Sunday, May 8, 2011

Garage Saleing, Headwaters, and Panfish

   Saturday morning started out as business and ended up as pleasure... for some. 

   Tackle Shop and I hit the road at the crack of dawn with the intentions of making the rounds in the south Simcoe area again, but to begin with the morning involve a little commerce. TS has always supplemented his income and addiction to tackle with weekend "cherry picking" at garage sales. At one time I shared his mania for weekend treasure hunting, having grown up in a well off neighbourhood of aging collectors looking to downsize, but for the last decade I've found myself living amongst recent immigrants who's idea of garage sale nirvana is the contents of a failed dollar store! Needless to say this type of "treasure" should probably be buried.

   Our destination so early in the morning was in the small, well to do rural community of Caledon and as we approached the intended property my heart sank as the front lawn was strewn with plastic children's toys. In my books this was clearly a case for a drive-by, but upon closer inspection the garage was filled to capacity with plaid jackets and baseball caps. Obviously I'd jumped the gun on this one because the garage contained the left over carcass of a demised outdoor store. A first glance showed rubber worms, red & white plastic floats, snelled hooks and a multitude of lead weights... in other words...nothing I've been into for twenty years. Keep digging! Over in the corner are a few rods...Hmmm...there's a fiberglass fly rod. That's better. On the table in front of me are ice auger replacement blades and right beside them is a beautiful furnace cock neck cape. Ten bucks for both? Sold!!! I asked if there's any more fly tying materials and am sadly told no, but the seller produced a 20 gallon plastic bin full of flies at 75% off. I walked in there sceptical and walked out $40 lighter with 12 egg sucking leaches, 12 stoneflies, 6 Dahlberg Divers, 18 assorted hairwing clousers, a popper, 2 tiny jigging spoons, the auger blades and cape, and a 3.2 megapixel Sony digital camera complete with charger (for when my Canon inevitably falls out of my pocket and into the water).
My $40 Treasure
   Maybe I should reconsider when Tackle Shop suggests going garage saleing in the future.

   The next leg of our journey briefly took us along the edge of escarpment country, with it's multitude of tiny cold water creeks full of wild brook, brown and rainbow trout. We'd never explored this area much in the past and now with a couple dozen new flies and a new opportunity every half mile I was itching to stop and wet a line. Alas...we were committed to meeting our new friend  John in Keswick and there was no time to stop. Rest assured though that these headwaters have been committed to memory and a prolonged return visit is imminent in the near future.
Nasty Disposition, But Tasty

  We met up with John and his friend Mike at "Dirty Harry's" and rather than pay Harry to fish off his docks for crappie we knew were no longer there, it was decided we'd check out the Pefferlaw River area. TS and Mike still fished with minnows while John and I worked the shoreline with hardware and my new streamers for "toothies". The only aggressive bite came from a surprised family of geese in the grass and after an hour of only one catfish by TS, we moved a short distance downstream to the Peninsula Resort on Holme's Point. TS was all for moving but it was at this time his teeth decided to put up a protest and within minutes he was writhing in agony!
Family Fishing!
  We left John & Mike to fend for themselves on unfamiliar waters and uncertain of our return, while we went in search of emergency medical supplies in the form of pain killers and Sensodyne tooth paste. Our mission completed and the fire in TS's head temporarily extinguished, we returned to Holme's Point in time to find John and Mike packing it in for the day. We never did put them on any fish as promised (except for a couple tiny perch while we were gone), so we said our goodbye's with a vow to do it right next time.

   An angry hornet's nest in your head and a handful of pills on an empty stomach does wonders for your ability to sleep anywhere, any time, so TS passed out in the van while I tried to amuse myself toying with tiny perch and gobies. More amusing for me was watching the antics of several dads with their group of toddlers to teens and the joy of catching that first fish. After an hour or so TS revived from his pain and medication stupor, much refreshed and ready to do battle with an army of mighty mites. We fished another few hours there and by mid afternoon started toward home, further exploring Simcoe's southeast shore.

Egg sucking leach claims another victim
   In the small coastal community of Willow Beach we found a hidden, inland marina that allowed limited fishing access and in the first minute there TS spotted a 40"+ pike lurking in the shadows of a boathouse. While he futilely attempted to tempt the large snake, I was casting nymphs in the canals for anything moving. We only got a few perch there but the potentials obvious and the location's filed away for early next spring and the crappie spawn.

   Our last stop of the day found us right back at the beginning of our fishing excursion at Harry's Riverside Bait & Tackle in Keswick.
This muskrat's seen better days!

Saved the best for last
       We started our day with a hunt for treasure and came home with that and more. Sure...the tangibles are a no brainer, but meeting new people, scouting new locations and coming through a bad situation relatively unscathed... that's the real treasure for the day. Oh yeah...catching a few mighty mites doesn't hurt either!


  1. VERY cool! A good majority of my materials are from estate and garage sales. Great find

  2. Every time I drive by an "Estate" sale I tell myself, "I've got to start stopping. Maybe the next one.


  3. Hey John thanks a lot for giving me my first mepp. Landed a 2 pound largemouth within the first 5 minutes of using it had so much fun I snagged a log 10 minutes later and lost it, great times! I'm defiantly going to have to invest in much much much more of them. Great post once again guys.

    JB Crappie

  4. Good to see your out fishing, Ahhh poor old muskee a good hood orniment, Those Geese are classed as vermin in the UK now, And yep your spot on they are very tasty,

  5. Dang good finds, and looks like a damn fine adventure.
    Great blog! Love the quotes on the sidebar and I'll be following!

  6. I wanted to ask you if I can give a blog a shout out for you here in a day or two?

  7. John I am addicted to yard sales almost as much as fishing. My problem is i never get rid of any thing. Oh well my children will have a hell of a yard sale.