Our Man In Canada
May 14th, 2007

The Table Is Turned
By Chris Chin, Bay Comeau, Quebec, Canada

Over the past few weeks I got caught up in the "reorganization" of the forest industry. A good word from my General Manager and I'm off to the St-Maurice Division (Three Rivers/Shawinigan). I haven't even started to look for a place to live and I'm on the Net and the phone trying to find out what the opportunities for fishing are like. Now this is a turn of the tables.

For the past few (18) years, I've been fishing pretty well the same river. Over time, word got out; visitors and friends started calling up to get information and river reports. This time, it's me looking for information. Where to start?

Fortunately, the new area has an excellent fly shop. (drop me a note if you're ever in the area and need directions to an excellent shop in the region). I played a bit of hooky Friday afternoon and dropped by. Next, the Internet.

From an old magazine I read a few years ago, I knew that the Shawinigan River had been extensively rehabilitated over the past few years. Thanks to Vision St-Maurice (1), as well as la Société Mauricienne Des Pêcheurs à la Mouche (2) (Mauricie society of fly fishers), there are fine opportunities for fishing in downtown Shawinigan.

The St-Maurice region is the birth place of the pulp and paper industry in Eastern Canada. Over a hundred years of industrial development left the local river systems in a state of neglect. Founded in 1997, Vision St-Maurice's mission is to develop the St-Maurice River as well as it's tributaries for educational, recreational and tourist purposes.

Work projects will be keeping me busy over the next few weeks. If however, as the Shawinigan River runs through downtown, if I'm not at the office, just guess where I'll be.

Shawinigan River
Shawinigan River (Photo: Vision St-Maurice)

For more information:

    1) French only (sorry) http://www.visionst-maurice.org/pechesportive.php

    2) French only (sorry) http://www.smpm.org/
    ~ Christopher Chin - St-Severin de Prouxville (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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