Our Man In Canada
December 31st, 2006

Ring in the New
By Chris Chin, Bay Comeau, Quebec, Canada

2006: Salmon: 111, including 63 released; Sea run trout, 652 adults and 989 juveniles.

There you have it. A summary of the 2006 season on my home waters.

A pretty dry way of putting things. The simple numbers don't do justice to the real season. The flurry of river reports in the spring got the ball rolling early here. Then the season really started high balling.

Salmon! More salmon than over the past few seasons. Further, even with the river being clear and low, the cool nights helped to maintain the water temperature at a reasonable level. Sight fishing to willing salmon! Dry flies at noon and #14 black bears at dusk.

The adult sea run trout were right on schedule this season as well. Some truly impressive examples of our natural heritage were captured this past summer. Quite a few were the guests of honour at some riverside feasts. Many more were released. (Attitudes are changing.)

The 2006 season flew by in a blur. I was in transition between day jobs, the word got out and I Guided pretty well 7/7 from July through to October. Further, a number of anglers cancelled in other regions and came up to explore our home waters. We don't keep stats on them, but we also had many first time Salmo salar enthusiasts too this year.

The river blew out starting in mid September so the second run of sea run trout (juveniles) was challenging. Waves of cold fronts and rain were accompanied by steaming cups of percolator coffee and soup on the beach.

Looking back on the 2006 season, the only thing missing was my family. I spent many a day alone of the river this year. Scouting out pools or getting a day in between bookings, it just isn't the same being on the river without them anymore. Time and money constraints saw Renée and Vincent accompany me on the river for just one single day this past year.

We're starting to get ready for 2007. Everything has to be restocked. During the season, I only had time to tie flies that were missing and leaders were done on the spot. I'm in several swaps this winter and I also promised a couple dozen flies for the Warden.

Last year my little New Year's resolution was to explore new waters in 2006. Well I did. They just happened to be on the same river. I scouted out a dozen new spots (and Boris showed me a few too).

For 2007, finding a resolution is easy. I'll make sure that we fish together as a family more often. (So is that really a valid resolution...something that is easy to accomplish?)

I like to admit that I learn something new every single day. Heck, Deanna showed me in ten minutes that my double haul was ineffective...and I'd been doing it that way for over 30 years!

Every casting situation, every presentation, every drift, every take on the fly (or refusal). They all remind me that the river is still hiding more secrets than it has thus far unveiled. I learned a lot this year too watching anglers from elsewhere. I hope that your 2006 season was as enriching as mine was.

The 2007 season will eventually generate another line in the river statistics. I plan on it being much more than that.

I would like to wish you all a fine 2007. Sunshine, dry flies and tight lines! ~ 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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