The Shed

Like any good Canadian grandfather, Cecil Kalyn built an outdoor skating rink in his yard for the grandkids. And like all those grandpas, he quickly realized that maintaining an outdoor rink, given the wild fluctuations in our winters nowadays, was difficult.

So Kalyn found a better solution: make a rink indoors.

Behind his Flamborough home was a shed. Once, it had been a hanger for his airplane. Now, it was filled with friends’ cars, and various other treasures accumulated during his life. He told his buddies to claim their toys, cleaned up the junk, and got to work on his newest project.

Eleven years later, The Shed, as it is known, has carved out a unique existence: it still is largely unknown, yet maintains a loyal following among its users. The most active of these, instructor Tommy Gilligan, runs multiple clinics, from Learn to Skate programs to ones for players who still dream of a future in the pros.

The rink, measuring roughly 30 by 12 metres, has refrigeration pipes, allowing Kalyn to maintain ice for six months, from October 1 through April 1. The floor is painted white, to give the milky white colour and markings that professional and city-run arenas boast. And just like a regular rink, the ice is flooded after every hour-long session, courtesy of a mini Olympia resurfacing machine.

The Shed has a dressing room, and another room where parents can wait, coffees in hand, while their youngsters are honing their skills, regardless of the conditions outside.  -Barry Gray

Hamilton. Ontario, Sunday, December 8, 2013 -Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. Noah Payette, 4, is a determined young hockey player at a learn to skate lesson. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: Barry Gray

Hamilton. Ontario, Sunday, December 8, 2013 -Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. Noah Payette, 4, is a determined young hockey player at a learn to skate lesson. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, December 17,2013 - Cecil Kaylan in his indoor skating rink, which is referred to as 'the shed'. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: Barry Gray

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, December 17,2013 – Cecil Kaylan in his indoor skating rink, which is referred to as ‘the shed’. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page.  Players grab a quick drink during a break. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. Players grab a quick drink during a break. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. The lone bench in the lobby made from - what else - hockey sticks. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. The lone bench in the lobby made from – what else – hockey sticks. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12,2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. The rink, with solar panels atop the roof, at night. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12,2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. The rink, with solar panels atop the roof, at night. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. Paul Mazerolle drives the mini Olympia ice cleaner between sessions. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. Paul Mazerolle drives the mini Olympia ice cleaner between sessions. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. The parents pass the time talking hockey while their boys attend a skating class.  Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. The parents pass the time talking hockey while their boys attend a skating class. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. Paul Mazerolle cleans the last bit of snow off the ice with a shovel. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. Paul Mazerolle cleans the last bit of snow off the ice with a shovel. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page.  Joe Korman ties up son Sam's skates in the dressing room prior to a practice.  Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. Joe Korman ties up son Sam’s skates in the dressing room prior to a practice. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. Water bottles await the next break while a dad watches the action on the ice. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. Water bottles await the next break while a dad watches the action on the ice. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Sunday, December 8, 2013 - Cecil Kaylan's backyard rink, known as 'the shed',  for photo page. Tommy Gilligan, who runs numerous skating programs out of the rink, has some fun with some learn to skate kids. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Sunday, December 8, 2013 – Cecil Kaylan’s backyard rink, known as ‘the shed’, for photo page. Tommy Gilligan, who runs numerous skating programs out of the rink, has some fun with some learn to skate kids. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Bulldogs Toy Toss Night

The Hamilton Bulldogs lost to the Toronto Marlies Friday night at Copps Coliseum, by a score of 4-1. But that lone Dogs goal was important, for it signaled to the faithful in the stands to toss their toys over the glass onto the ice. Hundreds of stuffed animals littered the ice, destined to bring a smile to a youngster’s face this holiday season. It’s an annual event, repeated by many hockey teams, but it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Here’s a look at some pics from tonight’s game. – Barry Gray

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Mike Blunden works along the boards. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Mike Blunden works along the boards. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Marlies Kory Nagy pushes Nick Tarnasky off the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Marlies Kory Nagy pushes Nick Tarnasky off the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Dogs Nick Tarnasky works along the boards. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Dogs Nick Tarnasky works along the boards. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Jordan Owens is slammed into the boards by the Marlies Sam Carrick. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Jordan Owens is slammed into the boards by the Marlies Sam Carrick. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Nick Tarnasky skates with the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Nick Tarnasky skates with the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Gabriel Dumont charges up ice. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Gabriel Dumont charges up ice. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Dogs Mike Blunden has a scoring chance in front of Marlie's goalie Drew MacIntyre. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Dogs Mike Blunden has a scoring chance in front of Marlie’s goalie Drew MacIntyre. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Gabriel Dumont battles for the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Bulldogs Gabriel Dumont battles for the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Friday, December 13,2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies, AHL action at Copps Coliseum Friday night. It was the Bulldogs annual Toy Toss night, where fans litter the ice with stuffed toys following the Dogs first goal. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Clash of the Titans

Hamilton’s St. Thomas More Knights and local rival St. Mary’s Crusaders are not just cross town rivals. They are 2 of the best senior girls basketball teams in Ontario. So, it was only fitting that the two powerhouses clashed for the Catholic girls championship game Thursday night at the Burridge gym at McMaster. In the end, the girls from STM, led by star Kia Nurse, edged out a 52-44 win. Here’s a look at the action and celebration. – Barry Gray

 

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary's Mackenzie Trpcic, left, and Amira Giannatiasio, right, try to pry the ball from STM's Hailey Brown. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary’s Mackenzie Trpcic, left, and Amira Giannatiasio, right, try to pry the ball from STM’s Hailey Brown. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM's Kia Nurse defends a throw in attempt. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM’s Kia Nurse defends a throw in attempt. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary's Halle Bovell falls hard on STM's Erin Burns while fighting for a rebound. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary’s Halle Bovell falls hard on STM’s Erin Burns while fighting for a rebound. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM's Kia Nurse fights through a trio of St. Mary's defenders to try for a shot. hoto by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM’s Kia Nurse fights through a trio of St. Mary’s defenders to try for a shot. hoto by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary's Christina Buttenham is guarded by STM's Kia Nurse. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary’s Christina Buttenham is guarded by STM’s Kia Nurse. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary's Halle Bovell dribbles hard upcourt. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary’s Halle Bovell dribbles hard upcourt. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary's Hilary Hanaka works hard under the basket. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. St. Mary’s Hilary Hanaka works hard under the basket. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM's Kia Nurse drives to the hoop. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM’s Kia Nurse drives to the hoop. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM's Abbey Clark looks to pass while guarded by St.Mary's Halle Bovell. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM’s Abbey Clark looks to pass while guarded by St.Mary’s Halle Bovell. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM players celebrate their victory after the final buzzer sounds. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM players celebrate their victory after the final buzzer sounds. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship.  More's Kia Nurse hugs head coach Blaize DiSabatino following their victory. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07,2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. More’s Kia Nurse hugs head coach Blaize DiSabatino following their victory. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07, 2013 - St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary's in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM captains hoist the championship trophy following their win. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, Ontario, Thursday, November 07, 2013 – St. Thomas More vs. St. Mary’s in the Catholic senior girls basketball championship. STM captains hoist the championship trophy following their win. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

The Dogs try and handle the Heat

The Hamilton Bulldogs, off to a good start this AHL season, tangled with the Abbotsford Heat at Copps Coliseum Saturday night. Despite jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead, the Dogs ended up falling to the Heat 3-2. Here’s a look at some of the action I photographed. – Barry Gray

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Erik Nystrom fires a shot. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Erik Nystrom fires a shot. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Akim Aliu heads down the ice with the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Akim Aliu heads down the ice with the puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Joonas Nattinen battles Abbotsford's Ben Street behind the net. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Joonas Nattinen battles Abbotsford’s Ben Street behind the net. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bruiser visits with some fans. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bruiser visits with some fans. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Abbotsford's Paul Byron is stopped by Dogs goalie Robert Mayer. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Abbotsford’s Paul Byron is stopped by Dogs goalie Robert Mayer. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Akim Aliu fences with Heat's Tyler Wotherspoon. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Akim Aliu fences with Heat’s Tyler Wotherspoon. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. All eyes are on the puck during second period action. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. All eyes are on the puck during second period action. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs goalie Robert Mayer tries to corral a loose puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs goalie Robert Mayer tries to corral a loose puck. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Stefan Fournier tries to snare the puck ahead of Heat goalie Joni Ortio. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Stefan Fournier tries to snare the puck ahead of Heat goalie Joni Ortio. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Maxime Macenauer tries for the wraparound. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Maxime Macenauer tries for the wraparound. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Abbotsford's Max Reinhart and Dogs goalie Robert Mayer both eye the puck in front of the net. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Abbotsford’s Max Reinhart and Dogs goalie Robert Mayer both eye the puck in front of the net. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Gabriel Dumont and Heat's John Ramage collide near the Abbotsford bench. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Gabriel Dumont and Heat’s John Ramage collide near the Abbotsford bench. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Morgan Ellis is crunched by Abbotsford's Turner Elson. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Morgan Ellis is crunched by Abbotsford’s Turner Elson. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Martin St. Pierre gets his stick between the legs of Abbotsford's Carter Bancks. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Martin St. Pierre gets his stick between the legs of Abbotsford’s Carter Bancks. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Joel Chouinard misses a check on Heat's Ben Street. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Joel Chouinard misses a check on Heat’s Ben Street. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Nick Tarnasky gets obstructed by Heat goalie Joni Ortio. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Nick Tarnasky gets obstructed by Heat goalie Joni Ortio. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Stefan Fournier tries to jam the puck past Heat goalie Joni Ortio. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs Stefan Fournier tries to jam the puck past Heat goalie Joni Ortio. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Martin St. Pierre scores the team's second goal early in the first period. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Martin St. Pierre scores the team’s second goal early in the first period. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Justin Courtnall celebrates his first goal with teammate Gabriel Dumont. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton, ON., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Abbotsford Heat in AHL action at Copps Coliseum. Dogs Justin Courtnall celebrates his first goal with teammate Gabriel Dumont. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Some days…

I had the brilliant (I thought) idea to do a photo/video of the salmon making a late fall run up Red Hill creek in Hamilton. I started Monday, spending part of the afternoon in pursuit of a photo. Of course, anyone can point a camera into the water and get a picture of a fish. I wanted something better. I would use my GoPro camera, plop it into the creek, and capture something great. I soon learned that fish are inherently smarter than me, so finished the day with exactly zero worthwhile pics or video to show for my efforts. Since I also hate to lose in situations like these, it was now game on – man vs. fish.
I headed back to the creek today. Took a quick look at the locations of the fish (which, by the way, are plentiful) and hatched a plan. I found a rocky spot where the fish would have to swim through as they head upstream, and set my GoPro back in the water. I took up residence on the far shore, with a second camera on a tripod. Double video, double results. This time, it was gonna be great!
I watched as several salmon gathered in the pool near the rocky rise. Jostling about, getting ready to continue their journey upstream. Everything coming together nicely, until….the sun came out.
Within 5 minutes, all my wonderful fishes had retreated to deeper water in the shade. And stayed. And stayed. There was not a cloud within 800 miles of my location; just blue sky and bright sun. I could feel my opportunity slipping away.
I returned after lunch. I waited patiently, watching as clouds finally began to roll in from the west. With overcast conditions, I set up the 2 cameras again, and waited. A half hour later, no fish had gotten even remotely close again. The fish were now thumbing their gills at me from some hidden location.
Humbled and beaten, I left soon after. After all, a guy can only take so much. -Barry Gray

fish

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