Our Man In Canada
January 12th, 2009

The Girls Club
By Chris Chin

I'm getting ready for the 2009 season. Sure, winter here is still in full swing. There is over 4 feet of snow on the ground and the wind chill tonight will make the air feel like it's -40 (Celsius or Fahrenheit, it's the same at -40).

Getting ready for the season means lots of things. A 15 year old reel is going to the shop for a new bushing (which a nice 18 lb salmon managed to finally burn out last year - but the folks at Cortland are going to refit for free). An XP is going back to get fixed. Dave Scadden is sending a pontoon boat that I ordered; my new rod has arrived and I'll get up to the Saguenay to pick it up in February. Here are also fly boxes to fill, leaders to tie, lines to clean and reels to spool up.

A big part of the off season is also getting groups, friends and clients lined up and booked. The usual questions come up: gear, lodging, flies, dates etc. One question that's a bit startling is always "Is there something that my wife can do in the area while I'm fishing?"

Huh, … your wife is coming to the area and she isn't going to fish?

Now, don't get me wrong, if you and your significant other have some sort of arrangement that you fish without them, … well that's all fine and dandy. Then again, in today's busy schedule, time together, real quality time is a rare thing. I would think that fishing would be an excellent opportunity to spend time with your spouse/girlfriend/companion.

Actually, I believe that on my home waters, there is a good proportion of women who fish here. After speaking with anglers from other areas, some of them remarked that they had never seen a woman fly fishing at home!

On my home waters, the Girls will often organise a day of fishing together. Nicole, from the river association's office will meet up with a dozen or so of the regulars for a day on the water. I believe that more than half of the groups who come are couples fishing together.

So what's keeping you from bringing your significant other along for a day on the water. If you don't have extra gear for a second person, you can simply rent gear or book a Guide for them. That way, you are free to enjoy your day along side them while someone else takes care of the logistics.

If you want to get your wife/girlfriend interested in fly fishing BEFORE your first outing together, why not sign them up for a course with a group specifically designed for women? Many schools and Guides cater specifically for women. Just have a look at Ann Smith's web site and you'll see the Girl's in action!

Back here at home, the fly boxes are starting to fill up. Some of the special flies that are getting done this year include some #8 bombers. They're smaller than the usual #2's and #4's, but they are easier to cast into the evening breeze. Better for some of the smaller women who fish with me.

Nadege and her brother Boris - August 2008

~ Christopher Chin, Three Rivers 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 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, visit Christopher's website. You can email Chis at: Flyfishing.christopher@gmail.com.

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