First impressions (you only get one chance)
(I'm beating this subject to death, but it is important to me, maybe it could be for you too)
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada
My new day job has me slotted as point man on a big
project. To get things rolling, I've been in a myriad
of meetings, conferences, workshops etc. All the usual
fixings to prepare the management plans for over 3
million acres of public forest lands. Lots of meet
At the same time, we are getting ready for the 2007
fishing season. The raffle for rod slots was drawn
late in October, so anglers are starting to call to
get the skinny on the best dates, strategies and
I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with a fellow
FAOL'er this week when Frank V called. We agreed on
getting together some time during his visit. Then, at
the end of our conversation, Frank thanked me for my
time. Wow,...that was weird.
It had never crossed my mind that anyone would thank me
for information or a day on the river. I would rather
thank THEM for taking the time out of their busy
schedule to come to visit our home waters or our little
part of the world. (While speaking with Frank, I could
hear in the background the comings and goings, I believe
at the shop, so I knew he was grabbing time to call during
his lunch break).
So how do you react when you run across visitors on your home waters?
Up here, I have the opportunity to meet many newcomers.
Quite often they don't know how to rotate into a run,
which flies to use or even where to find a telephone.
I've found that offering to help (if wanted) has led
to some wonderful time spent sharing a run, a lunch
(or a bottle of Port).
Take a moment to think about the encounters that you
may have had on the water. You look down the run and
see a stranger flogging away over a dead slick. His
leader is too limp and too short. Even from 30 yards
away you can see that their fly is 4 sizes too big.
What did you do?
Did you mind your own business, smirking under the brim
of your hat thinking "That guy is going to get skunked
here" or did you spool up, approach the newcomer, introduce
yourself and offer some help?
Is it possible that that poor fellow went home that night,
exhausted after spending one of the most frustrating days
of his life seeing the "locals" connecting while he had no
luck? We've all been there. It's just possible that it was
many many years ago.
I've often said that we are all ambassadors for our sport,
our home waters and our regions while we travel. The same
is true when we are at home.
I've caught some exceptional memories over the years on
the water. Most of the best have a rod in hand and a smile
on their face.
~ Christopher Chin - Bay Comeau 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,
Our Man In Canada Archives