My Home Waters Aren't Your Home Waters...
One of the fun parts about fishing up here
is meeting anglers from all over the place.
I am lucky and have the opportunity to wet a
line along side anglers from all over Canada,
the US, Europe and elsewhere. I'll learn as
much from clients and friends as they do from me.
(Who Needs Tradition?)
By Chris Chin
The fun starts when we start comparing gear and flies.
A regular everyday rod for me is my 10 ft 7-8
weight. Light is a 5 weight 8.5 ft. Contrary to
many places, my big rod has a 24 ft leader and
the shorter one only 16 feet of leader. Which
seems to run against the norm in places where
the "big" rods are for bombing the banks with
heavy streamers,...in which case the leaders
get shorter...Weird eh?
Well, salmon and sea run trout here get pretty
skittish in low clear water, so even the salmon
rods get the extra long leader (just like in
the Central Interior Plateau of BC).
I accompanied a client this past week. The
water was very low and the salmon and trout
had already seen many many flies drift by.
Two nice prospects were lazing around in Glass
Pool and within easy casting distance from
under the gallery.
After a few tries on a Bomber, we suggested
that he tie on the smallest salmon wet fly
he had. As Mr. Gauthier is an accomplished
angler, I didn't climb down to tie on the fly.
He does so,...strips out some line and starts
Not always long casts to Salmo salar...Trying to
"excite" some salmon on Glass Pool
As soon as it hits the water,...my friend and I
look at each other in amazement. We can see his
fly! Must be at least an #8! I let him try a
few swings,...then climb down to change flies.
A typical size of Black Bear for Salmo salar,...and one of mine!
As he shows to me the Black Bear he has tried,
I explain that when we say small, we mean something
smaller than a #12 (I know I know,...in the US,...
a #12 is a monster,...Just goes to prove my point here).
I pull out my idea of a small fly and he
looks like he's going to pass out. I need
to tie on a 6 lb tippet so I can pass the
mono through the eye. The client is looking
at the tippet,...the salmon,...the tippet,...
I explain not to worry. The salmon is only
about 14 lbs,...there's no current in the
pool and the water is over 60 deg. The light
tippet will do fine. We try this fly a while,
...but the fish just won't take anything that day.
I suppose the folks who know me also "expect"
of me to show them new ideas. On the same pool
we tried these two flies:
They're both my best imitation of a Royal Wulff
(with my apologies to Mr. and Mrs. Wulff..I'm
just not very proficient).
Then again, you'd try anything too to connect
to one of these!
Bruisers hanging out in the slick on #48 -
The big hen in the foreground is around 22-25 lbs!
The client had a blast. We got some good rises,...
unfortunately,...no connections. I also spent
some time explaining how to balance the leader
and tippet for the fly to be cast. The client
learned some and I learned a bit more about
Then there's also "regional" differences I
find when we try to talk shop. A wanted a
friend to "pop" a Muddler on a run. He tied
on one of his, but couldn't get it to "pop"
out of the water like I was doing. I slide
over to him and showed him "my" Muddlers:
There's more than one way to dress a Muddler
Needless to say,...we soon sat down on
the bank and started comparing flies.
That's the joy of it all. There is no right
way or wrong way to go about it. For certain
situations, on certain water,...there could
be a "traditional" method,...or even a
"productive" method. In the end, there is
always a "better" method somewhere. I just
haven't found it yet.
So the next time you're on the water and
things are slow,...try something out of
the ordinary. You just never know. ~ Christopher Chin – Jonquiere Quebec
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
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,
~ Christopher Chin
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