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


























The Reel Thing – May 2007

(Please see the personal note later in this issue)

Our winter casting season is now over and we’re underway at Milliken Park and Pond with our spring and summer program with just a month to go before our 25th Annual Scarborough Casting Championships on June 2nd and 3rd. Casting will be underway every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 8:30 and either Jim, Ray, Jurgen and I will be looking after things there. If you’ve never been to Milliken you should make the effort, it’s a beautiful park and a great way to spend the evening, even if you just come to talk fishing and only spend a few minutes on the targets. If your wife is not fond of casting, she might like to come and enjoy the mile-long walking path through the woods and around the pond.

We have also begun our distance casting practices and as always it is to be hoped that one or two of our newer members will come out and try their hand at these exercises. It’s a great feeling to be able to toss a little plug or fly hundreds of feet and even if you’re not competitive, you will learn techniques that will allow you to maximize your casting performances when out on the water, just as the accuracy practices do for the target bangers.

Next Tuesday will be our final shop night until next September when we renew our fly tying and rod building activities. Details are pretty well set and there will be ten of us hitting Jurgen’s formerly secret lake for a couple of days, camping and fishing, on the May 12th & 13th weekend. Others in the club including, hopefully, Paul Kennedy and George Monroe (maybe Maria Voltsinis) and possibly others will only have a few days to get ready to head for Lexington Kentucky for the Bluegrass Casting Championships on the following weekend.

Then just another couple of weeks to get set for our event of the year, the Scarborough Open in Milliken Park. It appears that we will have some of our casting friends coming across to join us for the fun and games in this one.

A week ago, George drove up from Rochester for our last indoor casting session in the gym then, along with Tas Candaras, Paul Kennedy and me fished the Saugeen for a great day of fishing but not too much catching. Yesterday was the opening of the stream fishing for trout in Southern Ontario and it was a different ‘kettle of fish’ in no uncertain terms for a few of us. Rick Matusiak and his son Alex kept their annual ritual of fishing the opening together for brookies in the Blue Mountain area in effect with the usual familiar results. If you haven’t seen the wonderful movie Rick assembled of this outing let us know and we’ll get it to you for a look.....and drool! On this occasion, although they took their customary count of specs in the fourteen to sixteen-inch range, Alex stood on his head to land a gorgeous nineteen-incher, three-pound plus brookie.

Jurgen Brech and Sharon McIntyre were after steelhead not too far away on the Bighead River and although they only took one good steelie, saw a lot of trout in the river. After all the recent rains however, they were ignoring their best flies and seeking out only the offerings of the worm dunkers in the area.

Meanwhile, Paul Kennedy and I for the tenth year in a row fished the opener together, this time, because of the heavy recent rains, choosing a headwater portion or the Ganaraska River, the Hepburn Stretch, to test our luck. It turned out to be an excellent choice and we experienced some of the fishing - and catching - that we have ever had together, at any time of the year. After Paul began the excitement with four nice brown trout on his first half-dozen casts, I finally broke through with a couple of browns of my own then hooked a behemoth steelhead that was just too big to restrain in the pool and it took off downstream under a log-jam and easily broke me off.

Shortly thereafter, Paul decided he had had enough of the river’s lovely native browns and wanted a steelie of his own. In short order he caught, landed and released three big ‘bows, all in the ten-pound class, before I got into another. Then it was my turn to hook several more big steelies and managing to lose them all before I managed to beach one that was over thirty-inches. That was the biggest to that moment, but didn’t last long, because Paul soon hooked and landed a couple more including a 32 incher that was well over twelve pounds. It went on like this for a couple hours until we decided our arms were sore and it was time to pack it in.

We picked a couple feeds of delicious fiddleheads, picked up the stashed browns, and made the long walk back to the car and home. All in all we figure that between seven in the morning and noon hour we hooked and landed between 100 and 150 pounds of big steelheads, the smallest an eight or nine-pounder. None were kept and a dozen or so deliberately released and another half-dozen released on their own merits. Paul hooked his largest "bow" ever and says that outside of our trips to Northern Quebec, it was his greatest day of fishing - and catching - yet.

I’m sure others in the club were also wetting lines in the opener yesterday, but that’s all the results I can report at this time.


However, I do have something else to tell you about. At first I didn’t really want to broadcast to the world what I learned about my health recently, but my doctors have encouraged me to do just that, saying, “Tell everybody you know, Gord. It will ease some of the pressure on you worrying about it and make life a little easier.” That and the fact that I have already told a few of my closest buddies made me decide to put this in to our club goes out to a lot of folks, here and in a lot of other places.

As most of you know I came through a fight with prostate cancer almost four years ago to the day after receiving 42 days of increasingly intensive radiation therapy. My P.S.A. went down from 4.7 to 1.2. and I was diagnosed as cured. Exactly one year later I got shot down when my pancreas gland blew up and after 13 days in the I.C.U. and not expected to live left the hospital after a couple of months, went to the National in San Francisco and luckily won a few medals.

All seemed well on the home front once again. But last year I began limping around all over the place with what my G.P. thought was a groin-pull or hernia. It got much worse by September when it was finally properly diagnosed that I needed a total hip and femur replacement.

Apparently the cartilage was worn out there by sixty years of distance tournament casting practice, body movements very similar to Olympic discuss, shot-put and javelin throwing. Last year, for me, the games felt more like the Scottish game of caber tossing. An operation in January left me feeling after a few weeks like I was once again properly ready to tackle the world head-on.

But it wasn’t to be. The periodic P.S.A. testing I had been having since the prostate cancer began to show last fall that it was increasing and by January had gone up to 6.2. A month ago when it had climbed to 7.6. my oncologist put me through a battery of tests, including full-body cat-scans, radiation bone-scans and so on which all proved to be clean.

However the P.S.A. continued to accelerate so they went in with cameras and took twelve biopsies and within a few days the labs and doctors had to inform me that the prostate cancer I previously had, had returned in the form of an inoperable and aggressive, malignant tumour, deep in the prostate. Inoperable, apparently, because of the intensive radiation that I had four years ago.

A team of cancer specialists, oncologists and doctors in the world-famous, cancer treating, Princess Margaret Hospital, are currently studying my situation and will decide which of the new treatments that have been developed here, the United States and elsewhere would be most appropriate for me and it is expected that we should know which direction they will be taking, shortly. In the meantime, they have assured me that there is no reason to cease or dampen my fishing, casting, or any other activities in any way at all so we’re still looking forward to seeing you all, wetting lines with you and exchanging advice and criticism of our casting techniques and results over the rest of the season....for now anyway.