The Quebec 2006 Fish-In (part 1 of 4)
Well, school has started up again. The nights are cooling
off and the juvenile sea run Brookies are starting to come
into the river. Lots of stuff is getting back to "normal."
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada
Jim and Deanna are back at it. The Board is back to its old
familiar color. Time to finally get down on "paper" highlights
of the Quebec 2006 Fish-In, (before I start forgetting too much
I started bouncing the idea off Jim before Christmas in '05...
mostly in the Saturday evening weekend roundup in the Chat Room.
After the Christmas holidays, we started to get serious.
Initial interest was fairly good, but as with any plan,... even
the best intentions can get sidetracked by a myriad of events.
In the end, the only ones from the FAOL community who could make
it were Deanna, Jim as well as Faruk Ekich.
In the days before the Fish-In I changed apartments and the
Internet and Phone didn't get hooked up in time. I sent a few
messages off to Deanna to nail down when and where we would
meet. On her first message back, she replies that they are
flying into OTTAWA! (over 10 hours from here). Panic.
A quick flurry of e-mails and we get it straightened out and
set up a meet at the same spot I meet all my out of town visitors.
So there I am, catching up in my Journals by the road side.
A rented car pulls in and honks. Jim and Deanna pile out...
severely jet lagged from a marathon week on getting the server
back up, setting up two weeks of articles, numerous flight
transfers, then the two and a half hour drive up from Quebec City.
Hand shakes and hugs. What else is there to do.
The next order of the day is to get out of town and find
some food for these two. We stop off at a diner at the
last village coming out of town. Jim and Deeget a first
glimpse of a Quebec speciality when I order up for myself
a Poutine. (French fries and fresh cheddar
cheese curds, smothered in gravy).
Snacking here, I soon realize just how dependant these two
are on COFFEE! The ever present travel mug seems bottomless.
From there it's a 30 minute drive down the regional highway
before we drop down into the Ste-Marguerite River valley. We
stop at an observatory on Glass pool to spot some salmon and
chat. A brief shower chases us into the picnic shelter where
we continue to chat.
As we're going over some details and just plain having a ball,
finally meeting after exchanging mail etc for the past two
years, the Head Warden pulls up to his camp. Yvon Marie Gauthier
has been on the river for the past several decades (37 years
I think). He comes over to say hello and introductions are
Yvon and I step over to his truck as I have some supplies for
him. As we are catching up on reports, Deanna steps out of
the picnic shelter and wanders back onto the observatory.
Yvon: "Just who are those two anyway?"
Me: "Oh...just some friends from Washington...they run a Web
site on fly fishing and used to teach 'n Guide a bit. Why ?"
Yvon: "Well, they are a real class act. When she came out of
the shelter, she stopped and picked up a cigarette butt off
of the ground. It wasn't even hers."
Me: "Yeah,...I know that."
(So one just never knows who's watching huh...We are
all ambassadors for our sport.)
Back on the observatory, we decide that these two need rest
so we move off to the #38 (Bardsville) on the way downstream
towards their lodging.
As on most Atlantic Salmon rivers in Quebec, one needs to
procure a salmon license as well as daily rod fees. At the
River Association office there at the #38, we get things
all lined up. We shove off to hit one last observatory before
settling these two road warriors for the night.
At the #23 pool (Alan's Arm), we meet a couple anglers who
will be fishing the next day too in another zone. There is
a lone angler fishing in the pool. We help her with her drift,
lengthening and lightening her tippet too. No luck,...the salmon
just don't want to cooperate. As we'll be fishing in this same
zone tomorrow, I decide that Deanna and Jim are too tired to
"tour the property" this evening.
A quick 10 minute drive and we're checking them into the "Farm."
The 5 Star Farm (Ferme 5 Étoile) is a fairly nice set up. I've
never stayed there personally, so I'll let Deanna and Jim give
their comments if they wish.
I do credit Deanna for her self control. There is an Internet
access station right there in the lobby of the motel reception.
I believe she didn't even move towards it.
It's nearly 21h00 so supper is in order and we dine at the Farm
(to not take the car again today). Over supper, we discuss
strategy for the week and decide to take things pretty mellow.
Jim and Deanna (me too) have had quite a summer. In July, when
I figured out that they were the only ones who could make it
for the Fish-In, I was a bit relieved. This would be an excellent
opportunity for them to relax on an almost real vacation before
the big Michigan Fish-In.
After supper, back in their room, I left them some coffee and
filters for the next day. We chatted for quite a while. Set up
a meet for the next day around 9 o'clock. I promised them that
the coffee would be ready.
I drove back up to the #23 where I would "borrow" the prospector's
tent for the night.
Delighted at finally meeting these two and praying that the
salmon and trout would cooperate this week...I finally nodded
off around 01h30.
Tomorrow is another day. ~ Chris Chin, Jonquiere Quebec
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,
Our Man In Canada Archives