By Gord Deval
President of the Scarborough Fly and Bait Casting Association
About thirty-five years ago a few of my fishing and casting buddies thought it might be a good idea to see if (our group) could turn out to be ‘Fishing Club’. Not just any old fishing club, but because five or six buddies of mine who had already achieved a sub
stantial and well defined interest in not just fishing, but almost anything and everything to do with ‘fishing’, or as we soon realized should more appropriately referred to ‘as Anglers…..what we in the ‘Club’ would then be referred to and called ‘ANGLERS’. Having already become proficient Fly Tyers, Split-cane bamboo rod builders, excellent fly and bait casters (Some of whom in our club developed into World Class Competitive) casters themselves. The idea would be teach those ‘fishermen’ who already love fishing to also become real ANGLERS themselves. It did not take long before we began hammering out notices and letters on my ancient ‘Underwood typewriter’ to almost everybody we could think of, in the club to, newspapers and so on to build the club……soon and since, titled THE SCARBOROUGH FLY AND BAIT CASTING ASSOCIATION.
We also soon came up with the name for the club bulletin, The REEL THING. It was been been recognized; sent and read to fishing and casting from as far as Europe, North America and of course Canada and ‘Scarborough. We received replies from Sweden to California, Africa and so on………our club was growing expontialy. Initially that of course the interest in the club was ‘fishing’ but with half our fellows already mostly expert anglers themselves the Angling Arts Came to the forefront. We were primarily ‘casters’……plug and fly casters and thirty years competitive casting was relatively unknown. However others gradually also moved into the fly-tying and rod-building circles as well and the club’s interests began to also expand.
The Reel Thing continued for years but gradually with it’s becoming less correspondence and mail from others, although I of course would continue sending out club notices, with fly casting interest growing so did the other club activities grew and before long we had a busy ‘bamboo and feather brigade busy turning out works of art’. Through the years clubs and families would shift, move, interests would change and of course, The Old Guy (Now 86 years old…..but still writing) began to pass on a number of ‘chores’ that would gradually over to the club’s executive……one of the most important if these would be the revival of our previous contact correspondence, Basically THE REEL THING which had suffered through a lack of usage……it had always been important to carry on any notes, letters or whatever to everybody so that could all be enjoyed and shared, but without sufficient input from others withered.
However, with Tedy J, and Geoff’s encouragement there has been an absolute encouragement from a number of others, such as, Rick, Brian, Ray (K & C) Ronnie and others to the point of Tedy,s encouraging me to begin to get off my own butt and get back writing again…..not just the book I’ve been attempting to get finished but begin on something called a ‘blog’. This is brand new to me but after some of Tedy’s and Geoff’s work I understand that once again we realize how important it could be to re-generate the Old Reel Thing and the new version of the club’s bulletin……OUR CLUB’S NEW ‘BLOG!
I will of course be adding my Two Cents’ Worth’ occasionally but hope like crazy that maybe you’re reading this letter could turn into the club’s first and new international BLOG. If Tedy and Geoff will take this message from the Old Guy to heart and begin sending their own notes, letters and so on themselves, then then the old Reel Thing should become history for the archives.