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

 THE REEL THING                                                                             October 2002

            Lots to talk about in this edition of the Reel Thing.  Rick Matusiak, Paul Kennedy, Jay Hackney and I had a fabulous trip to the Broadback River to start things off.  This was my 24th trip to this superb River and one of the best ever.  We caught between 35 and 40 speckled trout with ten of them topping the 21” mark.  We refer to those as mounties.....they weigh in upwards of 4 1/2 lbs.  The largest, this year was a 27” brookie that Paul caught which would have tipped the scales at close to eight pounds if it had been kept.  I was lucky enough to have also caught a 27” brookie, also released and weighing in a little less than Paul’s brute.  Paul was actually the star of the trip catching four or five mounties while Jay, on his first trip into those storied waters with us was right behind him with several beauties of his own, including a 22 inch male brought back for his wall and the biggest taken on a fly on this trip, another 21 inch mountie.  We feasted on specks and pickerel on almost every evening of the eight day trip.

            While we were in Quebec Paul Becker and his missus were on a two week camping and canoe trip in the British Columbia interior.  Both enjoyed the trip although they report that it rained almost every day.  Paul was able to put his new fly casting skills to work with interesting results, but no big fish.  I should have a full report on his trip for the next bulletin.

            Ray Cockburn and his son Andrew had a couple of fine outing to the Ganny with Ray taking browns up to 16” on one occasion and giving way to his son on another when Andrew took a 12”, 14” and 16” brown while the old man was skunked.  Ray also had a couple of go’s at the Ganny fishing with Paul Becker and both caught their fair share of trout, but on the last weekend of the season, this morning, Ray caught a 15” and an 18” brown to wind up their Ganny efforts.

            While they were working over one stretch of that wondrous water, Jim Lloyd and I were hammering another stretch a few miles away.  Jim caught 12 and 14 inch browns and an assortment of small ‘bows and I took one for the pan that stretched the tape to just over nineteen inches.  Jim hooked and after a great battle, landed a fresh-run 29 inch, ten pound chinook salmon, his best ever.  Paul Kennedy, not to be outdone by Jim’s big salmon hooked over a half a dozen at the mouth of the Beaver River yesterday, finally taming a 30 inch twelve pounder.

            Here are a couple of other fishing reports for your perusal.  It’s great to get these reports in so that we all can share and enjoy the fun and excitement of your trips and catches.

            This from Jay Hackney:

Heh Gord:

          I fished the Red River section this morning, but accessed from the Loyalist Road and fished downstream quite a long way i.e. from 6 am to noon. I got many tiddlers and one nice 15" brown.  I did not see any 'bows.  I did get another very nice 15-18" fish to hit my EGB, but I couldn't hook him and had to watch him retreat under a large fallen tree with numerous branches protruding from it.  He sat there sulking as I dropped the EGB and then a Vibrax close in under the cover trying to tempt him out.  He wouldn't budge.  I had two other rather nice fish go for the bait, but they never bit, and retreated to deep cover thereafter.  These fish certainly keep themselves very well hidden.  I find it
remarkable how deep and difficult is the cover they hide in.  They certainly make it interesting.



From Paul Becker: 

Hi Gord,

I read your Ganny excerpt today while rebooting my PC; g.d. Windows operating system. I particularly enjoyed the section near the end in respect to “Why not just go Bass or Pickerel fishing?” as it described yesterday’s outing with my brother-in-law Marshall who lives in Belleville.  Karen (my wife) and her brother (Marshall) share the same birthday. Marshall and his wife Mary had invited us to Belleville for a celebratory dinner on Saturday and had suggested that we stay over so that Marshall could take me fishing. Marshall is a keen outdoors person and an avid angler, and with the Bay of Quinte on his doorstep, has the 150 HP bass boat with the electric trolling motor, etc. You really do have to sit on your hat, or lose it.

To give you the background for our fishing on Sunday, this weekend was the final event of the season for a bass fishing derby that our nephew was competing in. Graeme and his partner had done pretty well this year and were lying 1st for the weekend after Saturday’s fishing and had caught the biggest fish as well. Graeme was pretty excited on Saturday night. So there we were Sunday morning, up at 5 AM to put lunch together, hook the boat trailer up and down to the Bay. We went down to the Belleville launch ramp to watch the competitors race off. It was foggy and calm so we launched the boat and went down the shoreline casting into the weedbeds, etc. I started with a bass bug on my Ganny fly rod but soon got fed up with the weeds fouling my supposedly weed free lure. I switched to my lightweight spinning rod and a #2 Vibrax; worse still. Then Marshall set me up with a “Bass Buster” jig rig: a device with a small spinner above a jig with an inverted hook and baited it with a plastic grub with a fluttery tail.

Fewer weeds but I still had to haul the jig out of the weed beds as I got used to throwing the mass of metal and plastic. Lots of weeds; after one cast, a middling sized pike suddenly appeared to following my lure in but then I realized that it had my lure in its jaws. It had attacked the jig as I retrieved through the weeds. As inexperienced as I am, I failed to boat the thing but it was still that life force on the other end of the line, as Q put it. Marshall caught and released a couple of bass.  While we were doing this, the fog lifted, the bass boats raced off at high speed to get to favoured sites before the competition. And we motored (“sit on your hat”) over to Cow Island where we crept around the shoreline casting jigs near the edges of the weed beds. Did I mention that the Bay of Quinte has weeds?

I was getting better at throwing the jig and not catching the weeds as frequently. I had learned from Marshall how to hold the rod tip high and then drop it so the lure would fall down the edge of the weed bed. At the end of the island, I cast the jig and I just caught the edge of the weed bed. I started to work the lure back to the boat. It was really snagged this time but I realized that my line was moving  down as well as towards the boat.

“Marshall: I’ve got something.” Holy cow! It was as if it was caught on a log except that this log was moving to deeper water. “Take it easy. Keep the tension on the line”, Marshall coached me as I brought a large pickerel to the boat and he netted it a few minutes later.

“We will have a few good meals of this”, I said. “Afraid not”, he said after he measured and weighed the fish in at 22 inches and 4 pounds. “There is a slot limit of 19 to 25 inches in the Bay”. Nuts! Big fish of the day and I couldn’t even keep it. But I do have a photograph of it. Marshall did catch a slightly larger slot limit pickerel later in the day as well as a few bass and another small pickerel. So, my apologies for the lack of a pickerel dinner for you and Sheila. Marshall says we will go again. I did have a good time but I have to say that a peaceful day on the water without scads of people and powerboats is more enjoyable.

Bye now,


Thanks for the stories, guys, now I have another one to put a wrap on this fishin’ stuff.  Jim Lloyd and I tackled the toughest stretch of the Ganny a week ago, the Hepburn Stretch.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve had two nasty incidents there, one when fishing with Roger Cannon, where I badly stretched a hamstring that took months to heal when I tripped over an unseen log beneath six feet tall, grass, ostrich ferns, goldenrod and vines and another while working the river with Paul Kennedy last April when a branch gave way that I was hanging on to while backing along the stream-bank about four feet above the water.

The branch broke and I plunged backwards into the water, fortunately although it was icy cold and the air temperature below zero, the water was deep, otherwise I could have broken my neck, back shoulder or something.  Instead I damn near froze before I got back the 3 or 4 miles to our car and nursed a sore shoulder the rest of the summer.  Obviously fishing this stretch of the Ganny is quite a challenge for all of us, nevertheless Jim and I decided to test ourselves on it last week.

I’m pleased to report here that I was able to survive this last encounter with the Hepburn stretch.  But for Jim, it was a different matter.  It was his turn to do a number on the river........and did he ever!

Not far from where I performed my back-flip into the icy spring flow in April, Jim was attempting to negotiate a similar high bank around an awkward placed tree stump.  He, too, while leaning over the river, used another large log for his support and balance.  Fortunately for him his feet were firmly planted which is seldom the case in these situations, because the log broke the instant he leaned on it and he was faced with an instantaneous decision.  Either fall straight down into the river while protecting his face with one hand and his nether region with the other and pray that there were no beaver sharpened stakes waiting beneath to impale him, or attempt to leap across over the nasties below to the other side of the stream where the water was shallow and the landing if he was successful would be comparatively gentle – on a muddy bank.

While I stood a few feet away from him, surrounded by six feet of grassy cover, I was able to witness a feat of athletic endeavour that I doubt has ever before been achieved.  Without pausing, when the log broke Jim didn’t simply jump, he launched himself across the water and landed on all fours on the opposite streambank with nothing bruised but his ego.  He even held on to his rod throughout the episode.  I swear that as he passed over the middle of the stream, his flight was in a higher plane than when he pushed off.  He looked like he had been shot out of one of those circus cannons.  With that kind of athletic and acrobatic ability, I suggested afterwards that he hire himself out to the Cirque de Soleil.

Anyhow, the rod building and fly tying fraternity are going great guns and there should be a half dozen or so new bamboo wands being waved around in the club by next spring.  Jim and Hans are leading the way with instruction in the fur & feather department while Leon Schwartz assures me that he will be back shortly performing the same functions in our shop.

Jim Davidson (Jaydee) had his left knee completely re-built a week ago and is recuperating for the next month and a half at which time they’ll be re-working his left knee.  Sure put a damper on his fishing and golfing, but Jaydee promises that he’ll be a new man and in a go position for the opening of the ice fishing trout season on January 1st.  However, Jim Lloyd says if Jaydee is not in a position to operate his own skidoo, we’ll tow the big guy into the lake strapped  on a tobogggan.

Other miseries:  Scott Owen, scheduled to take his wife, Sheena and daughter Sarah, to visit relatives in Scotland on October 23rd was working hard to complete his own bamboo fly rod to take with him to impress the folks over ‘ome, but that one is shelved.  They will still be going, but no fly rod and barely mobile.  Big Scott tore apart his achilles tendon playing soccer last week (should have stuck to fishing the Hepburn stretch of the Ganny, Scott).  He will be many months on the mend with that one.  Scott was kicking around going to San Francisco next year to compete in the National Championships, but that also seems rather far out for him now.  Jay Hackney, perhaps our fasted rising, skill-wise that is, caster is also contemplating trying his hand at the Golden Gate club in California.

Rick Matusiak and I got hit with nasty bouts of Giardiasis, A.K.A. Beaver Fever, from drinking the water on the Broadback.  Rick, probably because his immune system was down from all his recent operations got by far the worst of it and even had to be hospitalised and on intravenous for awhile, whereas I had to suffer through a few days of extreme abdominal cramps.  Paul and Jay, the other two fellows on the trip apparently were lucky enough to have avoided it.

I think that is enough for this edition of our club bulletin.......easily the longest I’ve ever had the pleasure of assembling in our eighteen year history.