Our Man In Canada
December 24th, 2007

Giving or Getting
By Chris Chin, St-Séverin de Proulxville, Québec

The Holiday Season is upon us. Another year has passed and one often looks back over the season and wonders what one has to show for it.

"Show for it?" Hmmm,... Well I'm not a trophy hunter (angler) so big fish aren't a big priority (anymore). Well, there was one nice salmon which almost spooled me on the #8 at the same moment that the drag on my old LTD gave up the ghost.

I look back through the fishing log that Jed and Joan gave to me a couple years ago and I see that I didn't register one single "trophy" fish to myself this year. There were quite a few entries this year though:

  • A lifetime record of a sea trout for Boris;

  • A first ever Atlantic salmon for Stéphane;

  • A first ever big sea run Brookie for Eric, and many others.

There were also some memorable moments this year;

  • Frank's beaming face when we finally met up just outside of Chicoutimi for a weekend of fishing;

  • Renée satisfaction when she started to really load the rod on a single haul;

  • Gibb's look of wonder when the same salmon came back to his fly on several occasions;

  • Jenny finding the Zone and letting her rod load properly, then laying out a perfect presentation to a suicidal 6 lb. trout.

  • The accolades and kind words given by friends and family at Serge's memorial service in the spring.

After a bit of serious reflection, I have come to the firm conviction that I truly do get as much, if not more satisfaction from helping friends and family connect to fish than catching them myself. I suppose that this may be because I've already captured many fish. Not as many as Les in PA nor the majority of the anglers here on FAOL, but enough.

I guess this all connects well to the Christmas spirit of giving. Not the Big Box stores' notion of buying gratitude, but a profound sentiment of "well being" through the simplest of acts. Giving doesn't have to be a methodically synchronized action plan. The most banal of actions may lead to someone have a more pleasant day.

One of the stand out actions that I saw this past year was where Pierre Manseau and friends organized a "mentoring" program for novice salmon angers over in Gaspé. Some volunteers and Guides donated their time to show newcomers that Salmo salar is not beyond the reach of most fly fishers. Of course, most local clubs and chapters serve exactly the same purpose.

How about you?

In today's world of Online shopping, free home delivery and instant credit, (imho) the true value of a "gift" is getting pretty "virtual." The one and only thing that I can't beg, barter or steal is my time.

Several of my close associates at the office got small cards this year in their Christmas Bonus envelope. On the cards are written the names of 2 seasoned Salmo salar enthusiasts who are willing to take on a mentoring role for my friends. They get a dry land weekend in June to learn a few tricks of the trade, some advice on rod and gear selection and a day on one of the local rivers. In return for their time, I'm taking on half a dozen or so friends of my friends for some casting and angling clinics.

This all only took a few phone calls and a flurry of e-mails to organise.

So take your time this year and forget about battling the Christmas shopping rush. If you're wondering what to get your Dad for Christmas this year, try to remember the last time you when fishing with him.

From all of us up in the "Far North," Renée, Vincent, Kenny (whoof) and myself, we wish you a Happy and Safe Christmas. ~ Chris Chin, St-Séverin de Proulxville, Québec

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/.

Our Man In Canada Archives

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ]

FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice