Scarborough Fly & Bait Casting Association
23 Willowhurst Crescent, Scarborough  Ontario M1R 3R7
Phone & Fax - 416/755-5663
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     The REEL THING                                                                                    July ‘05


We’re a little tardy with the July bulletin because we’ve been practicing four or five hours most days for the last couple of weeks to get ready for the National. In addition, Sheila, George Monroe and I will be going into Zero’s baileywick  for the Illinois State Championship to see if we can put a scare into some of the other casters who will be attending John’s show. Well, I wish that we’re true, anyhow…..we’re going there for a little competitive practice before Dundee and also as a reciprocal ‘thank you’ to John as he has made the five hundred mile solo trek himself to participate in our Scarborough Championship the last few years.

          Our casters, with the new folks leading the way have been beating the waters to a froth at the pond on Thursday evenings and the results of their efforts are beginning to show and pay dividends for them. We have been getting fine turnouts, with a number of the folks arriving at Milliken Park even before we get a chance to set out the targets off the docks. At the moment, only George, Ray, Sheila and I are committed to going to the National, but we are still hopeful that Jay Hackney, Paul Kennedy and Paul Quarrington, who have all expressed a desire to go, will be able to clear their itineraries so that they could join us. If they can come on board, we could field a team that could possibly wind up in the medals.

          One mystery is puzzling us: what’s happened to Lee Pantridge? We haven’t heard from or seen him since he went on his trout fishing and canoeing trip into Northern Quebec almost two months ago, whereas, he was one of our more active participants in club activities prior to his disappearance. Where are you, young Lee?

          Sheila and I with assistance from Jim, Hans and Ray did a casting demonstration with a few tricks and stunts at Bridlewood Mall last Saturday and although being the Canada Day holiday weekend with a lot of folks away at their cottage, it went off without a hitch and was well received by the spectators. Bridlewood is assisting our team with expenses for the trip to Dundee as reciprocation for the demo. Hans, Jim and Ray also demonstrated their considerable expertise with their fly tying skills. A couple of the casting stunts that we performed might be of interest to other casters who occasionally find themselves in similar situations.

          The first is, of course, the ever popular ‘casting from fifty feet and removing a cigarette from a volunteer’s lips with a five-eighths ounce casting plug’. The stunts were all repeated during the two-hour show for the benefit of later arrivals. Another was ‘slicing a banana, held in Sheila’s hand at fifty feet, using fly tackle so that the pieces fall into a bowl placed on the floor in front of her’. Perhaps the most spectacular (try this one sometime) is having a spectator hold a target centred with a bell on their derriere, also at fifty feet, while facing away from me. The trick is not casting directly at the target, but casting over the fellow’s head and shoulders in such a way that you can stop  the plug’s flight at exactly the right moment so that it comes back between his legs and comes up and strikes the bell. It was done successfully both times, as were the other tricks.

          It always amazes me that we are able to do these ‘stunts’ successfully, yet don’t have anywhere near the consistency with the accuracy involved in regular competition. Can anyone explain this for me?

          Fishing has taken a back seat a little for some of us over the last few weeks, but I can report that Jurgen and Angelo had a fine outing to the Forks of the Credit, where Angelo was able to catch his first-ever trout, a fine brown on a fly he made in the shop during our winter activities (I hope it was a Despair, Angie). We have no idea how Lee made out on his Quebec odyssey, but Tas Candaras had a spectacular four-day outing up at Lake Nippissing chasing down pickerel (walleyes to our American friends) and claims to have caught a couple dozen of these tasty fellows.

The Ganny provided thrills for Roger Cannon, Patrick Walsh and me on several occasions, with a few lovely browns to show for our efforts to go along with handfuls of fresh-picked watercress. That reminds me that I should mention for all our local free food’n fun aficionados that Saskatoon berries are peaking with ripeness now and if you contact me I’ll be happy to direct you to easy pickin’s. There is a dearth of mushrooms so far, because of a lack of rain, but they are beginning to push their way up anyhow and Sheila and I have picked enough for a fine cheese and mushroom omelette, as well as for a pasta dish.

Our trip to the Broadback River is still undecided as we have only three of us committed to going as of now, Paul Kennedy (of course) myself and George Monroe, but we are still hopeful that Jay Hackney, who I know really wants to go on what would be his second foray into that God’s Country, will be able to clear the way to join us. He already has a gorgeous twenty-six inch speckled trout on the wall to show off to friends and another would give him a splendid collection for both the wall and more importantly, his memories. We’re all waiting with baited breath for the word from you, Jay.

Speaking of “memories”, my book coming out next spring, MAGICAL WATERS AND MEMORIES, as mentioned in earlier Reel Things, will have the first one hundred copies specially marked, numbered and signed. More than sixty of these have already been allocated and requested by fishin’ buddies, casters  and so on… if you’re not on the list for these special editions and would like to be, please drop me a note accordingly. Obviously, no payment would be required until they are shipped. Another book to watch for and we are all anticipating a great read with this one will be Jim Chapralis’s new work on casting……Jim is doing his best to have it ready for us all by the National at Dundee. For those who may not know it, big Jim has been in the casting game almost as long as I have and that’s forever!

The next Reel Thing (August) will be written after the National as soon as we get back and can catch our breaths.