Our Man In Canada
April 21st, 2008

The Fly Fishing Partner

By Chris Chin

We all (do/should) drag our "significant other" along on fishing excursions. Do you ever wonder if they do it to please us or if they are truly as enthusiastic about our passion as we are?

I've been with my Renee for quite some time now. Very shortly after we met, she started fishing with me. She always said that she enjoyed our time together on the river, even when I Guide and she double duties as cook/naturalist/tactician/assistant. I always wondered deep down if she wasn't really doing it to make sure that I went fishing to get away from the daily rat race (and in today's forest industry,...the Race is a marathon!)

Perspectives change.

This past Christmas we learned that Renee was ill. A long stint in the hospital and an initially poor prognosis. Sitting up at night at her bedside, we would talk about the things that she missed while she was cooped up in the hospital. We also parleyed at length on the things she wanted to do (in the event that plans turned south).

#1 on the list for Renee was getting back to the River and then, if possible, connecting to her very first Atlantic salmon. Quite a revelation!

She doesn't want to:

  • Visit Spain, nor;
  • Spend a week in a plush hotel, nor;
  • Go to DisneyWorld.

I believe that going back to the River together is our goal because it is there that we are really and truly together. The cell phones don't reach into the valley; there is no electricity, internet, or Blackberry service. We concentrate pretty hard on fishing, but we're together. Even when we're amongst friends and visitors, our time together is "quality time."

I'm preparing for the coming season.

We usually camp out in 14'x18' Prospector's tent next to the old Warden's Camp. I'll look around this summer for a heater to keep the chill off through the night (as the wood stove usually dies around 4 AM). We'll also shop around for a bigger canoe. One that is more stable with enough room to fish from. Some special flies are already tied up for her and I already spoke at length about the pool she'll fish (in a previous article).

Having a goal has helped Renee enormously in her daily grind (as have all the kind words and prayers that we have received from the wonderful community here).

The snow banks have melted about halfway and the grass has started to peak out from the snow covered grounds. The season opens in early June. We still don't know what the future holds in store for us, but we're wading along one run at a time.

Renee on Big Pool after a gruelling 12 hours chasing sea run trout .. Still all smiles.

~ Christopher Chin, St–Séverin de Proulxville – 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, René. "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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