Casting Practice at Morningside Park

morningside mapMembers of the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association believe that being an accurate caster is key to catching more fish. To this end, we meet every other Wednesday evening from May to September at Morningside Park (390 Morningside Ave, Toronto). Practice typically begins around 6:30 pm  and ends around 8:30 pm.

Casting practice is a great way for veteran casters to keep their skills sharp. I’s also an opportunity for new new anglers (especially those new to the sport of fly fishing) to get some hands on experience and training (The SFBCA has lots of spare rods and reels that new anglers can borrow).

For a list of casting dates, visit our Calendar page

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SFBCA Fishing Trips: What to Expect

By G. Chambers

A recent SFBCA trip to some of our favourite Trout lakes in Haliburton

It’s been a tradition in the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association for the club executive to organize at least two  fishing trips a year – traditionally during the Spring and Fall Steelhead runs. This year’s Spring Trip is May 4, 5, 6 2018.

SFBCA fishing trips are open to all members. We normally have anywhere from 10-16 members attending. Costs for the weekend are about $130 person, which includes two nights at a local motel (two SFBCA members to a room) and all meals. Any alcohol , snacks, etc. are the responsibility of individual members. We also coordinate carpooling where practical (helps save money on gas and gives you someone to blame if you get lost).

Typical Club Trip Itinerary:

Whether lake fishing in Haliburton or wading the many Steelhead rivers that flow into Georgian bay, our trips revolve around three activities: lots of fishing, lots of good eating and a lots of talking/lying about the day’s fishing. A typical itinerary for an SFBCA Fishing Trip would be as follows:

Friday:
– Arrive early morning and fish until early evening. We usually try to arrange for a member who is familiar with the river to pair up with someone who isn’t
– Everyone returns to the motel for an early dinner (usually chili) and a few drinks.

Saturday:
– Full bacon and eggs breakfast, coffee, juice, etc.
– Members make their own lunch with bread and meat provided
– Full day of fishing (Spinning rods, fly rods, float rods, whatever you want to use)
– Return to motel in early evening for dinner, drinks and maybe some fly tying. Depending on conditions, some members will also go out for a little night fishing.

Sunday:
– Full breakfast. Members make their own lunch
– Fish until early afternoon and back home by 6 pm

Fishing and Learning:

The main focus of our SFBCA trips is to catch lots of big fish. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Regardless, we always have lots of fun trying.  Just as importantly, our trips are also valuable learning opportunities. By fishing with an experienced SFBCA member you’ll quickly learn such valuable information as:

  • What techniques and tackle catch fish on a given body of water.
  • Where the best fishing holes are and how to access them
  • How to hold your fish to make it look bigger in photos

SFBCA member Jeff on his first Spring Trip…he also won our biggest fish contest

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SFBCA at the 2018 Toronto Sportsmen’s Show

By G. Chambers

For most folks, March Break is a time to spend babysitting the kids or jetting off to sunnier climes, but for the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association, mid-March is all about the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show (TSS).

The 2018 Toronto Sportsmen’s Show was 8th or 9th show in a row for our club, and one of the better attended in recent memory. It goes without saying that if you are into hunting or angling or the outdoors in general, the TSS is a must visit.

sfbca at Toronto Sportsmens show

Attendees of the 2018 Toronto Sportsmen’s Show decide whether the flies are real or not as their creator, Jurgen, (right) looks on.

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10 Budget Friendly Fly Fishing Gifts

10 Budget Friendly Fly Fishing Gifts

By G. Chambers

Fly fishing requires lots of stuff…rods, reels, lines, tippets, leaders, wet flies, dry flies, streamer flies and much, much more. For a non-angler it can be pretty confusing to know what to get that fisherman/woman in your life.

First off, unless your intended gift-getter has left Post-It notes around the house specifically listing brands, model numbers, etc. I’d avoid getting him or her big ticket items like rods and reels. Rods and reels are a very personal choice and should be left up to the angler to buy. A gift card for a local fly shop might be a better option.

Some good fly fishing gifts that will be appreciated and that won’t break the bank include: Continue reading

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SFBCA at the Birkdale Community Ctre.

bamboo rod building Last night was the first meeting of the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association (SFBCA) at our new headquarters at Birkdale Community Centre (1299 Ellesmere Rd) in Toronto

Despite have 18 members in the space fly tying and building rods, we had plenty of room to move around and do our activities. As importantly, the lighting in the room was very good, which is a must when tying those small, hard to see, fly patterns.

Other bonuses of the community centre include the fact that it is fully accessible, has plenty of free parking, public washroom facilities and is just blocks from Highway 401.

Overall, Birkdale Community Centre seems like a good fit for the SFBCA  and should be able to accommodate our continued membership growth for years to come.

Thinking about joining the SFBCA? Attend a couple of our meetings for free. For info on upcoming meetings email Geoff at sfbcamembership@gmail.com

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Salmonfest at Morningside Park

The sky was clear,  the weather was warm and the salmon were jumping…a perfect trifecta for the 8th Annual SalmonFest at Morningside Park, Toronto.

SalmonFest is organized annually by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The goal is to celebrate and educate people about the annual salmon migration from Lake Ontario up the Highland Creek

This  was the first year that the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association has participated, and judging by the positive response we received it won’t be our last Salmonfest.

We set our booth in the large playing field at the park and did fly casting demos, talked about salmon fishing and allowed folks to try some fly casting on their own. I would say in total the event attracted in the range of 1,000 people.

 

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New SFBCA Home

Birkdale community centreThe Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting has a new home – the Birkdale Community Centre at 1299 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto.

For years, the SFBCA held its meetings and workshops at the homes of various club members. Recent membership growth however necessitates moving to a larger facility to accommodate our fly tying and rod building actvities.

Beginning October 3, we will be meeting in the Sunroom at Birkdale Community Centre. Meetings will be held every other Tuesday evening from 6:30 pm to  8:30 pm.

The community centre is fully accessible, has plenty of on site parking and is conveniently located just a couple of blocks from Highway 401 (Brimley Road exit from the eastbound 401 lanes. McCowan Rd. Exit  if using the westbound 401)

Members of the public are always welcome to drop in and see what the SFBCA is all about. You can join the SFBCA for just $50 a year. For more info drop us an email at sfbcamembership@gmail.com.

 

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2017 SFBCA Annual General Meeting

AGMThe Annual General Meeting of the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association is scheduled for Wednesday September 20, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to approx. 8 p.m. at the Scarborough Civic Centre, (150 Borough Drive, Toronto), Committee Room 2.

The AGM is open to current SFBCA members (Dues can be paid at the meeting) and provides a forum where members can review, discuss and vote on a variety of issues related to the operations of the club. For example, over the past couple of years, membership in the SFBCA has almost doubled. To deal with this growth, the SFBCA  is considering renting space at a Community Centre that is big enough to accommodate our fly tying and rod building activities. This is a big step forward for our club, but it comes with a bit of a price tag too.

In addition to rental fees, the SFBCA is also facing the prospect of having to buy liability insurance. Club members will know that this year our outdoor casting was severely curtailed. Part of this was due to construction at the City owned pond where we cast. The other reason was due to a lack of insurance. The City of Toronto is now requiring our club to have $5 million liability insurance in order to use the pond.

For many years, the  SFBCA haas kept annual fees at a reasonable cost of just $50 per family. The goal is to continue to  keep our club accessible and affordable. We basically operate the club on a break even basis, with just enough money set aside for emergencies and ongoing capital costs (tools, equipment, etc.).

The new added costs of renting City space and paying for insurance, combined with our existing costs for equipment, our annual BBQ, printing, etc. it will make for an interesting financial year.

Dealing with the finances and day to day operations of the club falls, in large part, to our elected SFBCA Executive which is  made up of; a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, and two executive members at large. The term of office for all these positions is currently open. If you are an SFBCA member in good standing and feel you could assist in running the club, why not consider putting your name forward for election? For a detailed description of each position please refer to your copy of the SFBCA constitution

If you are an SFBCA member, please mark Sept 20, 2017 on your calendar and be part of what will surely be a lively Annual General Meeting.

 

 

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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 hatBaseball hats are By 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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