Sabrina Barnes

Montreal, Quebec

Catching a fish is fun, but helping someone to catch one is even better.

+ Bio

My family introduced me to fishing before I could even walk. At first, I wanted to learn how to fly fish to realize my old dream: fishing for Atlantic Salmon with my grand father. So at 13 years old, I was introduced to the Maison des Jeunes au Point du Mire where I stayed for 5 years. With them, I learned quickly, discovered my passion for teaching and did amazing trips around North America to fish. As a casting instructor, I got my certification from the International Federation of Fly Fishers at the age of 17 years. I give casting lesson frequently around Quebec for single hand or double hand. As an angler, I had the chance to learn different techniques for different species such as Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Redfish, Striped Bass, Bonefish, Tarpon and more. During the Summers of 2014 and 2015, I worked at Iron Bow Fly Shop, located in Calgary, Alberta. I had the chance to discover the rivers of the West and to improve my techniques for trout fishing. This year, I will travel around my province of Quebec to discover new waters and to promote fly fishing. I am studying at University to become a science teacher, but I intend to have a career in the fly fishing industry. I am a Writer for French language magazines and a Casting Instructor in Québec and I would love to do this Internationally also.

Waters you call home

I don’t have specific water that I call home. Any stream, river, lake or sea, makes me feel like I am home. That is the beauty of the Outdoors. Since I started to fish, I have spent more time travelling to different places than I have fishing the lake in front of my house. I know more about Redfish in Florida, Trout in Alberta and Atlantic Salmon in Gaspe, than Bass, Pike, Walleye and Muskie in my area. There is an incredible potential for Bass, Pike, Gar, Brook Trout, Atlantic Salmon fishing and even more in Québec and I will discover more about them this Summer.

Funny Fact

Since I first touched a fly rod, I have had Fly fishing fever. Now, I have to live with the desire of being on the water, tying THE fly that will help me catch the fish of my life, improving my casting, and sharing my passion with others Most of the time, my mind is focusing on one thing: fly fishing. Even in my Physics class when my teacher is talking about the optimal angle to reach a point, I think of the perfect cast to reach a Tarpon at a hundred feet!

Personal beliefs on fly fishing

Every moment on the water brings us something to enjoy, experience, learn and share. Practice is the key to success. The best way to learn is to teach someone.

Species you specialize in

I specialize in trout fishing in rivers. In recent years, I have had the chance to fish for trout in Québec, the Adirondacks, Montana and especially in Alberta. Those days on the water have helped me to adapt different techniques for trout fishing such as European style nymphing and dry fly fishing.

Preferred fishing method

For me, there is nothing like watching a trout eating on the surface. This challenge where we have to find the right fly to match the hatch, the right approach to not spook the fish and to make the perfect cast in the feeding seam. I love to remember those beautiful days on a Spring Creek, fishing for Brown Trout, or on the small rivers that hold big trout over 20 inches. It’s fantastic to fish with a three weight and a 18 foot leader. Every cast is a challenge and can help you catch the fish of your lifetime.

Favorite RIO Line

InTouch RIO Gold. With my experiences, I find that it’s the best all-round line for any situation for trout fishing. You can have a delicate presentation with a size 22 dry fly, be able to throw easily a size 2 streamer and you have good control on your line while nymphing. The head is designed for great accuracy and casting distance.


RIO gives us the best technologies to help us during our day on the water. It has high quality products for any type of fishing in Fresh or salt water. It allows anglers to find the ideal products to use for the fish, situations,and techniques they require.

Favorite Knot

My favorite knot is the first one I learned : the improved clinch knot. I have had to use it for many different fishing situations and during the years I have never been disappointed.

Special Rigging Techniques

A long leader is essential in some situation for trout, mostly when the water is gin clear and the fish have been fished a lot. In those moments, a really long leader can make a big difference. Every time I fish for trout, I always make sure to add tippet until my leader is at least 16 feet long. Depending on the size of the fly I use and how cautious the fish are, I use tippet from 3X to 6X.

Best Fly Fishing Tip

Most important is to cover a lot of water when we fish. Two or three casts in the right spot is usually enough to make the trout eat when we know that we have the right flies. Walking up the river and discover new pools is really important if we want to catch more fish during our day.