Scarborough Fly & Bait Casting Association
23 Willowhurst Crescent, Scarborough  Ontario M1R 3R7
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The Reel Thing
March 2008

This REEL THING is going to be fun to write, but then aren’t they all when you folks find moment you read about them. I should begin mentioning where you are….were….and about to be again soon again shortly. This is occasionally called going from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. Bear with me for a moment while I try to explain.

After going from our surroundings, The Barcelo Tambor Beach, a beautiful resort after another hour’s flight in a considerably smaller plane, it was mostly just much needed ‘R&R’, snorkelling, fine dining and renewing a few friendships, before we back on the big jet. We could hardly wait to get back on the plane, get home, un-pack, get readied to get up north again to challenge, Jim and Paul’s angling skills and supremacy once again while the ice was still good Then it was time to pack up and hop on a jet two days later and fly to Costa Rica for huge change in enough for two or three more forays into God’s country. Many folks would consider all this bouncing around back and forth, of in other words, GOING FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS.

Just a week ago, Jim and I had one of those blue ribbon days that rarely occur when we see those compared with most often. With four ice fishing forays to date since the lake tightened up sufficiently to safely get up and out on the hard water, the sum total of our catch is one lovely big brookie, a nice rainbow and a couple splake, one of which matched Paul Kenned’s brookied in size with that one also being a splake. As usual, The Old Guy, caught likedy split’ or ‘zilch’ or whatever. But that and the preceding few nevertheless provided us with enough adventures to keep us entertained. Those, however, included enough of those trials and tribulations to provide a few interesting memories for Sharon McIntyre and Marie Voltsinis on those first trips up north accompanying us.  Nevertheless it was left up to, as it so often becomes left up to be, Jim was obviously enjoying one of the best days of hard-waterfishing we have had together in several years fishing together.

Now back to reality: things are really moving along well with all our club activities since the Christmas annual club tournament and party, especially since I finally broke out of the hospital and learned that I might actually be able to write or even understand what had happened to me. That took some doing but although most of the doctors said I may not write again….here where we are….and hard at it. Just we had before Sheila and I had that little respite in South America, Maria told us that she had a little fishing news to give you…..a nice and tasty feed of perch, a few of which were of the jumbo variety proving her with meal. Oh well, they can’t be all trout, Maria! Paul Quarrington also casually mentioned that he was off again for another crack at the tarpon and bone-fishing that he and another buddy, Jake McDonald, had had such a great trip a couple years ago. Like P.Q., also a fine writer recently wrote, an excellent story for another of the coterie of fishing authors, writing for Outdoor Canada Magazine. Jake wrote about the re-birth of the fabled sport-fishery on Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi River.

Tid-bits: while I happen to think about it (these thoughts occur quite regularly when I talk about superb fishing) I think that good buddies, Paul Kennedy, Rick Matusiak and I have pretty well agreed that in lieu of our regular annual trips the great Broadback River for its fantastic speckled trout fishing, that we will be striking out for new and as yet to be explored waters. After more than twenty-five wonderful fishing trips there it appears that we will seek new waters to continue our search for Doctor Cook`s venerable, and ancient world record, held by the good doctor. Although we will be on the same general watershed, we will be working over a very and as of yet to be explored section of the river…..we will continue to keep you informed with the results of our efforts. As I will soon be in my eighties, there are only so many chances left to obtain the record on behalf of our crew. We will soon be looking at yet another of our other past crews. Who will be the lucky one to join us this year? 

I’ve been leaping around all over the place with this bulletin, THE REEL THING. Normally we reasonably adhere to the usual format, fishing, casting, club stuff and so on, but the helter-skelter this effort that it seems to becoming this time (we’ve been told) actually has no format at all. Apparently some of our long-time readers find just throwing everything into the pot together find it less boring than having to simply just read ‘another story’. Speaking of fishing, we have been spending most of our efforts so far this year have been directed towards Limit Lake and trying to capture one of the lake’s ‘biggies’. Perhaps it’s time to give it a rest and work some of the other waters in Haliburton.

Paul K and I have been kicking around the idea of doing a two-day, overnighter like some that we have been on several times. The Land o’ Lakes area would provide the perfect respite for Limit then perhaps we could chase down one of the hundreds of others in the area that provided excitement for us in the past…..maybe we could make another attempt to breach the seemingly unassailably Sullivan Lake and Mcready mountain, the highest in the area. We only managed to succeed there twice on a couple of the previous nine or ten efforts. Then there are the mysterious Quinn Lakes, three of them, West, South and North Quinn all three of them with filled with fat brookies just waiting for us to work them over.

Or perhaps we should simply return to one of our former real winners where Jim Lloyd took one of his six-pounders from A/B Lake. That one provided us with a great story in a chapter from one of my books, Memories of Magical Waters, where had I described an hour-long story. Another chapter from a different book, the first I ever wrote, Fishin’ Hats, details a similar hour-long story where another good buddy, Pete Pokulok and a seven-pound brookie that permanently hangs on his wall now, participated in a remarkable true fish story. Of course, Beanpole Lake, not far from Limit, is also ready and willing, hopefully, to produce other episodes for us to talk and write about. Sheila has always done well fishing there in the spring, her favourite time to fish there for the big rainbows that she always seems to have little  trouble catching. As I have mentioned several times, Limit Lake has been for our ‘catching’ mainstay for some time now and where we still continue having reasonable success but out minds aren’t completely closed to a little experimentation……at least that’s what we’re saying.

We’re still waiting for Rui Medeiros, another of our newer members and Brian Farugia to become more active in the angling department of the club, but we’re sure the, too, will soon giving the hard-water fishing a shot. What we all are really waiting for is Jurgen Brech’s wife, who is gradually getting over a rather serious illness, so he can resume his former terrific success working all those brown and rainbow trout streams so, Sharon, Maria and the rest of us can see how he does it. After all, winter won’t last forever, or it seems so sometimes then we can get back to spending all those wonderful mornings that we enjoy fishing my personal favourite trout stream, the Ganny.

The American contingent of our club, the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association, George Monroe, has been hard at work polishing his fly casting in anticipation of another chance at the medals again he won last year in the Scarborough Championships. We expect that George will improve his results from last year’s National when he moved up into the top ten and we are still hoping that Ray Cockburn will clear his way to go with us. His work on the targets this year has become exemplary with consistently top results. Popcorn-meister, Brian Farugia, just getting his teeth (so to speak) has committed to going to his first National with our team this year. Having won his first (indoor) club championship, that should stand Brian in good stead when he goes up against the big boys in San Francisco in August. Casting both his plug and fly games, we are rooting for his chances and believe he will to put on a fine show.

Our bamboo and feather brigade led by Bert Colp and some of his contemporaries, Jurgen, Paul K., Ray and others, are well on their way to putting together their first bamboo wand, while Sharon and Maria are displaying their work for all our various ‘critics’. Absolutely no criticism is being directed towards Hans Gulde though. The flies that he ties and supplies us with in the club are quite an asset to the club and save us a lot of money to boot. Odds and ends….Although good buddy, Lee Pantridge, has only popped up a couple times, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of ‘Yung Lee’ him before long as has already shown that he is one of our best casters and has also indicated his intentions to join our team to San Francisco.

If you have not had the opportunity as of yet to check out our new E.BOOKS then perhaps if you do, you may discover one or more of the other nineteen that I began writing almost twenty-five years ago. They include a potpourri of my work and contain an assortment of my writing efforts containing everything from fishing books, that some folks would rather have me deem angling literature, to novels and children’s literature….that one I am particularly proud of.

See you all soon,