Our Man In Canada
December 18th, 2006

Thanksgiving in December
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada

I haven't really had time to notice that Christmas is arriving. As most of you know, I changed jobs this summer and I've been burning the candle at both ends (as well as in the middle) for a few months now.

The new Boss is originally from New Brunswick so the Christmas spirit this year at the office is a bit more evident than in other years. (I got a memo from him stating that I MUST attend the office Christmas party). I wouldn't say that social values in Quebec are any different than else where in North America, they just have a different "accent."

You see, Thanksgiving in most of French speaking Quebec is simply another civic holiday for most. A time to rake up the leaves, close down the cottage or do one last road trip to a favourite stretch of river. The soul search "giving of thanks" seems to bubble up to the surface more during the Christmas season here.

So what would I say I have to give thanks for this year? After all, it was a pretty rough year.

Well...

  • JC still hasn't banned me from the Bulletin Board.

  • I had the wonderful opportunity to meet quite a few new friends this year, notably:

  • J. Castwell's mild mannered twin brother, Jim.

  • I found out why Deanna's handle is LadyFisher... (because she is a Lady)

  • JED! And his wonderful wife Joan,

  • Faruk...a wealth of knowledge, history and culture,

  • Tex, ...apparently a well known singer, ...all I know is that he can paint a fine tableau and can cast a mean dry fly,

  • I still have the respect of the Wardens on our home waters... which means I didn't do anything stupid this year.

  • I had dropped off the boards for only a few weeks and I received literally DOZENS of PM's and e-mails from concerned friends in our community here.

  • I found out that I can still land an 18 lb salmon on a 5 lb tippet.

  • I got snapped up right quick after losing my job, so I must be doing something right at my day job.

Christmas is a pretty small affair at our home. I'm starting to look for a small turkey, a pepper squash and the fixing's for a Baked Alaska. But, it will be spent with my little family here.

My thoughts will be going out to you all in our extended family here, wishing you all a Safe and Happy Christmas 2006.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. ~ Christopher Chin - Bay Comeau, 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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