Our Man In Canada
January 22nd, 2007

Java Jive
By Chris Chin, Bay Comeau, Quebec, Canada

(Ok, so I stole the title from a tune that the Manhattan Transfer did a few years ago).

I used to think that I had a mild dependence on coffee, ...until I met Jim and Deanna this summer that is.

The preparation of coffee as a beverage has been around for quite some time apparently (at least as early as the 9th century in the Middle East). Since that time, it has become one of the most widely used consumer beverages in the world (after water, actually tea is the most often sought after drink).

Personally, a morning stroll down a trail to a run or pool just isn't the same without a mug of mojo. I don't usually use a thermos. I prefer to perk a pot of the magical elixir on the tail gate of the truck or picnic table. (The stove top espresso maker is just to small to make enough brew for the ever present friends, visitors and Wardens who drop by for a chat and a mug).

Somehow, I think the aroma of a perking coffee pot drifting through the spruce forest on a mist laden dawn just completes the picture (in my mind's eye).

Since it's pretty difficult to cast while holding a mug of coffee, it's also a fine excuse to slow down and scout out a pool properly. (well, ...I seem to remember Jim actually casting and fishing with one hand and holding the ever present travel mug in the other).

Mario Fillion
Mario Fillion – scouting Glass Pool on a cool July 2002 morning

Since salmon fishing on our home waters is a pretty social event, one can often find us lounging around a look out, sharing a coffee and rotating on a particularly active pool. Not the type of fishing for everyone, but a fine way to spend a morning with friends.

This past summer, I was out on the lookout on the #23. I had just released a small salmon and decided to brew up a new pot of coffee. Three friends dropped in and one of them decided to try a few drops. About the same time, two tourists pull up and stroll out to see what's up.

About five minutes into his run a medium sized salmon ripped the fly from the surface and started up a local "Air Show." Running and leaping up and down the run, my friend was pretty busy keeping a tight line while trying not to break off on a 6 lb tippet.

Ten minutes into the battle, I call down from above:
"Jay,...I hope you don't need help, 'cause the coffee is ready and we don't want it to get cold."

The two tourists looked over at me with the most incredulous look!

"You aren't going to go down and help him?"

I replied, "Well, he'll be at it another 20 minutes or so in this cold water. He can always break off if he wants his coffee right away."

Coffee as it is prepared in North America isn't the best in the world, but the company makes up for this mild short fall.

If you're ever in our neck of the woods, stop for a chat. The coffee's always fresh. ~ 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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