish nearby. As far as I could tell, there were a
total of four of us on the 65 miles of river this July long
Jed is swinging a wet of some kind through the run at the
same time that I'm fishing down stream from him. Not even
a shout from him, I look over and his rod is bending over
and the line is going tight. A splashing disturbance is at
work right about where his fly is! Three seconds later
and the line is slack. No connection. It's time to get serious.
We re-check our hooks and leaders and work the run some
more. Nothing. Well,...that's salmon fishing.
I've met quite a few new-comers to fly fishing over almost
2 decades of fishing this river. They all say, "Ah heck,...
it's just a thrill to be here." Deep down, one can usually
see that a bit of disappointment is settling in.
Not with Jed. I keep looking over to see if he's having
a good time. What am I worrying about?
Jed on the #38 - July 2006
Behind those tinted glasses, I just know the eyes are smiling,
taking in the sights, sounds and smells of his first day on
a Quebec Atlantic Salmon River. (Somehow, I don't think that
it will be his last).
I would like to thank Joan and Jed for taking the time to
come up and visit our little part of the world. It was a
sheer privilege on my part to have the opportunity to meet
you both. ~ Chris Chin, Jonquiere Quebec
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