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

 THE REEL THING                                                                                March 2005


Is this winter flying by, or what! I hear some folks saying that it’s not going fast enough for them. As far as I’m concerned, however, it’s going by much too quickly for me. I’ve somehow managed to get out seven times ice fishing up to now but there’s only three or four weekends left before the ice starts rotting around the edges…..oh well….I guess we could always move further north.

          All kidding aside, it has been a fine winter of hard water fishing so far with nice catches all round for our crew, Sharon McIntyre, Ray Cockburn, Paul Quarrington, Paul Kennedy, Jurgen Brech, Lee Pantridge and Outdoor Canada Magazine Editor, Patrick Walsh. Jim’s normal winter activities have been substantially curtailed though, because of a surgical procedure that’s left him laid up substantially for a month or two. He’s on the mend nevertheless and chomping at the bit to have a go at the lake he put the moniker to in Haliburton, Limit Lake, before the rest of us deplete it of all its gorgeous trout.

          February saw a fine turn-out for our casting exercises, with new members, Lee Pantridge and Angelo D’Souza working hard on their fly casting fundamentals, while George Monroe coming all the way from Rochester, N.Y. and braving our winter weather continues to show how much he has improved since he joined the club a year ago. We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome another new member Lloyd Porter who has been working hard on his casting skills while learning rod repair skills in our weekly bamboo and feather classes.

          Lee and Angelo, with only two or three sessions on the fly tying vices, have already learned how to tie Royal Wulffs, Brown Hackles, Bi-visibles, Deer Hair nymphs, Caddis nymphs, Muddlers, Muscarovitches and the mighty Despairs. Excellent work, guys! Jim, Jurgen, Ray and Hans Gulde have been helping them fashion these wonder-flies. One treat for the gang last week - and probably again this week - was the appearance and participation of Paul Quarrington in the shop to work on his fly equipment. Q is getting ready to do battle with tarpon and bonefish in the Carribean in a couple of weeks. By the way, I have a number of various colours of squirrel tails that are free for anyone just for the asking.

          Only one of the bamboo rods underway this winter, Scott Owens’s, has been completed so far and it’s a beauty, but Jurgen’s, Bob Tanaka’s, Paul Becker’s and Sharon’s are all moving along nicely and should be finished in time for the trout opening in a couple of months. Our next casting session in the gym will be in a couple of weeks, March 10th and with only a couple more indoor nights to polish techniques before we move outdoors to the targets at Milliken Pond it’s paramount that all our fly and bait casters take advantage of the remaining opportunities to enhance their skills…..especially those folks who are considering going to Michigan in August for the North American Casting Championships.

          We have every reason to believe that we could have as many as seven or eight of our casters placing in the top ten or twelve in one or more of the disciplines in this one. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tell your friends and working associates that you are rated in the top ten athletes in North America in any sport – and especially, our sport. It could very well happen with a little effort and practice over the next few months.

          I should mention that some of you folks may be wondering why Rick Matusiak’s name hasn’t been popping up regularly as has been the custom in the past and it’s because, like Jim, he, too, had surgery scheduled for February, a serious spinal fusion, but he opted out in lieu of extensive physical therapy. It has put a damper on his fall and winter fishing, but he reports that he appears to be improving by leaps and bounds and may no longer be a candidate for surgery… fact he’s even considering a fourth Broadback River trip this year with us….amazing!

          Sharon had an exciting day at Lake Simcoe a couple of weeks ago. Opting for a two-hole ice-hut as her shoulders were sore from having to drill holes through almost thirty-inches of ice, she hooked a basket-full of perch then got into one of the lake’s legendary, brute whitefish. Using only four- pound line, she still managed to wrestle it in, through the hole and into the hut, just as her line broke. Pouncing on the slippery two-feet or so of flopping fish, she eventually put the grab on it with both hands, only to have it squirt out of her clutches and disappear down the second hole in the hut, back from whence it came. Like I keep telling everybody, Sharon, the memory is even more important than the fish and you’ll always have that one.

          Speaking of ‘memories’, my fifteenth book, MAGICAL WATERS AND MEMORIES, has been purchased by Natural Heritage Books and is scheduled for publication early next spring. The initial one-hundred printed copies will be numbered and personally signed by the author……who knows, they may be worth a few extra bucks some day. We’ve already received almost two-dozen requests to be placed on the “MAGICAL 100 ORDER LIST”.

Please let me know as S.A.P. if you would like to have your name on that list (obviously, no money required until the book’s published and available). Interestingly enough the first request we received was from Paul Quarrington, one of the country’s best known authors and recent short-list nominee for the Giller prize Canada’s biggest book award (for his last work, GALVESTON).

          I’m still thrilled and haven’t got over the excitement of having almost forty people here a few weeks ago come from all over the place to help us with our SURVIVAL CELEBRATION and SEVENTY-FIFTH birthday party. I would like it known already that you are all invited to my eightieth ‘do’ in five years, hopefully without the SURVIVAL PARTY appendage.

          That’s all for now, folks,