Our Man In Canada
July 10th, 2006

A First!
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec

Exploring new places, new waters and new cultures. That is one of the (many) special treats of fly fishing.

A week ago, one of our own managed to log off the computer and changed his voice mail message to, "I've gone to Canada for a week."

After a few months of planning, exchanging some e-mails, a quick phone call and some major Googling, Jed and his wife Joan made their way up into Central Quebec for some sightseeing. Well, Joan did some planning. In Jed's own words, Joan is the planning type. He is more the type to jump out of the airplane and read the instructions on the parachute on the way down.

After several days of seeing the sights and visiting, Jed met up with me bright and early Friday morning. What a thrill finally putting a real face to the name and the voice on the other end of the phone. A First FAOL'er that I've had the opportunity and the pleasure to meet.

Jed and I make our way up the river to the Association's office to sign in. Joan stays on to pack up their stuff and we leave a note explaining where to meet for lunch.

The weather had changed dramatically over the past five days. The drought was over. The river has risen over a foot and doubled in flow overnight. No sight fishing to salmon this morning.

Grey skies over the run into the #38

We start out slowly working the run behind Bardsville.

This guy can cast like the Devil Himself

I know there are salmon in the run. Jed is fishing on faith (in me). We spend an hour or so working the run then start working our way up the river visiting a few runs and rapids.

The morning goes by in flash. I suppose that this has something to do with the wonderful company I have this day.

As the water has come up, casting stations are often small and far between. We do manage to nestle into some nice lies. If we do connect in the current, this could be very interesting.

Jed working the #39 from the only place to cast from.

Are we having fun yet?

Waiting for Joan to arrive at the picnic shelter on Glass Pool, we run up to the #48 to scope out a camping site for Jed and Joan for this evening. A quick tour of the premises and we're back down to Glass Pool to set up for lunch.

Just as we're getting the gear out of the pick-up, Joan arrives. A Wonderful lady. We settle in for a snack and just as the morning has done, the lunch break goes by all too fast.

While Joan scoots back to the village on a grocery run, Jed and I return to the #37. As it is some of the most fishable water on this half of the river, we decide to seriously try for the salmon which are holding in the current.

While rotating in and out of the run, we meet up with some anglers who will be drifting the #2 zone tomorrow. Two other anglers fish nearby. As far as I could tell, there were a total of four of us on the 65 miles of river this July long weekend.

Jed is swinging a wet of some kind through the run at the same time that I'm fishing down stream from him. Not even a shout from him, I look over and his rod is bending over and the line is going tight. A splashing disturbance is at work right about where his fly is! Three seconds later and the line is slack. No connection. It's time to get serious.

We re-check our hooks and leaders and work the run some more. Nothing. Well,...that's salmon fishing.

I've met quite a few new-comers to fly fishing over almost 2 decades of fishing this river. They all say, "Ah heck,... it's just a thrill to be here." Deep down, one can usually see that a bit of disappointment is settling in.

Not with Jed. I keep looking over to see if he's having a good time. What am I worrying about?

Jed on the #38 - July 2006

Behind those tinted glasses, I just know the eyes are smiling, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of his first day on a Quebec Atlantic Salmon River. (Somehow, I don't think that it will be his last).

I would like to thank Joan and Jed for taking the time to come up and visit our little part of the world. It was a sheer privilege on my part to have the opportunity to meet you both. ~ Chris Chin, Jonquiere Quebec

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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