Our Man In Canada
July 4th, 2005

Same River...New Eyes
By Chris Chin

After some years pursuing what has become a passion,...ever feel like you might be becoming jaded, bored, cynical, or just plain tired? Maybe you just start taking for granted the simple things,...like the feel of the rod loading,... the gentle whipping "Swish" of the rod tip cutting through the morning stillness...the simple pleasures.

IMHO, I'm not, because I really do take pleasure in the simple pleasures (as I'm by nature a simple person).

If you feel that maybe this IS happening to you, ...there is one pretty simple way to bring back that old enthusiasm,...bring a newcomer along.

We did this last weekend. Renée's long lost brother called up this past winter and I figured a nice way to reunite bro 'n sis would be a relaxing weekend on the river. Little did I know that fly fishing would be so much more for Michel.

Friday morning we anxiously awaited Michel's arrival from Bromont. After a family reunion in the driveway, we had a snack and headed off to our home waters.

Renée and our son Vincent have been coming here with me for the past several seasons, so it was their turn to "give the tour of the property." Being from the "city," Michel was pretty well wonderstruck by the vistas along the river that we have "almost" taken for granted.

Ste-Marguerite River Valley - Photo Pierre Poisson

Exploring some of the pools alone the regional highway, Michel is ecstatic.

Pool #9 Ste-Marguerite River

The #23

We arrive at the #23 to set up in the Prospector's tent and settle in for the evening. Our Michel is pretty excited and we show him some of the differences between trout rods and salmon rods. The different flies,...wets and dries, for salmon and trout. The expression on his faces is priceless.

Even BEFORE casting a single fly, Michel decides to take out an annual license and a membership card for the river Association. He will be back. (and he hasn't even started yet!)

Bright and early Saturday morning we have a leisurely breakfast (omelet, bacon, beans, meat pie,...and Macaroni 'n Cheese for Vince). For Michel, the coffee is more refreshing, the bacon more sweet (maybe from the Maple syrup I add), the potatoes more tender...New discoveries for him.

We pack up the Explorer and head off to our favorite haunt,...the #49. We sort out the rods etc and head off to the beach. A monster Moose has been down to drink earlier that morning and his tracks are a source of intrigue for Michel. Things we would have simply passed off as "normal" by ourselves.

After five minutes of casting 101, Michel is laying out 35 ft of line like a Pro. It is clear that he finds pleasure in the "simple" act of casting.

Michel Côté on the #49

We wander through several pools and runs. There are hardly any salmon in the river yet,...but that is not important.

As Renée and I watch Michel on the river, rod in hand, methodically covering a run, ...the feeling of discovery is back. For Renée it was only a few short years ago that she discovered this same route,... for me,...a few more.

Thank you Michel for letting us experience once again the thrill and excitement of discovery. May your journey be as fruitful as ours. ~ Christopher Chin – Jonquiere 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 last October 2002."

To learn more about the Ste-Marguerite River, visit Christopher's website http://pages.videotron.com/fcch/. ~ Christopher Chin

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