Giving or Getting
The Holiday Season is upon us. Another year has passed and
one often looks back over the season and wonders what one
has to show for it.
By Chris Chin, St-Séverin de Proulxville, Québec
"Show for it?" Hmmm,... Well I'm not a trophy hunter (angler)
so big fish aren't a big priority (anymore). Well, there was
one nice salmon which almost spooled me on the #8 at the same
moment that the drag on my old LTD gave up the ghost.
I look back through the fishing log that Jed and Joan gave to
me a couple years ago and I see that I didn't register one single
"trophy" fish to myself this year. There were quite a few entries
this year though:
There were also some memorable moments this year;
- A lifetime record of a sea trout for Boris;
- A first ever Atlantic salmon for Stéphane;
- A first ever big sea run Brookie for Eric, and many others.
- Frank's beaming face when we finally met up just outside
of Chicoutimi for a weekend of fishing;
- Renée satisfaction when she started to really load the
rod on a single haul;
- Gibb's look of wonder when the same salmon came back to his
fly on several occasions;
- Jenny finding the Zone and letting her rod load properly,
then laying out a perfect presentation to a suicidal 6 lb.
- The accolades and kind words given by friends and family
at Serge's memorial service in the spring.
After a bit of serious reflection, I have come to the firm
conviction that I truly do get as much, if not more satisfaction
from helping friends and family connect to fish than catching
them myself. I suppose that this may be because I've already
captured many fish. Not as many as Les in PA nor the majority
of the anglers here on FAOL, but enough.
I guess this all connects well to the Christmas spirit of giving.
Not the Big Box stores' notion of buying gratitude, but a profound
sentiment of "well being" through the simplest of acts. Giving
doesn't have to be a methodically synchronized action plan. The
most banal of actions may lead to someone have a more pleasant day.
One of the stand out actions that I saw this past year was where
Pierre Manseau and friends organized a "mentoring" program for
novice salmon angers over in Gaspé. Some volunteers and Guides
donated their time to show newcomers that Salmo salar is not
beyond the reach of most fly fishers. Of course, most local
clubs and chapters serve exactly the same purpose.
How about you?
In today's world of Online shopping, free home delivery and
instant credit, (imho) the true value of a "gift" is getting
pretty "virtual." The one and only thing that I can't beg,
barter or steal is my time.
Several of my close associates at the office got small cards
this year in their Christmas Bonus envelope. On the cards are
written the names of 2 seasoned Salmo salar enthusiasts who
are willing to take on a mentoring role for my friends. They
get a dry land weekend in June to learn a few tricks of the
trade, some advice on rod and gear selection and a day on one
of the local rivers. In return for their time, I'm taking on
half a dozen or so friends of my friends for some casting and
This all only took a few phone calls and a flurry of e-mails
So take your time this year and forget about battling the
Christmas shopping rush. If you're wondering what to get
your Dad for Christmas this year, try to remember the last
time you when fishing with him.
From all of us up in the "Far North," Renée, Vincent, Kenny (whoof)
and myself, we wish you a Happy and Safe Christmas. ~ Chris Chin, St-Séverin de Proulxville, Québec
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