Scarborough Fly & Bait Casting Association
23 Willowhurst Crescent, Scarborough  Ontario M1R 3R7
Phone & Fax - 416/755-5663
E Mail -
Web Site -

 THE REEL THING                                                                             December 2004


          We’re a few days early with this Reel Thing, but that’s because we have so much to do in the next little while, I thought I had better get up this morning at five and get the job done - before I forget and while I can.

          A very early Christmas greeting from all of us in the S.F.& B.C.A. to all our friends and fellow anglers and casters around the world who are lucky enough to get to read our monthly bulletins. I hope that the year has been as interesting and wonderful for you folks as it has for Sheila, me and all our buddies in the club. Personally, I am just happy to even be here and be able to throw the Reel Thing together after what happened last spring.

          With our annual season-ending wind-up Christmas party and casting ‘do’ coming up in the gym in a few days (Thursday, December 9th), there is much to go: prepare and slice Gravaadlax, bake cookies, gather prizes and certificates, buy a bottle for the school superintendent, contact everybody, get extra tackle ready and so on and so on. Then a couple of days after that, Sheila and I are off on holidays to St. Andres Island off the coast of Colombia for a couple of weeks of much-needed R. & R.     

          However, a few days after we return from the south-west Caribbean, Jim Lloyd and I, possibly along with a few others will be making our annual (January 1st) opening-day of ice-fishing for brookies to A/B/ Lake, so the skidoos have to be readied, hard-water gear checked and so on before we leave. I am also working every spare minute to put a wrap on the book I’ve been writing for the last two years, Magical Waters and Memories. It’s huge, a hundred thousand words already and full of fun and great stories, many of which most of my buddies have heard, probably more than once and therefore won’t have to buy the book when it’s finally out and on the shelves.

          November was quite a month for our gang! Fishing-wise, casting-wise and shop-wise! Several trips to our favourite Haliburton trout waters proved to be exceptionally rewarding, beginning with the great adventure that occurred on the first when Paul Kennedy, Ray Cockburn, Sharon McIntyre, Bob Tanaka, Sheila and I hit Limit Lake to do battle with its brookies, splake and rainbows. There were fourteen trout caught in all while fishing in near-freezing temperatures and very heavy winds.

Paul, Ray and Sheila caught most of the fish, but had a scary thing happen when their canoe was accidentally flipped, dumping the anglers, nine trout and all their gear into the frigid water. Their two largest trout, including a lovely five pound ‘bow were on stringers fastened to the canoe and didn’t get to the bottom however. Bill Crich, in full scuba diving gear a few days later, unsuccessfully searched for Paul’s pack, but did recover the seven trout on the 38 degree F. bottom.

They were found to be in perfect condition and subsequently distributed then eaten by the crew fishing on the day that they had been caught. On the next trip to the lake, two weeks later, we managed to retrieve Paul’s pack, which had drifted quite a long way in the heavy wind from the searching circle that I had initially indicated to Bill Crich, before sinking to the bottom. That, too was a memorable day’s fishing!

Pat Walsh (the editor of Outdoor Canada Magazine), Paul Quarrington, Paul Kennedy and I worked the lake that day, with both P.W. and P.Q. establishing personal bests with the size and numbers of trout caught. Both gentlemen caught trout in excess of five pounds and a number of fat splake to go along with them. Fishing had been so good that there was one more kick at the kitty, when Jim Lloyd, Sharon, Harold Higdon went back again the following weekend.

As has been his habit the last few times we fished with Harold, he showed us how to do it the right way and connected for the biggest trout (outside the steelies from the Great Lakes rivers) caught in the club this year, a gorgeous five and a half-pound rainbow. Jim also caught ‘bow and splake, but the most interesting thing was when we cleaned and eviscerated Harold’s trout, we counted more than thirty crawfish from its stomach and intestines. All in all, such a great month of fishing (and catching) augers well for the up-coming ice-fishing season.

November has also been extremely busy in ‘the shop’. Several cane rods have already been glued up, by Scott Owen and Paul Becker with others in varying degrees of completion by Sharon McIntyre and Bob Tanaka. One of the nicest things to happen to our club recently was to get another old buddy and club member back into the fold after a fifteen year hiatus when he moved, married and began raising a family.

Jurgen, one of the most talented tournament casters and anglers we have ever had in the club, represented us and Canada several times in international competition, winning medals in many of them. Already, in only his second time out to the shop he had caught the fancy of our fly tying crew by introducing them to a number of new patterns and demonstrating their assembly. It’s great to have you back, Jurgen……and we are all looking forward to your casting results on next year’s tournament trail, as well.

Another member from our club’s developing days may also soon be back in the club. Irene Johnson, a very keen participant in all the club’s affairs ten or fifteen years ago promised that she will join us in the gym for our Christmas ‘do’ and we hope that will get her itchy enough to come out and start banging targets with us after the first of the year. Sharon and Sheila could use a little competition in their bailiwicks.

*A personal note here to all my friends:

In case, for one reason or another, you did not get the earlier invitation to my ‘Survival Celebration and 75th Birthday Party, please mark the date, Saturday, January 22nd, on your calendars and if you possibly can make it, Sheila and I would love to have you attend. It appears that several of the doctors who were instrumental in my survival will be here as well.

Although we will have drinks and an assortment of goodies, it is a B.Y.O.B. ‘do’. If you think you will be able to make it, to assist us with the arrangements, please call or drop us a note to let us know. 


Sheila and Gord