A Canadian Thanksgiving 2008 Recap
In Quebec, the annual Thanksgiving holiday isn't as Big as in
Western Canada, and even less so than in the USA. It just
doesn't seem to be as ingrained in the culture. There are
however some traditions which are slowly taking shape.
By Chris Chin
Up here, Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October. For
some of us, this means that the run of juvenile sea run trout is
(should) be in full swing.
For several years now, the October long weekend has become
an opportunity to get one last outing into the journal.
The gathering on the #23 Pool
TroisD, Renata and SimB booting up
I arranged to meet up with a few friends from the Quebec Peche
(the french language board up here). The community on the forum
is smaller than the FAOL family, but they have been just as supportive
for me this year.
This late season on the Ste-Marguerite River is a bit more
relaxed than the Atlantic salmon season in the summer. The
cold water and cool air mix well with a steaming cup of coffee.
Add to that the Autumn colours, the wood smoke drifting out
of the stoves plus schools of hungry trout and you find yourself
pretty close to paradise.
Fishing for these juvenile sea trout is a bit different than hunting
their adult counterparts in the summer. First off, these little trout
(ranging from 8 inches up to a pound) actually do eat in fresh water.
Secondly, the water is so cold at this time of year, one doesn't really
need to be out at the crack of dawn. This lets us linger around the
camp fire, enjoy a coffee (or two) and prepare a real breakfast
(Sunday breakfast was French toast, jam, syrup and coffee).
Techniques and tactics vary depending on the angler. Of course,
the ultimate is when the sun comes out, the pool warms up and
the action moves to the surface. For me, after a summer of
blasting #2-4 Bombers into head winds with 10 ft 8 weight rods,
it is a shear pleasure to pull out a 9 ft 6 weight (I'm trying a new
The sun? Unfortunately, one of the big factors which influences
the fishing (at any time) is the weather. On this October long
weekend, we just didn't get the stable air we were looking for.
Saturday was cool and blustery.
Things were looking promising. When I crawled out of my bunk
early Saturday morning, the smoke from the wood stove was
climbing straight up into the morning stillness. By the time I have
the coffee perking, the smoke column collapsed and was hugging
the ground like a mist. Not a good sign.
The windy conditions makes for difficult casting and limits the
pools we can fish. When the wind comes out of the North/North-West,
it funnels down the river valley and can make fishing an exercise in
Simon on the #23 hiding from the wind
Since the conditions were a bit challenging, we decide to stick to
some 'ole stand-by's. The big pool at Bardsville offers some shelter
and we know that there are trout holding there.
TroisD (Manon) perched on the ballast rock at Bardsville
Over two days of fishing, we saw very little action on the
surface. Occassionaly, a trout would chase a woolly bugger
or woolly worm, but Manon was the only one in our group
to actually release a trout (a simple act after I had shown her
how to pinch down the barb on her fly). The rest of us had
quite a few touches and a couple long distance releases. The
trout were just nibbling at the flies and not inhaling them with
the usual vigor.
As things settle down and the realisation that the trout won't cooperate
set in, we break out the extra rods and give the gals a chance to see
the difference between weights, lengths and actions (the two of them
being realtively new to fly fishing).
Few trout and difficult conditions aside, the weekend was a
wonderful opportunity to meet new friends (I had met them
on the Quebec fly fishing forum).
The gear boxes are now cleaned and packed away for the season.
The lines and waders are all cleaned and hibernating in the closet.
I'll be in touch with my new friends over the winter
The 2009 salmon season is only 8 months away!
Casting lessons and rod testing by TroisD and Renata
~ Christopher Chin, Three Rivers 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 44 years old as of this writing. He
is of Chinese origin although his parents were
born and raised in Jamaica.
To learn more about the Ste-Marguerite River,
website. You can email Chis at: Flyfishing.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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