Scarborough Fly & Bait Casting Association
23 Willowhurst Crescent, Scarborough  Ontario M1R 3R7
Phone & Fax - 416/755-5663
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 THE REEL THING                                                                             February 2005

   A special thank-you once again to all those beautiful people who helped Sheila and me celebrate both my 75th birthday and survival from death’s door last spring. It was easily the biggest and best party we have ever had in this old house since it was built for us back in 1952. Almost forty folks were packed in, all comparing notes and fish stories with each other going back at least fifty years. My thirty-odd photo albums got one heck of a workout as everyone searched for pictures of the many fishing trips we have gone on together over all those years. The same way I treasure all our shared memories, I will always treasure that Survival – Birthday Party evening. For that many folks to attend, many of them driving long distances - as much as a hundred and fifty miles - in what was one of the biggest snow storms and blizzards of the winter was mind-boggling to say the least.

          A special welcome from all of us to the club’s newest member: Angelo Dsouza. Angelo comes to us with a not too secret agenda in mind. He wants to learn as much as he possibly can - in the shortest time - about everything we can teach him in the club about fly fishing. In less than two weeks, he has already had his equipment reviewed and learned some fly tying basics, tying up a couple of nice streamer flies in the process. I’m sure the targets will also be getting a thrashing when we go back in the gym in a couple of weeks. Speaking of which, will be Thursday, February 10th. Angelo is planning on opening up his own fly fishing store, hopefully this spring or early summer.

          Meanwhile the shop activities are going great guns! Scott Owen finished building his fluted, split-cane, Broadback fly rod and it’s a gorgeous piece of work that could probably bring him more than $2,000.00 if he were to put it on the market. Bob Tanaka is carefully well on the way to putting the finishing touches on his Ganny rod, while Jurgen who just began his, splitting the bamboo only a couple of weeks ago, already has the butt section of his own Broadback wand glued up. It, too, is a great bit of craftsmanship. What a treat it is for me to see these sticks all coming together from a bunch of old bamboo culms up in the ceiling of my garage! I guess I’m going to have to get off my butt and see if I can still put another one together myself. Maybe a six and a half-foot three weight…….now there’s a challenge!

          The hard-water fishin’ season is well underway, with some great results so far. Paul Kennedy and I had a fine day up in Haliburton a couple of weeks ago……six fat trout and a bit of adventure when we couldn’t get out from the lake because of an extremely iced-up hill. Eventually, the skiboose and some of our heavier gear had to be stashed in the bush for a couple of weeks to lighten the load on the machines.

Jim Lloyd and I went back last Saturday and discovered that nothing had been taken or disturbed and with a new load of snow had no trouble whatsoever negotiating the trail and hills. As is his custom, Jim thoroughly out-fished me once again catching six lovely trout to my measly three. It was such a lovely day that we probably lost at least that many more because we were too relaxed to rush to the buzzers when the trout struck.

          In a couple of days, Wednesday, Paul Kennedy, Paul Quarrington and I are going to hit the trail again……maybe this time we’ll give Beanpole a workout for some of its big rainbows. A week later, Pat Walsh, the editor of Outdoor Canada magazine, under a threat of death if the lake’s whereabouts are revealed in the magazine, will be going up to do battle with its denizens. Patrick made mincemeat of the biggies up there last October, catching ‘bows between five and six pounds, his biggest ever.

          Meanwhile, Sharon McIntyre, doing her own thing hardly ever goes more than a day or so without wetting a line. One story she swears is true, is that she went up to Lake Simcoe last week to catch a feed of perch for her and her husband, Sam, who is unable to get around as easily as our club’s most ardent angler, his wife. This was a few days after attending regional Ministry of Lands and Forests director, Wil Wegman’s annual ice-fishing course. I’m not sure if she was conducting the seminar, or looking for more tips…..she’s one heck of an ice-fisherman already!

          As Sharon tells it, she already had a nice string of perch for the table when she hooked into a giant whitefish! Now, the whities in Lake Simcoe are running anywhere from four to ten pounds these days so we have no reason to doubt that part of her story, however, fishing by herself in a hut (she usually disdains fishing from a hut, preferring to drill her holes and fish out in the open) she managed to get the big whitey up through the hole and into the hut, whereupon her four-pound line broke and the big whitie began thrashing around all over the place.

If you’ve ever tried to grab a big slippery, still active fish with both hands after dropping your rod, you’ll know what a challenge that can be. Squirting out of her clutch several times, she was unable to kick it out the door and onto the ice and the big fish eventually flopped into the second hole in the hut, dove, and got away.

          No pictures, no fish, just tears and another thrill and fish story that she will remember and relate for many years to come!

          It’s beginning to look pretty certain that our club will be able to field a complete team at this year’s North American Casting Championships in Dundee, Michigan, next August. We have at least ten casters who could finish well up in the standings in this one and several who are capable of finishing in the medals as well. They are George Monroe, Paul Kennedy, Jim Lloyd, Ray Cosburn, Jurgen Brech, Harold Higdon, Jay Hackney, Paul Quarrington, Paul Becker, Sheila and possibly, myself. Some of our newer members, such as Lee Pantridge and Angelo Dsouza may also find that they have the potential to represent Canada and ourselves in this one when we begin our practice casting sessions with more vigour in a month or so. We are hard at work attempting to raise commercial sponsorship for the tourney to cut the individual expense.

          ****There is room for three or four others who might like to join me for our weekly skidoo and ice fishing trip next weekend (either Saturday, or Sunday), but please get back to me no later than Thursday evening so we can plan accordingly.


    p.s. My newest book, all re-worked and edited, is now at the publishers and hopefully I’ll have some idea of, if and when, it will be available for all to enjoy. At roughly four-hundred pages (many of you are in it) the book, MAGICAL WATERS AND MEMORIES is easily the best I have written and those who have reviewed it so far all declare it to be a great read! If only half the folks from all over the place who read this bulletin are lucky enough to get and read a copy, I should be able to afford to get away fishing a little more often (yuck, yuck) maybe even to the tip of South America with Paul Quarrington. He and I have kicked around ‘doing’ Tierro del Fuego, several times.


Tight Lines,