Our Man In Canada
March 31st, 2008

Gadgets II

By Chris Chin

A while back we did (another) public consultation on the proposed forest management plan that I'm working on. As the meeting had a few new faces, we did a meet 'n greet then introductions. The General Manager introduced me; then he and I rallied back and forth a bit of banter to show the folks we were just normal people (instead of "the Big Bad Company").

Dave (the GM) then said something that set me to thinking. He mentioned he and I had about the same career experience, but I was better with a computer than he. I quickly explained to the group that the IT side of my brain was really a necessary evil and I liked to consider myself as a forester before anything else (well, fly fisher first,...but we DO have to pay for our passion somehow).

Sure, I have lots of "gear",...but IMHO,...most of it can't be qualified as a gadget.

Our friend Google came back with over 10,000 relevant hits when I typed in "Gadgets + Fly + Fishing." Now I'm not about to go slamming any of the wares that one can procure in the pursuit of this fine sport. I do find some of the trinkets a tad amusing though. Granted, when I was younger, I couldn't for the life of me understand why one would need an instrument to help you tread the tippet into a #22 Chironomid (unfortunately, I do now).

Being a "minimalist" at heart when I fly fish, I like to think that all the junk hanging off of the Zingers on my vest get used every single day on the water.

Among the top five trinkets that make me sound like a horse drawn sleigh when I walk (in order of priority):

    #1: A whistle: For safety's sake, a "pea less" whistle can be a life saver. It also serves as a neat way to communicate while your Buddy is a distance away.

  • Three Long blasts means HELP!

  • 1 short toot: Look Here;

  • 2 short Toots: Understood;

  • 3 short Toots: Come here;

  • 1 Long blast: Quick! Bring the NET!!

    #2: Leader "straightener" thingy: this is usually a fold of leather encasing two rubber pads. Pulling the coiled "memory" out of a leader can really help lay down a nice presentation. Of course, a 1 inch by 1 inch bit of bicycle inner tube will do exactly the same thing.

    #3: "Nippers" or nail clippers. I usually cut smaller leader material with my teeth (much to my Dentist's chagrin), but anything over about 8 lb test gets cut with nippers.

    #4: Floattant: All my dry flies get a slathering of flottant before the first cast. I use Muslin, but I'm just old fashioned I guess.

    #5: Forceps: Handy little things, I clamp mine directly to a pocket flap so they are always ready. A real helping hand to release a fish without too much mucking around. Mine also have scissor blades built in so they're handy for modifying a fly.

I try to keep my vest as light as possible. Mostly it serves to lodge a few boxes of flies and as a work bench from which I can hang a few essentials.

Chris Watching for Salmon
Watching for chasers – Glass Pool 2007

Have a safe week. ~ Christopher Chin, St–Séverin de Proulxville – 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, René. "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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