Our Man In Canada
July 25th, 2005

How About Some Pointless Fishing?
By Chris Chin

(Note: I am not advocating C&R fishing versus keeping a few for the BBQ. Where regulations permit, the choice is up to each angler.)

When I first started part time Guiding for the local river Association,...I set out a few rules from the get-go. I would only take out clients when the Association's full time Guide was overloaded. I would (and still do) only guide on the main branch, as I don't know well enough the North-West arm.

That said, I still had (and have) a lot to learn about my home waters. Even after picking the brains of the Wardens and passing countless hours just watching some of the real "pros",... nothing compares with actually fishing each pool, run and riffle in all kinds of water levels and all of the three seasons.

The #3 in the 5B zone Ste-Marguerite River - Slow even flow in a deep slick...Where to fish?

One of the best ways I've found to explore pools and test flies is to do a bit of "pointless fishing."

When I have friends or clients coming up and the water is relatively high, I like to find out where the Salmon and trout are hiding. A nice way to do this is by casting a few flies to interesting lies. Same goes for low or normal water levels, when I'm just not sure what could be "interesting" for the trout and salmon.

Well,...I don't want to go around stinging fish all afternoon and spoiling the pool for the next day, so I started fishing with flies which have no point or even no bend at all in the shank! (Remember, my home waters is an Atlantic salmon river, so sometimes, just moving a fish is a feat in itself.)

After all, I want to fool the fish into taking the fly. I don't "need" to hook it, fight it, bring it to hand then release it. I can get (IMHO) a realistic evaluation as to whether or not I "could" have set the hook.

I mean, isn't a big part of fly fishing the fly selection, scouting, stalking, presentation, mending, drift etc?

An example of a pointless fly I used on a touch 'n go one fly 'contest' we had up here.

I even saw in a fly fishing magazine several years ago (or was that decades?), an article featuring a hook manufacturer who was actually producing pointless hooks.

As water temperatures here are rising as fast as the level of the river is dropping,...I might just switch to pointless flies this coming weekend. ~ 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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