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 with Rob Miskosky

Missing a Great One

Let it hit the grass on the far bank, and then just nudge it until it falls back into the water right near that undercut,” he said, pointing to the spot across the creek where he wanted my fly to land. “There’s a good fish in there.”

I hauled back on my Canadian Tire special, most likely spooled with the wrong weight of fly line, and then after a few false casts, I let the fly go... landing well short of the far bank where I was being instructed to place it.

My instructor gave me a few more pointers, probably wondering what he was getting himself into, before I once again attempted to place the fly where he wanted it... and failed.

My fishing partner then stepped in and made the perfect cast, his fly landing on the far bank before tumbling off onto the water right where it needed to be. In a flash, a 20-inch brown trout seized his fly and the battle was on.

The above took place about 15 years ago. I was fishing the famous Prairie Creek with the master himself, Bob Scammell. Bob knew his creek well, especially where it meandered through his quarter section. He knew where every fish lived and he’d given each of them a name; this one he referred to as “Dragon Eater”.

He also had names for all of the ponds along the creek and he had tales of the fish that lived in each. Wooden benches were placed strategically along the creek as well, my favourite was at the Night Pond.

While I wasn’t much of a fly-angler back then, I was eager to learn and when I asked Bob about fishing Prairie Creek, a creek I had read much about through Bob’s own writings, he invited me down and then spent a full day showing us the best spots along his beloved home waters.

Bob had been a gracious teacher and host.

Back at his cabin that night, he prepared a pot roast for supper and provided us with a glass of gin topped off with a sprig of spearmint that grew wild right outside the front door of his cabin. After supper, he regaled us with stories of his fishing adventures and some of the famous people he’d fished with along Prairie Creek, including famous author John Gierach.

I’ll never forget that trip nor the enjoyment of having spent some time fishing with a true outdoorsman and fly-angler.

I’m not quite sure when Bob first started writing for Alberta Outdoorsmen but I believe it would have been some time in 1999, the first year this magazine hit the newsstands. I do remember being excited when he first agreed to start writing his Fishing Phile column for AO though. I felt we were really going places if a man of Bob’s stature saw value in what we were doing. Even then he was referred to as the Dean of Alberta’s Outdoor Writers and whenever his name was mentioned, it was always with respect, right to this day.

Bob’s health got in the way of his love for fly-fishing Prairie Creek but he continued his monthly column for AO. Perhaps, writing about the outdoors is the next best thing to being there.

Unfortunately, for Bob and for all of us, his health decided he could no longer continue his monthly column and an email to me declared it as so. It wasn’t an email that I wanted to read.

Bob’s health may not be what it once was but for some reason, I feel we haven’t heard the last from Bob Scammell.

You can read more about Bob’s many accomplishments on page 39.

We will all miss you Bob!

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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