Ring in the New
2006: Salmon: 111, including 63 released; Sea run
trout, 652 adults and 989 juveniles.
By Chris Chin, Bay Comeau, Quebec, Canada
There you have it. A summary of the 2006 season on my
A pretty dry way of putting things. The simple numbers
don't do justice to the real season. The flurry of river
reports in the spring got the ball rolling early here.
Then the season really started high balling.
Salmon! More salmon than over the past few seasons.
Further, even with the river being clear and low, the
cool nights helped to maintain the water temperature
at a reasonable level. Sight fishing to willing salmon!
Dry flies at noon and #14 black bears at dusk.
The adult sea run trout were right on schedule this
season as well. Some truly impressive examples of our
natural heritage were captured this past summer. Quite
a few were the guests of honour at some riverside feasts.
Many more were released. (Attitudes are changing.)
The 2006 season flew by in a blur. I was in transition
between day jobs, the word got out and I Guided pretty
well 7/7 from July through to October. Further, a number
of anglers cancelled in other regions and came up to
explore our home waters. We don't keep stats on them,
but we also had many first time Salmo salar enthusiasts
too this year.
The river blew out starting in mid September so the second
run of sea run trout (juveniles) was challenging. Waves of
cold fronts and rain were accompanied by steaming cups of
percolator coffee and soup on the beach.
Looking back on the 2006 season, the only thing missing
was my family. I spent many a day alone of the river this
year. Scouting out pools or getting a day in between
bookings, it just isn't the same being on the river
without them anymore. Time and money constraints saw
Renée and Vincent accompany me on the river for just one
single day this past year.
We're starting to get ready for 2007. Everything has to
be restocked. During the season, I only had time to tie
flies that were missing and leaders were done on the spot.
I'm in several swaps this winter and I also promised a
couple dozen flies for the Warden.
Last year my little New Year's resolution was to explore
new waters in 2006. Well I did. They just happened to be
on the same river. I scouted out a dozen new spots (and
Boris showed me a few too).
For 2007, finding a resolution is easy. I'll make sure
that we fish together as a family more often. (So is
that really a valid resolution...something that is easy
I like to admit that I learn something new every single day.
Heck, Deanna showed me in ten minutes that my double haul
was ineffective...and I'd been doing it that way for over
Every casting situation, every presentation, every drift,
every take on the fly (or refusal). They all remind me
that the river is still hiding more secrets than it has
thus far unveiled. I learned a lot this year too watching
anglers from elsewhere. I hope that your 2006 season was
as enriching as mine was.
The 2007 season will eventually generate another line
in the river statistics. I plan on it being much more
I would like to wish you all a fine 2007. Sunshine, dry
flies and tight lines! ~ Christopher Chin - Bay Comeau, 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