Our Man In Canada
September 24th, 2006

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

Wednesday evening I had driven back home (about an hour's trip) to re-stock the ice chest and grab some clean clothes. I had planned on doing a turnaround and sleeping out on the river, but getting home at around 10 o'clock, I wasn't up to the drive back.

Up at 04h00 I was on the road and back to the #38 before 06h00. I wanted to check the registrations and sign us in for the 5b zone (named Onézime).

The Ste-Marguerite River is an Atlantic salmon river and as such is run by a river association. What's a river association? There is a good description at the ASF site: www.asf.ca/Journal

The river is divided up into 12 zones. Of the 12, 3 zones (1,3 and 7b) are unlimited rods. To get our friends into BIG trout, I want to take them up and show them the "sanctuary". A small zone having only 4 numbered pools, this section of the river is limited to 2 anglers per day (but one can put more in if they agree and limit to 2 daily quotas).

Deanna and Jim arrive locked and loaded around nine. A quick breakfast and we're off.

We stop at the 5a so I can show them the salmon and trout which are holed up in "Big Pool." Another famous pool, there are several dozen salmon there and even more trout.

A short drive down the gravel road and we arrive in front of the Warden's cabin in the 5b. I have written several articles about fishing in this section and I'm just ecstatic to show our Guests around.

We do a quick tour of the property then Jim strings up and goes to it right out front.


The slow run leading away from the Warden's camp

Jim gets into action RIGHT AWAY...The run is full of Atlantic salmon - Parr! On many casts, these fingerling salmon jump his dry fly. (Well, Jim, you DID catch your very first Salmo salar!)

I brew up a new batch of coffee then Deanna and I move over to the #3 pool. From our perch up on a large boulder, we can see the trout milling around. Off to the right, rises draw her attention to another casting position. A few casts out and to the right and Deanna calmly mutters, "Oh, .. there you go."

Unfortunately, the first thing the big female trout did was to scoot into the branches, which are hugging the shore. When I reach in to untangle the leader, the trout pulls free.

I try a cast out past the first pod of trout. A long slowly drifting dry and Jim's shore lunch is "in the bag." Normally, we don't keep adult trout here, but one for special guests now and again is a nice treat. Jim arrives and we try some more flies. The pool seems to have calmed down.

We return to the cars to have a rest and some lunch. The trout will wait for supper as it's going to be filleted and served up with fried rice.

The afternoon goes by pretty quickly. I have the ominous feeling of the Fish-In winding down. Tomorrow I'm booked so Faruk Ekich is arranging a day on the salt near his place. After a supper of trout, a few more casts, Jim and Deanna bid farewell for the day.

I stay on a couple more minutes, trying to see if any more trout want to come out and play. No such luck, I head back to the #23 to get tomorrow's clients settled into their accommodations, string up rods for them then tie up some flies.

Friday, the day was a flurry of activity for me and I only got back to see Deanna and Jim for an hour or so back at their motel around 11 o'clock at night. They had wonderful time fishing from the beach on the fjord and Faruk, ever the gentle man had organized a splendid visit.

We tried to compare notes about the week, realizing that we were already starting to mix up facts. I finally had to bid farewell to our guests as the morning was getting closer and closer.

The 2006 Quebec Fish-In didn't have many participants, then again, this is no competition for attendees. Deanna and Jim got (in my honest opinion) a well needed vacation, so did I. Will we plan another one for '07? Possibly, (probably)... We might also change the date to get in on the juvenile sea runners. Time will tell.

As with all our friends and guests who take time out of their busy schedules to come up and visit our little piece of paradise, I'd like to thank Jim and Deanna for their visit. Come back anytime,...the coffee will always be fresh.

A special thanks also goes to Faruk for showing our friends around on the salt. ~ 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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