Our Man In Canada
September 18th, 2006

The Quebec 2006 Fish-In (part 3 of 4)
By Chris Chin, Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada

The Quebec FishIn is going well. No salmon yet, but time to relax and get to know Deanna and Jim is time well spent.

We have arranged to meet at 9 o'clock at the River Association office for breakfast, decide which zone we would like to fish in, then get to it.

The seasonal office here is open from 8 to 8, 7 days a week. Located at the km marker 47 (measured West from Tadoussac) the office is right on the #38 pool (Bardsville). I arrive around 07h30 to look around, check out how many anglers are in which zones etc.

As I'm preparing the coffee, Lucienne, the receptionist at this office arrives and starts setting up for the day. She opens up the display cases of locally tied flies for purchase, warms up the generator, boots up the computer and does the radio checks with the Wardens.

Association Office

The radio starts crackling pretty well right away. The main office is looking for Daniel Renaud, a young fellow, new to the river, but quite good at guiding. Just as the conversations by radio and phone start clearing up the day's needs and activities, Jim and Deanna arrive.

The main office finally asks if I'm available this day to Guide two newcomers. I look over at Deanna and Jim and ask if they would mind doing the fly fishing 101 with me. They JUMPED at the opportunity.

After omelettes, toast and coffee we string up (more) rods and settle in to wait for our clients. We have signed in for the #4 zone today. The "famous" zone here on the river. August sees the zone with salmon stacked in the pools and runs. Adult sea trout mill about in the smaller pools. Some of the bigger trout even mingle in with the trout.

With the extremely low water, salmon are laagered over in the pools from the 43 up to the 50, with a few big hens scattered up in the 54.

Our new friends arrive shortly. We get Jeff and Shawn suited up and then drive the 5 minutes up to the #49.

A few minutes of dry land instruction and we're off.

Shawn and Jeff

We have our dynamic duo cast in the #48 pool. A long slow moving flat, there is room to back cast, the wading is easy and there are trout and salmon in it. It is a thrill to watch Jim and then Deanna giving pointers to our two newest adepts at the sport.

Shawn is getting an occasional rise from a trout then finally connects to one. In the flurry of the moment, on a short line, he doesn't give the thrashing fish any room to run and he pulls out after a minute or two.

Shawn

Every day on the river has it's standout moments. I will, I believe, remember for a VERY long time the look of shear excitement on Shawn's face when he connected. The shout of joy and the smile on his face. We learn that this is the very first fish he has every connected with (all tackle).

Actually, we spend the entire day in this ONE POOL. On a normal August day, there are salmon and trout scattered up and down the zone. Unfortunately, this year, with the low water, the fish are holding in a dozen select pools and runs.

We have lunch at the #49 and Jim finally gets a taste of our fried chicken pie. He has been wary of it since he arrived, but ultimately gives it a thumbs up.

In the late afternoon, a visitor stops by. I am thrilled that Jim and Deanna have the opportunity to meet with Serge J Vincent. A long time angler on the river, he was also a Guide here for many years. His career as a college professor was cut short as he was recently diagnosed with ALS. (for more information about ALS one can visit: http://www.alsa.org/)

LadyFisher

The day is winding down so Deanna and Jim head back East for supper in the village. As I'm heading back home for the evening, we bid our farewells, planning to meet again tomorrow morning at Bardsville.

Gear

I stay on another hour or so more with our friends then pack up the rods and head home to the night. Tomorrow,... I think we'll go into the sanctuary for BIG trout. ~ 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/.

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