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

          It seems like we’re finally getting a nice long spring for a change instead of the one or two weeks we usually get after the snow and ice disappear before the hot weather takes over. Our winter season in the gym and shop this year was excellent with several new split-cane rods completed and enough flies tied to fill most of our fly boxes to do the rest of the year. One of the most rewarding aspects of the past six months was the superior work done by our newer members along with the expected professional efforts of our longer-term folks.

          Lee Pantridge led the way with the former and Jurgen Brech would get the nod amongst the older fraternity, with fine work also turned in both in the gym and the shop by Hans Gulde, Jim Lloyd, Angelo D’souza and really, the more I think about it, the entire crew! Great work, folks. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in a club like ours with such a terrific group of men and women who whenever required, pitch in to assist each other with whatever is necessary. Entering our twentieth season since the club was formed it’s no wonder we’re proud of our club when we look around and review what’s been accomplished so far. To all our members, both past and present, a great big thank-you from Sheila and me.

          With the shop packed away until next September, our efforts for the next few months will of course be concentrated on applying the fruits of our labours to both the practice targets on the water at Milliken as well as on the streams and lakes chasing down finny quarry. We do have five nights at the park to sharpen our skills before the first tournament, our own Scarborough Championships on the weekend of June 4th and 5th. We know now that we definitely will have a team representing the club, Scarborough, Ontario and Canada at the North American Championships in Michigan in August. The only unknown is how many of our folks will comprise the team.

          Oh yes, fishing! With the trout season now open on all fronts, last Saturday, the opening, saw a number of our guys and gals doing battle, or at least hoping to do battle with our finny quarry. Rather than attempting to describe the results in my colourful and artistic manner, I asked for reports from several quarters and here they are in their own words:

From Jay Hackney:

        Ray Cockburn & I had a great time fishing the Hepburn stretch this morning. We arrived in Kendal at about 5:15 in a light rain and we were fishing at 5:45.  We could see the odd large rainbow but nothing was tempted to take our Mepps. We had fished our way through about 3/4 of the stretch when Ray finally hooked into a really nice rainbow. It first came out to inspect the lure without taking, but Ray gave it a perfect second presentation and the fish was on. 

 A great fight ensued for the next 10 minutes and just after I got a couple of pictures of the action the 'bow gave a tremendous struggle and broke free.  We could see the Mepps dangling from the side of its mouth so we followed it upstream.  While Ray was busy casting to it, I hooked into a big bow myself and fought it into a shallows where I could grab it by the gill opening and lift it out.  By this time, Ray had re-hooked his fish and was into another serious combat with it some way downstream. I was anxious to get a picture of my fish, so I hiked it down to where Ray was and let it back into the river while I watched Ray at work.  Ray's fish had taken him under a couple of branches and soon managed to snap off the line - another hook in the fish's mouth. 

Meanwhile, my 'bow was now considerably revived and provided a renewed struggle and some difficulty to land again.  After a round of pictures, we measured it at 28" length and 13.5"girth.  How many pounds would that be... (6.4 pounds according to the calculator at  Quite a nice fish, which I returned to the river. We returned to the pool where I hooked my fish and there were 2-3 more waiting. Ray fished those while I chose an adjacent pool.  There I hooked a beautiful 16-18" rainbow that put up a hard fight.  Just as I was imagining how nice this would taste and was about to land it on a muddy bank, it somehow slipped free.  I stayed within reach however so I grabbed it and almost managed to hold it long enough to land it. Almost, but not quite.
           By the end of the morning (we fished for 5 hours) Ray had lost 2-3 more lures and hooked at least one more big trout and I had one more big trout on for 5 minutes before he wrapped the line on a deep snag and was gone with my lure. Expensive outing for lures, but some excellent fishing.
            Hope others had equally good outings!

From Jurgen Brech:  

    Hi Gord.   Was up at the Big Head on Saturday with Kyle and got lots of small bows and lost one good sized one thats all. Sunday went to the picnick grounds,landed one about 11lbs and one about 6lbs.Also landed small brown about 1lb,all on my stone flys.At 10:00am went to Wimont Creek at Hyw 2 and fished down stream lost one and landed two more nice bows one about 12lbs the other at about 8lbs,again on flys. All in all had two good days of fishing and a very good time with my son, Kyle.

From Rick Matusiak:

    A telephone report……It seemed like every place my son, Alex and I visited already had a gang of guys beating up the water. It was very frustrating, they were even banging away at some of the spots that I thought nobody even knew about, where Alex and I almost always limited out on opening day. Nevertheless, we did manage to catch a few brookies all small except one lovely fourteen-incher that Alex caught. I think we’ll go back in a few days after all the ‘opening day’ fuss is over and try it again. How did you and Paul do, Gord?Paul Kennedy and I:

    Paul and I have fished together on opening day for the past seven or eight years, usually on little brookie streams, but this year opted to try our hand on the Georgian Bay steelies that run the Bighead River at Meaford. We got there early enough, but like Rick, ran into a traffic jam of automobiles where we would normally park the Jeep to walk down to the river. We took one look, made a U turn and took off for the Saugeen River at Southampton where we had heard that the dam was wide open, so believing that would most likely be our best bet drove for another hour, threw the boat in the river and fought the current up-stream to fish off the little island at the first rapids.

We had it all to ourselves, but to no avail. Nothing. Fished it for almost four hours then turned back down the river and drove around to fish near Denny’s dam about four miles up-stream. For us anyhow, it wasn’t any better and the dozen or so guys already fishing there weren’t doing much better, but like I always say, “Heh, it’s the fishing we go for eh, not the catching.”

This morning, two days later I got up at 3:45 and struck out for the Ganny where Ray and Jay had burned up the river last Saturday. The river was teeming with fish, but most were spooky after being blitzed all weekend by an assortment of ‘fishermen’ and anglers. Many of the steelies displayed a variety of snicks and wounds laid on them by the sports on the river who do their best to literally snag trout instead of trying to lure them to their bait. I did manage to catch five rainbows and four browns and kept a couple of the browns for the pan along with a couple of the ‘bows, a thirty-incher and a thirty-one incher, unfortunately too big for Gravaadlaax or the smoker, but good for freezing then cutting into one-inch steaks.

I had hoped to catch ‘bows in the five to eight-pound size for the smoker, but the ones that filled that bill just didn’t look that appealing with their assortment of snicks and snags. One had several lamprey eel scars as well. Oh well, the steelies will be back in the lake in a couple of weeks, the snaggers will be off the river chasing pickerel and we’ll have the river to ourselves once again to fish for its beautiful resident browns, specks and rainbows.


As you can see from the above reports, folks, it’s obvious that Jurgen Brech is wearing the crown for the time being as the best angler in the club, but heh, we’re only a couple of days into the season so we’ll see if he can hold on to that title for the rest of the season.