Arthur "Art” Eastwood

1909 - 2001

Arthur “Art” Eastwood was born on December 11, 1909 in Saint John, New Brunswick.  He was the son of the late Mary (nee Earle) and James William Eastwood.  He lived most of his life in the house he built in 1955 in Penniac, New Brunswick near the banks of the Nashwaak River. 

Like his dad, Eastwood went overseas for the Second World War.  He was a Gun Sergeant in the 14th Field Artillery Regiment.  He and his crew were part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.  After serving in the army, he went to work for the Bank of Montreal where he remained for 43 years.

 

Arthur “Art” Eastwood in January 1995

He started fishing when he was five years old.  For the most part he concentrated on trout and salmon and for the last 35 years fished exclusively with flies.  His favourite river is the Saint John where he first took up salmon fishing.  He fished in all the salmon rivers of New Brunswick, and in every province in Canada. He also fished many rivers in Scotland and England.  He doesn't brag, but many famous people have sought out his fishing expertise. 

Art tied flies for over 50 years.  A friend named Don MacDougall, who was president of the Fredericton Fish and Game Association, inspired him to take up the art.  He was one of the few people in the province who first tied built-wing salmon flies.  Because it recently became illegal to import feathers from wild birds, Art stopped tying the built-wing patterns and focused primarily on tying hair-wing flies.  Art's “Bible” for fly-tying was a book from England titled “The Fly Dresser's Guide” by John Veniard.

A plaque, with the words “In recognition of many years of dedicated service to conservation”, declares Arthur Eastwood a life member of the Fredericton Fish and Game Association.  He remembered his photograph being on their float in the Dominion Day Parade in the 1950's.

Others who have recognized Arthur Eastwood for his services are Brigadier Wardell, the legendary publisher of the Daily Gleaner in Fredericton and his friend Sir Max Aitken.

Art loaned his Isaac Walton Killam's VanHoff reel (the Rolls Royce of reels) to the Miramichi Salmon Museum in Doaktown, N.B.

Several years ago a friend of Art was going fishing in Russia.  Art tied him 12 flies, two each of six patterns that had been used on the Miramichi 40 years ago.  In Russia, the friend hooked 65 salmon and landed 49.  The friend sent him an airmail note saying, “If Art ties them, the fish buys them.”          

Art liked all flies, but if he had to choose, he would pick the “Oriole” as his favourite, although he caught a twenty-five pound salmon on a “Mar Lodge.”  The fish was taken from the Miramichi River, at Nelson Hollow near Doaktown, New Brunswick on September 19, 1963.  Another favourite fly is one that Art originated in the early 1970's.  He named it “Four for Five.” Five casts were made with this fly.  From those five casts, four salmon were hooked and two were successfully landed.  Someday some of his beautiful and delicate flies will rest in a museum.  They have the charm of being essentially New Brunswick while at the same time being truly international.   

            Arthur Eastwood had serious concerns in relation to the protection of the Atlantic salmon. He believed that in many cases biologists have tampered with the laws and rules of nature.  “Ill-conceived experimentation could lead to the demise of the magnificent Atlantic salmon. Incorrectly interpreting results from the studies of natural fish stocks could serve to destroy the genetics of a God-created creature.  Uncontrolled and poorly managed fish farming contributes to the demise”, said Art.

On October 23, 1997 the Atlantic Salmon Federation / New Brunswick Salmon Council honoured Arthur Eastwood for his major contribution to the sport of angling for Atlantic Salmon in New Brunswick by having distinguished himself in the art of Crafting and Designing Atlantic Salmon flies.  Arthur was presented with an award at the 6th Annual Atlantic Salmon Federation / New Brunswick Salmon Council Dinner in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

In 1997, when I last talked to Art Eastwood, he gave me the fly pattern for the “Four For Five”.  He talked about the great times he had fishing and the wonderful people he met along the way.  His memory was sharp as a tack.  I was amazed at how he would talk about fishing the many rivers, name the many pools and the guides and fly tyers he had met along the river.  He even remembered meeting my father while fishing the Miramichi near Doaktown. 

Arthur Eastwood died in July 2001 after a lengthy illness.

Four For Five (Originated by Art Eastwood)

Tag:  Oval silver tinsel
Tail:  Golden Pheasant crest
Butt: In two sections, starting with fluorescent red wool or floss, followed by just a little bit of fluorescent lime-green wool or floss.
Body: Silver tinsel, which is wrapped with oval silver tinsel.  The section of the silver body is applied just far enough forward to allow a repeat of the butt section just behind the throat.
Rib:   Oval silver tinsel
Throat: Yellow Hackle
Wing: Grey Squirrel tail
Head:  Black

(Pattern given to Dewey Gillespie by Art Eastwood on November 16, 1997 at 2:45 pm.

Art Eastwood Flies 1980's