I've been fly fishing for a while now. Long enough
to have fun anyway. Long enough to know I have lots
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere Quebec
Just like in city life, fly fishing is a continuous
learning experience. Our waters here are exceptionally
"easy" to fish too as there is no hatch to match and the
summer run of Atlantics and anadromous Brookies don't
eat anyway. That leaves only presentation, casting
techniques and reading the water (well and the tide
charts, the moon phases, the weather, the water level,
the light, which socks you are wearing...)
I guess not everyone thinks this way.
I had a particularly strange chance meeting with another
angler this past season. I had some clients with me and
we strolled down to a run. There was a fellow working the
run on a downstream swing. As we were going to work dries,
we waited for him to spool up at the tail out.
As we pre-stretched our lines on the beach this fellow came
out of the run and came over to chat. I recognised him
immediately as I'd seen him around for a few years. An
ex-world champion caster to boot. Introductions were made
and my clients were thoroughly impressed with this figure.
Clients, "You get any hits on that swing?"
Angler, "No,...none at all,...there don't seem to be
any trout up from the estuary yet."
(I'm thinking, "Thanks a lot Sport for encouraging these folks.")
Looking a bit unenthusiastic about trying the run, after
a legend in the sport got no hits, one of the clients
waded out to try his luck on an upstream dry. I coached
him a on a few aspects of the run and where and how to
get a nice drift straight down a lane.
After a few casts close in, he got a nice splashy rise
30 feet out. The hunt was on.
I scrambled out of the run and up the beach to get a better
look at the trout holding out in the run. The client was
wisely gathering up the line in loose coils in his left
hand, getting ready to cast, waiting.
I could see the trout milling around in the run, having
trouble holding station in the flow. I got my bearings
straight and walked back the 45 feet to the clients.
Explaining how the trout were agitated and looking for
holding lies as the river level was dropping. They could
easily spool up a few yards and cast shorter distances.
We repositioned and started casting big #6 hoppers and
bombers down lanes.
With barbless hooks and some nice rod work, the two clients
released several trout each in less than an hour, keeping
two for supper. (One each being quite enough for a feast).
Back on the beach, watching the sunset over the rapids,
they asked how come we had so much fun when the other,
very experienced angler, got skunked?
A bit sheepishly I explained that (in my honest opinion)
some folks get so good at something, they just start
believing that they have it all figured out. I also
explained that I spent two years fishing the same run
(the #43 on the Ste-Marguerite River) on downstream
swings until one day I watched a young fellow "get lucky"
on upstream dries.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with knowing that you
are good at something. Good enough means you can have
fun doing something. Just remember to keep your feet on
the ground and realise that there is always someone around
who can show you a thing or two.
I like to think I learn something new (or old) every day
at work or on the river.
An old friend once likeed to say every night around the
wood stove, "Well, I learned something new today. That
means I won't die in my sleep tonight."
Well,...I don't plan on dying in my sleep. ~ 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
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,
~ Christopher Chin
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