The Men's Club on Glass Pool
A few threads that were bouncing around the boards this
past week caught my attention. One of them was about
women fly fishing and if that "bothered" the boys.
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec
That got me thinking. Is there a "Men's Club" over here
on my home waters?
After a bit of real reflection on the subject, I can honestly
say that I have never witnessed any form of discrimination
against the ladies, well except for that one day on the #46 pool.
The #46 pool on the Ste-Marguerite is also know as Glass
Pool because it is a large pool, smooth as glass. It's
also the first rest stop for migrating salmon and trout,
upstream from a long series of runs and rapids. Add to
this the two cold water springs which seep in from the
bottom as well as the cool water sweeping in from the
Murailles arm of the river, and you get a world class
Atlantic salmon pool.
I suppose that's also the reason that the Head Warden's
cabin is also perched over the pool (as well as an
Glass Pool is a complicated and fantastic combination of
the local geography and hydraulics. Water from the Main
is joined by the flow from the Murailles Arm on the #48.
The flow increases dramatically and squeezes past the
point on the #47. As the river empties into Glass Pool
(the #46), about 90 % of the flow hugs the left turn into
the rapids, the rest setting up into a gentle clockwise
rotation in the pool itself.
This split in the river's flow presents more than several
prime targets for placing a fly. Unfortunately, current
direction, targets and casting positions don't always
come together for our needs.
Three main casting positions are on the "gallery" side
(near side) of the pool. One out across the rapids in
the tail out, a second straight upstream into the split,
and a third out left into the pool. These are the "classic"
positions where anglers have been tempting salmon since
the mid 1800's.
In certain condition, anglers will need to set up in a
canoe to get a proper presentation on a wet fly.
Boris T swinging a wet on the "near side" under the Gallery
There is another way to fish this pool. We enter the river
from the #47 and wade downstream off the point into the pool.
This past season around the end of July, the family and I
were exploring the zone and decided to try Glass Pool. The
water level and flow rates had been dropping all summer
so we decided to try casting from the far side.
I sent Renée out to try for some trout which were lagered
over for the summer. As she started casting into the pool,
the Wardens and some friends took up a perch on the gallery.
The Head Warden, Yvon Gauthier, being the joking fellow that
he is, calls out, "Renée? Get off the point! That's a
Man's casting position! Too far for a WOMAN!"
We all knew he was kidding, trying to get Renée riled up.
Deep down, I knew however that some of the anglers taking
a break on the gallery actually thought that. Glass pool
is a Classic pool. The Prince of Wales once said it was
one of his favourite pools in the Kingdom. A woman couldn't
possible cast across the pool!
Renée has only been fishing for a few years, so she really
couldn't cast out across the pool and into the left to right
flow where the trout set up over top of one of the springs.
I knew though that there was a second bunch of trout hanging
in the slow current THIS SIDE of the pool where another spring
was bubbling up. We waited for the anglers and Wardens to
retreat back to the camp to refill their coffee cups. Quickly
I slid out to her left shoulder, had her strip in 40 feet of
line, strip OUT another 20 feet off the reel, then cast up
and right a mere 30 feet.
Mending two gentle sweeps in the line, Renée had the chopped
#6 Bomber drifted perfectly towards the pod of trout. As the
BIGGEST male at the head of the pod ripped the fly off the
surface we let it turn away and dive back to sanctuary in
the deep BEFORE I had Renée strike once. The fly was thus
set on the left hand side of the trout's jaw. I quickly
retreated back to the point, leaving Renée alone in the pool.
Of course, the first thing the big Buck did was run left
again in the slow current, drive downstream in the main
flow, then turn right back into the pool, pulling all the
loose line as well as 15 feet of backing along. At that
VERY instant, The "Glass Pool Men's Club" came ambling
back onto the gallery to see how the fairer sex was doing.
As they looked down into the pool, all they saw was an 8 lb
trout under the gallery, tight line running back towards a
smiling young lady 100 FEET AWAY on the other side of the
pool, 7wt 10 foot rod bent into a deep bow trying to get
the trout from going too far into the backing! They could
see the oversized dry fly in the hinge of the trout's left
side jaw! How did she ever cast such a BIG FLY, SOOOO far
and then set the hook perfectly?
I credit their self control as not one of them actually
dropped their coffee. The sound of their jaws dropping
20 feet into the pool was already making enough noise!
We never did tell the gallery how we connected to that big
trout. Fishing the far side to the "near side" lie is (was)
Spring is fast approaching. You can be sure we will be back to the #46 shortly.
Drop by to see us...Just don't drop your coffee.
The gallery on Glass Pool, Home of the Glass Pool Men's Club,
The Point off the #47 is in the background ~ 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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