Stop and smell the flowers.
Saturday, June 6th !!! That’ll be my first day out this season for salmon. The first weekend in June is kind of early for Atlantics on my home waters, but the itch to get out is too strong. Then again, Easter was pretty early this year and the full moon passed a couple weeks ago. Maybe I’ll get lucky.
Getting ready for the first outing is always quite something here. Sure, as the season rolls along, the pickup accumulates all the gear and stuff I use, but not forgetting something on that first weekend is usually an exercise in planning. Right now, there is gear scattered all about the house. Liliane is pretty intrigued by some of the items.
The usual stock is there, rods, reels, multiple fly boxes, the fly bins, waders and boots. There is also a bag of extra clothes and the first aid kits (3). Aside from the kitchen stuff, ice chests and tying kit, a small kit bag holds all the books, references and maps.
Books ??? ... Actually, yes.
We also like to take time out to shoot the breeze, snack and rest. In June, a long day on the river can be over 16 hours long, so a midday nap is usually in order.
Since we sort of “set up shop” on a picnic table somewhere, there are also many opportunities to meet up with fellow anglers, visitors and tourists. Being one of the “Locals”, we can also get quite a few questions asked of us.
For this reason, the small bag of books I keep in the truck cover various topics from basic fly fishing, to tree identification, to bird watching to forest ecology. I also keep on hand copies of the provincial fishing regulations, topo maps of the area, my journal and note paper.
A selection of local topographical maps, as well as road maps is good for showing visitors how to get around. A copy of the map of the river is handy too.
References on fly fishing, general game fish, plants, flowers and birds is a must in my kit bag.
I also keep on hand catalogues from various local and mail order shops. A picture is worth a thousand words, so having a catalogue on hand is a good teaching tool for folks who are interested in fly fishing, but don’t know how to go about starting up.
This might all sound a bit weird for some of you out there. Then again, IMHO, when we’re out on the river, we are all ambassadors for our home waters, our community and our sport. If I can give out better information, based on knowledge and facts, I believe that I can help demystify the sport of Atlantics salmon fishing.
So take the time to smell the flowers, maybe even identify them. Time on the water for me isn’t just about fishing. It is time with friends, family and Nature.
Also, ... you just never know who’ll be watching. A first impression is a lasting impression.
Christopher Chin – St-Severin de Proulxville, Quebec.
My top 5: (not because they are the best (well, some are), ... but excellent teaching tools)
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