Our Man In Canada
April 23rd, 2007

The Shore Lunch
By Chris Chin, Bay Comeau, Quebec, Canada

We don't keep many trout anymore. We don't even keep the biggest ones. After all, the skillet IS only about 12 inches across. We do like to keep a trout now and again to have a shore lunch.

I'm not sure if the shore lunch is a tradition all over the world, but for many of us it is a dying tradition. There are many reasons why folks don't do shore lunches anymore. Some can't be bothered to take time to prepare one. Others only practice catch and release. Some waters are too polluted to eat the fish there. Whatever the reason, it has become apparent to me that our shore lunches here are not only a treat, but a bit of a privilege too.

Of course, we always bring along the fixings for lunch, just in case the trout don't want to cooperate with our culinary expectations. A typical snack for us on a cool September day will be some sort of soup. We usually follow this up with our "famous" fried chicken pot pie and baked beans.

I suppose the "traditional" shore lunch around here would be the old stand by. When nature decides to be bountiful for us, lunch is:

    Skillet fried corned beef hash with cubed potatoes;

    Grilled trout with bacon;

    Coffee or hot chocolate, depending on your preference.

We like to start off most meals on the river with a bowl of steaming soup. The aroma of simmering soup is often enough to pull friends out of the run and up to the beach for lunch.

In all honesty, I think that the promise of a shore lunch was the determining factor in getting JC to come up last summer for the Quebec '06 FishIn.

A bit of preparation can also make for some very simple shore lunches. A non-stick frying pan helps to speed up clean up. Pre-mixing ingredients into small containers makes for easy and rapid lunches, especially when your fingers are numb. We use a white gas stove. It's less expensive to run than butane and less messy than using a camp fire.

Whatever the reason, IMHO, the shore lunch is an essential part of an outing on a cool September day. After all, the chilly air and cold water make for a demanding day of fishing. A leisurely lunch is a wonderful reason to relax, chat, meet with friends and restock the energy reserves.

Chris Chin
If you're ever in our neck of the woods, drop by for lunch.
~ 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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