Our Man In Canada
December 12th, 2005

A Year in the Life of a Fanatic
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere Quebec

The season wound down then the office turned into a mad house for 2 months. I guess it's the curse of being a fly fishing forester in Quebec. The annual final push to get our sylviculture applications in for next season rolls around at the same time that the river closes and our weekly reality check gets iced over.

Once things finally slowed down to a mere break neck pace, I finally got some time (driving) to reflect back on this past season.

We had a blast this year. Once again, we fished exclusively on our home waters (Ste-Marguerite River). We tried for salmon in the heat and humidity of June and July. The summer was exceptionally dry and the water levels dropped to some all time lows.

With the cool nights and low clear water, the sea run brook trout and salmon were exceptionally difficult this season. Waiting for the bugs to hibernate and the temperatures (air and water) to become respectable, the family didn't fish too much over the summer and I spent more than half my days on the banks with newfound friends and clients.

Many lessons were re-learned this year too. With the difficult fishing, I had to go back to the basics on many occasions, re-thinking strategy and breaking a few bad habits...generally just getting out of a well worn rut.

Once the Geese started migrating South, the fishing picked up. We had a 48 hour reprieve when the remnants of Katrina came roaring through (blew out some stream crossings and re-arranged the #23 pool). The second run of sea run brookies arrived in force this year. Cool nights and sun filled days were the norm for several weeks in paradise.

We had some wonderful days releasing trout, keeping a few, laughing a lot. Some days were so good that Renée practiced on dries and wets just to see which take she preferred to feel on the rod.

We put back more than a few salmon this season, something that hasn't happened in several years. I guess going back to basics is important.

Even with some spectacular air shows from our friends Salmo salar, sunrises to wake the dead, sunsets painted by the hand of God and bountiful shore lunches provided by Mom Nature, the real stand out memories of this season were of the folks we met.

Over the season, we had the wonderful opportunity to meet more than a few fellow anglers from the US and Canada, as well as several from across the pond and parts way down South. To name a few,...I thank you all for sharing time with us in our little piece of heaven.

    To Joe and Christy,...try to keep your passports in a safe place.

    To Robert, the pool IS deeper than your waders are long.

    To Joe and Joseph , see y'all the first week of July '06.

    To David and Donna from Nashville and Scott and Dee from Tx, You folks are a class act.

    To Caroline and Peter, You see, the wind does EVENTUALLY die down.

    To the two Guides visiting from Gaspé, Peter and Paul, I can't wait to drop by your waters.

    To Lévy, Jérome, Adrian, Daniel et.al. as well as to the wardens, have a safe winter.

    To our long lost Michel...there will always be a cot by the wood stove and an extra rod in the rack for you up here.

And finally to my Renée, Vincent, our friends (and Kenny the Dawg), Thank you for all that you have brought into my life. May there always be a run to explore together.

Until next season, ~ Chris

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 in 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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