The River Report
Before the Internet had become a household word, the
daily River Report could draw anglers to the fly shop
like moths to a porch light on a warm summer's evening.
Whether in a fly shop, barber shop or next to the
breakfast menu at a lodge, these miniature chalk boards
were the first thing many of us read in the morning or
the last thing at night. All in an attempt to glean the
freshest information from returning groups or Guides.
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec
Today, things have changed. For one, the Internet has
become a major source of information on water conditions,
hatches, tides, success rates, catches to date, angling
pressure. Well, you get the idea. A search on the Internet
got 3.4 MILLION hits.
Next, communication of information has gotten really FAST!
While visiting a river several years ago, I saw a group of
Guides drifting a really tough stretch of river. They were
using cell phones and two-way radios to send reports upstream
to other Guides on flows, rises missed and honey holes.
Over the past couple of weeks, the salmon have started
arriving on my home waters. As I'm tied up at the office,
I've been relying on friends to get information to me (so
I can in turn inform some clients and friends correctly).
On my home waters the information we exchange is fairly
succinct. Pretty close to number one on the list of
information is water quality and quantity. Flow rates,
water clarity, temperature and whether the river was
rising or dropping. This information gives us a good
idea if there are problems wading, if there are certain
sections or pools which are not fishable and which ones
will be really good to try.
As there are no hatches to match (Atlantic Salmon don't
eat while in the river), we don't get too much into the
"bugs" side of reports. Actually, some of us have found
that a good hatch of something will sometimes put down
Salmon (just a little theory of mine).
Of course, there are the ever present notes about where
the salmon and trout are holding and in which sections
of the river. We are lucky on my home waters and salmon
hold in lies up and down the river all season. (We just
have to find them).
Then there are the success rates, salmon moved, fish
connected, numbers released. Hmmm. Now, I'm not a
sceptical person by nature. I just wonder sometimes
how come those who fish alone have more success than
a lone client fishing with a Guide (i.e. Witness)?
On Atlantic salmon Rivers, the River Report an important
piece of equipment. Whether it be from the local shop,
your guide or an I*net bulletin board, you should use
this information to adjust your plans accordingly.
Saturday, I'm off to the river, scouting out some pools
and meeting some folks Sunday. Monday, the report should
be posted to the boards. ~ Chris Chin
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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