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


            We have much to talk about in this issue of our Reel Thing. Casting is going great guns at our pond at Milliken with the targets taking a real beating from both the feather and the plug crew. We are getting the best turnouts for our Thursday evening sessions that we’ve had in years and a lot of folks are learning their P’s and Q’s with their handling of both the fly and plug casting equipment. With a number of new members it sometimes gets a little crowded, but there is a great show of sportsmanship on everybody’s part to make sure all the casters get their fair share of attention from the experts, Sheila, Jurgen, Jim, Ray and a little help from the Old Guy, too.

            Speaking of new members we would like to take this opportunity to welcome several of the recent additions to our crew. Jack Walmsley comes to us courtesy of another old friend and former caster, Kip Van Kempen. Some of you older folks may remember one of the former greats in Canadian casting, Bill Van Kempen, Kippy’s father. Bill was the president of the Toronto Anglers and Hunters Association when it was still truly a fine club and probably the best of its kind in Canada, way back in the fifties. Jack brings a considerable amount of enthusiasm with him to our club and although he is about to take off on a three month, cross-country tour of Canada right up to the Yukon in his big R.V., he has already stated that he wants to get in with the bamboo rod building group when it gets underway next fall.

            Heinz Gutmann is another one of our new casters and his desire, he says, is to learn to do the double haul with his arsenal of fly rods as well as he sees Jurgen Brech and Jim perform it. Already a better than average fly caster, I’m sure that Heinz will be teaching other new folks the procedure before long.

            Dick Holt shows a great deal of patience with the new fly tackle his son bought for him. Dick arrived at the dock with the desire to join our club and become an all round fisherman. He has yet to test his skills on the plug targets, but if his patience and persistence continues as it seems to be doing on the fly casting dock, Dick should achieve his goal before the summer is finished and we move into the gym for the long winter. A hearty welcome aboard our ship to the three of you, Jack, Heinz and Dick, from Sheila, me and the entire Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association.

            Our May bulletin described how the fishing started off with a bang on the May 1st trout opening, with Jay, Jurgen, Paul and a bunch of us all having our way with the browns and rainbows. The rest of the month was no exception with some truly great fishing – and – catching by almost everyone who took the opportunity to do battle with the trout in our streams and lakes. Hopefully, I will be able to recall all the reports that have come our way in the past few weeks.

            New Member, Jack Walmsley, had fine speckled trout fishing on a four-nighter camping trip into Algonquin Park, using his recently acquired fly casting skills to his advantage. “Nothing really big,” he says, but great to eat, nevertheless and a lot of fun. Tass Candaras has only been with us a few months, but is eager to try his hand at all the club has to offer and if he is as good on the targets, fly tying table and bamboo bench as he is fishing, he’ll do just fine, thank you. Last week he caught a twenty-four pound pike where most of us didn’t believe pike exist and the icing on his cake was a nice catch of lake trout to go along with it.

            Roger Cannon, president of Normark and I had a brief outing on the Ganny and managed to produce a beautiful eight-pound steelie from the Used Car-lot pool. I had a couple of trips to the Ganny and collected bows up to 33” and fifteen pounds to go with a nice mess of browns. One of the highlights of the month though was an outing where Sharon accompanied veteran angler and fly caster, Jurgen Brech to the Ganny and Jurgen took trout after trout (big steelhead) on flies that he had tied the night before. Sharon was stunned to be able to actually watch the trout dash from the depths of the stream to gobble Jurg’s Stone Fly nymphs.

            She went back on her own and managed to catch a few smaller rainbows, but a pesky dog kept messing up the river and spooking the bigger steelies. Ooops, I almost forgot, Jurgen also took his son out to the Ganny and the twelve pound lad hooked and landed a trout almost as big as he was…….Jurg didn’t want to say just how big it was.

            Jay Hackney who also started the season with a bang and a nice story in our last bulletin, kept the pot boiling with more trout, browns and bows from the Ganny and turned several of the nicest into Gravaadlaax, using the recipe from one of my books. Although Rick Matusiak’s back keeps him from getting around as much as he would like, he did manage to take a fine mess of brookies from one of his secret little streams. Paul Quarrington, back from his more exotic ramblings to the giant steelhead rivers of British Columbia and tarpon and bonefish haunts in the ocean near Cuba, fished the Maitland River with Pat Walsh, Editor of Outdoor Canada magazine and the gents, using both fly and spinning tackle did battle with another nice catch of browns and steelies, with Patrick stealing the show with a beautiful fresh-run , eight pound, silver steelhead.

            Patrick also reports that a couple of days ago he shot a fifteen pound turkey, a jake with lovely tail feathers which he has saved for our fly tying crew to fashion into Muddlers. He says, “I’ll trade the feathers to you for one of your pet Despair flies.”

            Yesterday, Paul Kennedy and I Jeeped into Limit Lake and had a day that if I had not already submitted my MAGICAL WATERS AND MEMORIES book to the publisher would definitely deserve a chapter on its own. By the way, as mentioned in an earlier Reel Thing, Barry Penhale, my publisher has agreed to have the first one hundred copies of that book specially marked and numbered (which, of course, I will sign) and there are only thirty-five or so left that are not accounted for, so if any of you would like one of these special editions earmarked and set aside for you, simply drop me a note accordingly. The book should be on the shelves sometime next spring.

            Back to yesterday’s odyssey; on a day when we were prepared for a melange of nasty weather including forecast torrential rains and so on, the slight drizzle that we drove through on the way to the lake faded away by the time we broke through the bush to the very edge of the water. The only thing we had to endure was a horde of black flies who were waiting for us en masse with their gloves off. Backing them up in the onslaught were Haliburton’s famous giant mosquitoes. Before we even stepped out of the Jeep to unload the folding boat off the roof and the rest of the gear we gunked ourselves thoroughly with insect repellant…..thank God for Muskol!

            The sky was gorgeous, huge cottony clouds contrasted with the vividly blue sky and the rain-squalls which were evident managed to keep to the perimeter of our surroundings all day…..the rain-coats stayed bagged. Fishing was barely underway when Paul yelped as his rod doubled and after a few minutes netted a lovely fat two and a half-pounder. As usual I followed up with another smashing strike and shouting that this one was no little two and a half-pounder, probably one of Limit’s big rainbows, suddenly felt the sickening slack of another ‘released’ trout….the story of my life – on the last couple of trips with Paul, anyhow.

            He didn’t waste much time commiserating with me and soon proceeded to take another trout, bigger than his first. Limit Lake didn’t come by its name accidentally: Jim Lloyd applied that moniker to the lake after we limited out there a couple of time on our first visits to its ‘magical waters’. Soon after he boated his second trout, Kennedy was into another…….I think it was the one I had ‘released’ earlier. The thing was leaping all over the place and that, along with the yard-wide grin on Paul’s face was really rubbing it in now. It was a rainbow, a superb twenty-four inch five pound female, a fish nearing the end of its natural life cycle but putting on a splendid show for us anyhow. P.K. netted it masterfully and it was dispatched and earmarked for Gravaadlaax. Score now: Paul three, the Old Guy, Zilch.

            After a little good-natured ribbing, I thought I was about to get in on the game when another of Limit’s denizens smashed my Crocodile and with a sense of relief, I played it carefully…..but only for about ten seconds, as it, too, was ‘released’. A moment or two later I had another good strike but failed to set the hook on that one at all. Oh well, I thought, I seem to be doing a fair job of guiding anyhow, so I suggested we try another part of the lake where a rocky shoal came near the surface. Surely I would break the jinx there.

            The first pass at the shoal produced another lovely trout all right, also on Paul’s line. It was whipped in short order. Score now; P.K. four, the guide zero. “Let’s go to shore and have a bite of lunch,” I suggested, “there’s a nice place to beach the boat down at the other end of the lake.” After the little respite, we struck out once more and before we had fully digested our sandwiches, Paul had taken two more in the two to three pound class. I, none! At this point it wasn’t quite so funny anymore, but I put on a brave face, changed lures several times and worked them furiously trying to entice at least one to avoid being skunked.

            It was to no avail, Paul quickly caught two more before we decided that the squalls seemed to be moving closer and we had better pack it in. Final score; Paul Kennnedy, eight lovely trout, moi, a fat zero. Not the first time I’ve ever been skunked, not by a long-shot, but easily the first time that I’ve been humiliated so badly by a fishing buddy. I wasn’t just skunked…..I was savaged. The only saving grace was that somehow or another we had neglected to establish the customary fishing bet that we normally set up, a couple of bucks each for the first, biggest and most. Paul would have cleaned my socks in that one, too. Okay, Kennedy, just wait until Saturday and we’ll see if you can do as well on the targets in our tournament as you did on Limit Lake. Wanna put five bucks on the 5/8ths against me, Paul?

            Speaking of the tournament, we are hoping that all our members show up early Saturday morning to participate in the event, one way or another. George Monroe drove all the way from Rochester last week to spend a couple of days practicing the distance games and the accuracies with us. Heh, if George can drive that far just for practice, the rest of our folks should not be able to muster an excuse to not come out for our tournament. Even if you don’t cast folks, we can certainly use your help and support with a number of things and I know you will learn from watching some of the best casters in the world, like John Serocynski, Harvey Beck, Bill Wattie and our own Jim Lloyd, Sheila, Paul Kenndedy and last year’s winner, Jay Hackney.

            The accuracy fly games should get underway about eight-thirty Saturday morning and the spectacular distance games, the same time Sunday in the upper, north-east corner of the park. There will be medals, plaques and a pile of merchandise to hand out as awards as well, with pretty well everybody sharing in the ‘goodies’. There is also the ‘Best Sport’ trophy up for grabs, always a tough decision, as we have a club-full of ‘Best Sports’ and it has also gone occasionally to a participant not from our own club.

            This tournament, the highlight of our year, every year, should be a blast as we have a great group of members now……we only can hope and pray that they’re not concerned about their newness to the sport and come out to join us for the fun of it anyhow. Oh yes, Sheila and I venture to Lexington Kentucky last weekend for their Kentucky Championships and had a wonderful weekend. Great weather, great folks and great casting: Sheila won a silver second place in five-eighths and I managed to collect gold, silvers and bronzes in seven of the twelve disciplines.

            See you all on the weekend,


p.s. There still is one more night (Thursday) of practice to work on your techniques folks.