Our Man In Canada
September 11th, 2006

The Quebec 2006 Fish-In (part 2 of 4)
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada

I always (usually) wake up a few minutes before the alarm clock goes off. This morning is no exception. It's 05h30,...Day 2 of the Quebec FishIn. I'm pretty excited.

Actually, as only Jim and Deanna could make it, we have decided to make this a more of a vacation. We have all had a pretty hectic summer so far, so a week off for chatting and fishing is well deserved rest. After a marathon week of preparations and a flight itinerary from hell,...Jim and Deanna are due for breakfast only at 09h00. Fine by me,...gives me some time to fish.

I gather up my stuff and peek my head out of the tent. Good, the weather will hold. The water is low and clear. I decide to try for some trout in the #23 (Alan's Arm).

A few casts of a white hybrid between a woolly and a worm and small trout are chasing the offering. A 10 inch trout takes the fly and dives for cover. I strip it in quickly and release it. As I'm trying to untangle the line from the reel seat extension, I look down at my feet, the trout has taken the fly again! This time badly. Oh well, Jim and Deanna will just have to have some trout with their breakfast.

Back up at the camp, I prepare coffee, clean the trout, get the bacon crisped (and change the front rear tire on the truck which is almost flat).

At 08h56, Jim and Deanna pull in. Laughing, I explain that breakfast isn't quite ready, because they're 4 minutes early.

Breakfast

Over coffee, French toast, some trout and bacon, we chat and go over the game plan for the day. While I quickly clean up the dishes, Jim and Deanna start laying out rods. It is amazing how well organized their bags are. There are many rods in the travel bag. Even more have been sent on forward to Michigan for the following week.

Rods

Jim shows me a few "tricks" for teaching people how to cast. The first of MANY pointers I will learn this week. I also see for the first time "the Broom."

As there are already a couple of anglers in the #23, we move upstream to the #28 (The Spruce). The water level is low. Jim and Deanna don't even need to suit up.

We try for salmon, then for trout, no cooperation from the fish. We decide to move up to the #38 so I can show them the Bardsville site and a few more pools. Jim can also show me some more "tricks". Deanna shows me why my double haul is not really effective (after over 30 years of doing it wrong!)

Bardsville

As we're casting to some holding lies out behind the old cottages, we hear a calm stranger hail, "Hello Deanna"...

Faruk Ekich has come over to visit. We chat a while with Faruk on the beach then decide to return to the #23 for lunch and continue our chat with Faruk there.

A fascinating person, we (actually, I just listen, ABSORBING information) exchange ideas on topics ranging from C&R in a blood sport, to tube flies, to graphite blank mandrills to double haul techniques. Oh oh,...Double hauling,...out comes the Broom. We all give it a try. A pretty weird experience, but it does get the point across. We dry land cast a Gatti too. Surprising rod. I guess I'm just too over anxious though to really appreciate it.

Faruk bids us good day after promising to arrange a day on the salt Friday for Deanna and Jim (I have clients booked). Heading downstream, the Birkholms and I move into the #8 (Little Rock) to try our luck.

The air is cooling off and we end the day there. We continue our way downstream and back to their lodging. Supper in the village and another several hours of discussions in the hotel room.

We agree to meet at 09h00 the following day up at the #38. We'll probably fish in the #4 Zone tomorrow, seriously looking for salmon. I head back to the #23 to bed down around 00h30. ~ Chris Chin, Jonquiere Quebec

About 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 Daniel's."

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, visit Christopher's website http://pages.videotron.com/fcch/.

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