Port Hope Bans Overnight Fishing

Port Hope fishing by-lawBy G. Chambers

So, the signs are going up in Port Hope advising anglers  that overnight fishing is no longer permitted between August 15 to September 30 between the hours of 8 pm to 6 am

The new rules only apply to a section of the Ganaraska River running from the Robertson Street Bridge to the Molson Street Bridge.

According to  Parks staff in Port Hope, a lot of the illegal snagging and netting of salmon occurs at night, presumably when there are fewer witnesses and less enforcement activity.
But what about legitimate anglers?

Every angler knows that  fish often bite better at night (depending on a lot of other variables like weather, water conditions, etc.). Unfortunately, this new by-law will deprive a lot of anglers who enjoy night fishing, or who can only fish at night due to shift work . But will it?

The SFBCA has contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests to get clarification as to who owns the Ganaraska River where it runs through Port Hope. I know in the past Port Hope has channelized parts of the river and may have some ownership rights over these sections. If Port Hope does not own the river and riverbeds, then anglers should be able to fish at night provided the do it from the river (wading, float tube, boat, etc.) rather than from from Port Hope municipal property.

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Put A Lid On It!

One of the joys of fishing is spending lots of time outdoors. Unfortunately, according to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, prolonged and repeated exposure to the Sun’s UV rays can lead to some serious health problems (80,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year). Throwing on a hat, in addition to sun screen, is an easy way to stay safe and look good.

Baseball Hats:

baseball hatBy far the most popular style of hat for anglers, but also one of the worst in terms of protection from the Sun’s cancer causing UV rays. A typical baseball cap provides protection for the scalp and the forehead but leaves the neck and sides of the head pretty much exposed. A mesh baseball hat (a.k.a “The Trucker Hat”) is even worse since the open weave of the hat allows most of the harmful sunlight to stream right through.

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Wading Into Controversy: Ontario’s Waterbed Law

wading boots

Not all waterbeds are Crown Land. Watch your step before wading

By G. Chambers, SFBCA Vice Chairman

In Ontario, the water in lakes and rivers belongs to everyone. As long as you are in a boat or float tube, you can fish pretty much anywhere in our province where the regulations allow. Unfortunately, the same public access rules do not apply to the bottom (a.k.a. the waterbed). As soon as you step foot on the bottom of a lake or river, you could be breaking the law

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Ontario Trespass Laws and You

By G, Chambers, SFBCA Vice Chairman

get off

NO NEED TO YELL: private property owner giving anglers notice that they are trespassing

A couple of years ago, a fellow SFBCA member and I were fishing a section of the Ganny on opening day. Within a few minutes of wetting our lines, we had a guy on our tails taking photos of us and yelling that he was going to call the cops and have us charged with trespassing.

Were we trespassing ? I doubt it since we were wading in a public body of water at the time. Not willing to risk a $100 fine for trespassing though,  we packed up our rods and left for friendlier waters

There’s  been times when I’ve been accused of trespassing even though I have permission from the private property owner or  I know the lands are public.

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Illegal to Interfere With Anglers

THANKS JERKS: Canoeists oblivious to guy fishing

By. G. Chambers, SFBCA Vice Chairman

Has something like this happened to you?  You silently approach a favourite  fishing hole. Keeping  a low profile, so as not to spook the fish, you make a couple of whisper soft false casts. Then just as the fly hits the water POW! Somebody throws a tennis ball in the water, followed by a  dog in hot pursuit.

I hear countless stories of quiet fishing days interrupted by nitwits roaring through rivers on ATVs, or throwing rocks into the water or simply walking too close to anglers and scaring the fish. Continue reading

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Wild Leeks: A Springtime Delicacy

Wild Leeks: Field of garlicky dreams

By G. Chambers, SFBCA Vice Chairman

Spring brings with it two of my favourite seasons : trout season and Wild Leek season.

Like most things in the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association, the elusive Wild Leek was introduced to me by our President, Gord Deval. As an  aficionado of all things wild, edible, and free Gord is happy to share his secret Wild Leek location, provided of course you’re willing to do the work, dig them up and bring him a bunch too.

Where to Find:
Of course, once you know what to look for, finding Wild Leeks is not that difficult. A common trick for locating Wild Leeks is to find a patch of wild Trilliums. Wild Leeks and Trilliums tend to be the first green leaved plants to pop out of the ground in Spring and they both prefer the shady growing conditions found in wooded areas. Basically, find a Trillium and chances are Wild Leeks will be growing nearby. Continue reading

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By T. Gordon

If when fly fishing for steelhead you notice that the fish don’t want to take traditional flies, then it is time to play dirty and switch to an egg fly.  Fish egg flies have been around for a long time, and although looked down upon by the most traditional fly fishermen, they do work.  Often times steelhead will prefer an egg fly over a nymph.

There are multiple egg fly patterns out there, but most can be covered with the three shown below. Continue reading

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Dry Fly Fishing Mayflies


By T. Gordon SFBCA Member.

The splash of a brown trout taking a fly of the surface of the water is the kind of stuff dreams are made of for a fly fisherman.  We live for that moment.  We spend hours tying what we think would be the perfect fly.  We go to bed late dreaming of the beautiful fish striking that very fly… jumping out of the water while we hold the line tight.

If you have ever seen fish rising in a stream, you know they are coming up to catch insects that are hatching on the surface of the water.  Often, these insects hatch in large numbers, so abundant that the trout would lock on to them and take nothing else.  This “locking” onto a specific insect species is also a good reason for the fly fisherman to lock on that same species in what is called “matching the hatch”. Which is nothing more than matching the appearance of the insects hatching at the moment. Continue reading

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Spring Fishing Checklist

By G. Chambers

With Spring here and ice soon off Ontario Lakes, now’s the time to get prepared for the long fishing season ahead. . .

1. Renew Your Fishing License

Don’t leave home without them. In Ontario, if your are between 18 and 65 year of need to purchase an Ontario Outdoors card and a fishing license. If you have them, check to see they are still valid. If not, you can buy them online. Continue reading

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Is Cobourg Considering A Fishing Fee?

By G. Chambers

Recently Port Hope mothballed its plan to charge anglers a $40 fee to fish from public lands, but now it seems Cobourg is going down the pay-to-fish road.

This coming week, Cobourg is holding a public meeting to discuss issues related to fishing on Cobourg Creek. This consultation meeting is being held March 28 , 2017 at 4 p.m. at Cobourg Public Library (200 Ontario St.). Muncipal officials, MNR staff and police will be in attendance

It seems that some local residents are upset with creek users who illegally park on local streets, throw garbage around and illegally catch fish.

As an angling club, the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association supports responsible angling, including respecting the rights of nearby property owners. We agree that anyone who illegally catches fish or violates local bylaws should be punished to the full extent of the law. We hope, however, that Cobourg Council and Cobourg residents make the distinction between responsible anglers and poachers. Responsible anglers respect the environment and their prey. Poachers are selfish lawbreakers.

Cobourg benefits from the tourism dollars that anglers inject into the local economy. Go after the poachers, by all means, but don’t punish anglers, and your economy, by implementing a fee to fish from municipal lands.






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