The Road Home
Very few of today's anglers actually can walk from their
fishing spots back to their home. For many of us, gone
are the days of riding our bicycles out to the local pond
on a Saturday morning with friends. A rod in one hand,
tackle box in the other, negotiating our way down a snaking
trail to the river's edge was child's play. Today, the trip
up and out of the valley and back into town is usually done
By Chris Chin, Bay Comeau, Quebec, Canada
For me, the drive home takes about an hour. The road is
windy and narrow. On Sunday evenings there are fewer
transport trucks so the drive is fairly relaxing.
After having bid farewell to the week's guests, friends
and visitors, I will have broken down the rods, stowed
the reels and vests in their cases. The wet waders are
in a heap in the back of the truck. The canoe is locked
to the roof rack as I'll probably leave it there all week.
I climb in and rest a few moments going through my mental
check list. Nothing was left on the beach. The propane is
turned off in the camps. The gate is locked on the access
road to the gear shed.
After a few days on the river (or more), the simple act
of sitting on a padded seat with a back rest is a bit of
a luxury. In the air conditioned (or heated) cab, there
are no biting bugs, no rain, no pounding sleet, nor wind
nor blistering sun.
I turn West onto the highway as some blues start up on
the CD player.
I'm tired 'cause whether I'm with guests or friends and
family, I usually roll out long before dawn and I'm always
the last one to bed (after checking the gear for the next
day, putting out the fire and setting the stock for the
next day's breakfast).
After a few miles though, pleasant memories of the outing
seep back into my tired consciousness.
The one that broke off;
As I pull into the driveway, the ideas and "what if's" have
evolved into planning. In my mind I'm already getting ready
for next week's outing. I'm making a new check list of stuff;
I'd like to try; gear to be loaded up; flies to be tied.
~ Christopher Chin - Bay Comeau, Quebec
That perfect presentation (even thought there was
NO salmon holding there);
The image of Peter stepping into a hole and getting
his waders filled with water (at 6 o'clock in the morning!)
That perfect cup of coffee at day break on the look out
while watching the salmon cueing up at the head of the pool;
That "Ah ha!" moment when a newcomer feels the rod
Those moments: cigars, a glass of Port and a crackling
The memories turn into "what if's."
What if I had let that big buck run,...Would he still
have eventually broken off?
What if we went into the #18 before dawn and set up
BEFORE the salmon move up and into the shade? Would they
be less leader shy?
What if we canoed DOWN from the run on the 38 and
beached on the far side instead of wading across the down
stream shallows. Would the big trout which laager there at
night be less spooked?
What if we put some extra old cheddar in the cold smoker
at breakfast, would it be ready for after supper Port?
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