Bertram Myles “Bert” Miner

1907 - 1969

           Bertram Myles “Bert” Miner was born on April 13, 1907 in Doaktown, New Brunswick.  He was the eldest of eight children born to Annie (nee Doak) and Melville Miner.  As a young boy, Bert spent most of his days fishing, hunting and trapping.  Of necessity, he worked at various occupations during his lifetime, but his heart was always in the woods.  He lived alone until his marriage to Elsie Betts in 1955.

In 1986 Bertram Myles "Bert" Miner was inducted into the Atlantic Salmon Hall of Fame at the Atlantic Salmon Museum in Doaktown, New Brunswick.

Bert Miner poling his canoe (circa early 1960's)

Bert Miner with long time friend and guide Nathanial Beek from Doaktown

Bert Miner's sister, Hilda Sproul, with Budd Kitchen and Dewey Gillespie at the Fly tyers of New Brunswick exhibition in Miramichi in September 1995

            Bert was an expert angler, boatman and an authority on locations and times to fish various sections of the Cains and Miramichi rivers.  These skills, plus his friendly manner, contributed to his becoming an excellent guide.  His guiding reputation was well known among American sportsmen.  Major H.R. Burkhart and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Clement requested him as their personal guide.  Hopewell Camp and Deepwood Lodge on the Cains River used him regularly as a guide.      

It is not known who or what inspired Bert Miner to tie flies, or when he started, but a quarter century after his death Bert Miner is recognized as a famous fly dresser, fisherman and guide from the Miramichi area.  He meticulously examined the traditional hair-wing and feather-wing patterns.  He then experimented and created some of the most famous salmon flies known today.  Of the salmon flies developed in the 1930's and 1940's, Bert became extremely proficient at tying the most difficult ones.  Bert Miner, along with Abe Munn, Everett Price, Danny Carr and D'Arcy O'Donnell, were the explorers in hair-wing salmon fly development.  He was known to spend hours teaching and discussing the art with others.  His patterns include the world acclaimed “Copper Killer”, “Cains River”, “Blackville”, and the “Silver Down-Easter.”           

The Cains River was an integral part of Bert Miner's life. The people that shared the river with Bert said, “You could have a barrel of fun when fishing with Bert.  You couldn't help but like him.”  There won't be any more days like the ones spent on the river in the company of Bert Miner because Bert is gone now.  We find ourselves thinking that perhaps he took part of the Cains along with him when he died on November 21, 1969.

            Bert Miner may have taken part of the Cains River with him, but in return he left behind a major contribution to be studied and enjoyed by future generations of fly tiers, fishermen and river guides.

            In 1986, Bertram Myles Miner was honored posthumously by being induction into the Hall of Fame at the Miramichi Salmon Museum in Doaktown, New Brunswick. This induction is just a diminutive way of saying how New Brunswick fly tiers appreciate what he did.

Copper Killer

Head:                      Red

Tag:                        Several turns of copper wire and pale green floss

Tail:                        Rusty Partridge fibers or ringneck Pheasant body feather

Butt:                       Scarlet floss

Body:                     Flat copper tinsel

Rib:                         Copper wire or oval copper tinsel

Throat:                   Bright orange hackle

Wing:                     Red Squirrel tail

 

 Blackville

       The above fly was originated by Bert Miner and Tied by Paul Gillespie in 1997         

“Cains River”

“Copper Killer”
“Silver Down-Easter” “Squirrel Tail”

The above flies were originated and tied by Bert Miner in the late 1950's