Scarborough Fly & Bait Casting Association
23 Willowhurst Crescent, Scarborough  Ontario M1R 3R7
Phone & Fax - 416/755-5663
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 THE REEL THING                                                                             December 2001


            I’m actually beginning to write the December Reel Thing today, the last day of November, because we’re off fishing again this weekend and I won’t have time…..travelling……fishing……cleaning fish……and so on, you know, during the weekend.  This month has easily provided the most interesting and productive fishing of any November that I can recall in my many years of fishing trout.  Most of the weekend trips have already been documented but the last one deserves repeating here, partly because it was so great and also because the Reel Thing goes to a lot more folks than the interim notes and so on that I send out from time to time. 

            Last Saturday, Jim Lloyd and I headed up to Haliburton to have another go at the late fall trout fishing.  It was a difficult Jeep ride getting in to the lake in the minus 2 degree Celcius weather and we had to negotiate among other things a bush trail flooded by a beaver dam backing up the creek, a corduroy road that must have been laid down at the beginning of the last century, mud ponds almost three feet deep, steep rocky ledges and completely washed out bush roads.  Alas!  If only our wives knew how hard we work just to put food on the table.

            Anyhow, things began in short order as Jim scored with the first fish to claim the first leg on the ‘dollar each for the first, biggest and most’ bet. Before I could get into action he nailed another one, boating it with a grin and the comment, “So you thought this spoon that I tied on was, “A piece of sh..!”, did you.   Indeed, the spoon he had unearthed out of the depths of his box had to be bent and adjusted a half a dozen times before it would work properly in the water.  With the score 2 to 0 for Jim, I finally got on board with a nice trout of my own, then took a couple of others in rapid succession before Jim tied things up, three each.

            Not ‘letting him off the hook’ I caught two more before he nailed another.  This was fast, furious and exciting fishing, the way we all dream about, score (5 to 4).  After a few more casts I hooked and landed my biggest to that moment, but it was still an inch shorter than Jim’s first trout, which was also his biggest.  Jim was hanging on to two legs in the fish bet, the biggest and the first, while I led in the most (6 to 4).   The trout we were catching ran from a little over a foot to about eighteen inches.  It was then that I had the ‘subterfuginous’ brainwave and suggested,

            “Heh, James, Old Buddy, you know this is almost like the proverbial ‘shooting fish in a barrel’.  Why don’t we pack up early, like now, and head over to the next lake.  The fish aren’t as numerous, but they certainly are bigger?  What do you say to that?  Liking the idea, himself of catching bigger trout, he agreed and although it was not even eleven o’clock we packed up the fold-boat, threw it on the roof of the Jeep, drove back through the swamps a couple of miles to the other lake, unfolded it and we were    fishing again in about an hour.

            “Whose bright idea was this?” Jim grunted after an hour or so passed with nothing but weeds fastening on to our lures.  I smiled broadly and continued tossing out long casts working the water in all directions.  We even trolled around what we believed would be the logical places for the trout to be staging, all to no avail.  However, while reeling in to commence casting again I had a hard slam on the line and slowly started to work what was obviously the biggest fish of the day towards the boat, all the while having to listen to Jim’s derogatory comments, “Ah, it’s probably just another gob of weeds.”  However, it was not to be as with another yank on the line, the apparently lightly lip-hooked trout got off to fight another time.

Then after one of the longest casts that I had made all day, the water boiled as soon as the Crocodile wabler hit the water and I struck back firmly, determined not to lose this one.  What seemed like an eternity, actually about fifteen minutes, it was boated, a lovely twenty-two incher, easily the biggest so far and my seventh.  With my now owning two legs to Jim’s one, he went into high gear, working the water furiously and just when we were getting ready to call it a day, he latched into another, a fat twenty-one incher, his own best of the day, but not quite good enough. The final score, Gord, seven trout and two legs on the bet – Jim, five, with one leg.  Twelve trout in all.  With plenty for the pan, about half the catch had been released.

However this was one memorable day that we both will never forget and actually we could have had eight or ten more if we had been better adept at hooking them when they struck.  Oh, by the way we’re going back again tomorrow! 

Well, I hope all you fishermen and ladies, enjoyed that little story and get into great fishin’ like that yourselves occasionally.

Things are moving along quite nicely in the shop.  The bamboo sticks are rapidly taking shape and flies are being fashioned in goodly numbers.  Our casters are all primed for the fun Christmas party and casting games next Thursday evening and it is to be hoped that everybody joins in on this one.  The party also happens to be our final night in the gym until January……..but we will continue working Tuesdays in the shop until a week before Christmas, December 18th.

The club would also like to welcome our newest member aboard, Scott Owen, who is already hard at work in the shop tussling with the fur and feathers.  Scott, although just a beginner at fly casting promises to give it a go in the games at our Christmas party next week.  Some fine results have been showing up on the targets over the last couple of sessions, from Ray, Hans, Jim, Sheila and so on.  Wouldn’t it be great if Tom and Richard joined us for the evening!  We have all missed their presence at the fly tying table and on the targets – as well as Tom’s dry sense of humour.

Bye now,  Gord