Simple As It Gets
While wrapping up Friday evening on the river after six
straight days, the Warden leaves a note on the windshield
for me to try and get in touch with an angler for a
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec
I drive out of the valley far enough to get a cell phone
signal and get in touch with Peter Jasko. Apparently, this
is his second trip up to the river and is still trying to
figure out the beasts (salmon that is).
We arrange to meet up bright and early. Up at 03h30, I arrive
at the office in time to set up the coffee and have a snack.
I look over the books and see that there are quite a few
anglers booked into the #4 zone, so I change Peter's
booking for the #2. A muffin, coffee and we're off!
Peter is a successful trout fly fisher, but wants some
pointers for Atlantics. I change his leader and set him
up over a number of salmon on the #23 pool.
The #23, Alan's Arm is a classic salmon pool. Cold water
runs in from a side stream, a deep run is carved into the
boulder strewn bottom and the salmon have just come up
through a series of runs and shallow slicks. An excellent
I have read a lot about fishing for Atlantics. All of these
books are very good, well written and full of useful
information. Then again, sometimes, too much information
can complicate things too.
I explain to Peter how to get an even, medium fast straight
line swing over the salmon. No mending, no stripping, no
reaching, nor pointing. Straight down and out, tight line.
As Peter starts casting and working his way down, I set up
on the Gallery to watch.
It is a shear pleasure watching people cast.
Peter works his way down the run, SIX INCHES AT AT TIME.
From speaking with him, I realized that he was working
runs too quickly and stepping downstream too far between
As he works his way into salmon, I see a flash, the salmon
peels out, turns back, takes and the rod is soon loading.
There is only mild current here. The salmon moves in, then
out and down.
On 8 lb tippet, Peter is trying his best to wear down
the young salmon and keep from breaking off.
At one point, the fish holds head down out over some rocks
and we start wondering if we're not hung up. I wade over
to scare the salmon out of the hole and he finally runs,
putting Pete into about 10 feet of backing.
The water is still cool, so we're not worried about
exhausting the fish. We try walking the salmon upstream.
Nothing doing. Slowly working down stream we can finally
get beside him.
After 20 minutes, the small male is finally tiring. We work
our way into the shallows. He runs again. Not as far,...not
We finally get him to hand,...a quick pic and handshakes
are in order.
We spend the rest of the morning going through some pointers
and reading the water. We do a run up to two other observatories.
The ten-minute drive up to Big Pool is worth it to see the
30-40 lb salmon milling about in the slow current.
I had a wonderful morning with Peter. It was an honour to witness
his first ever connection with an Atlantic Salmon.
Somehow, I'm not sure it will be his last.
~ 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
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