Catherine Lynn Colford

 On February 16, 2005 I received a call from Cathy Carnahan, a writer for the Miramichi Leader, inquiring about a lady fly tyer from the Village of Blackville.  When I told her I had no idea who she was talking about she seemed extremely surprised. 

Catherine Lynn Colford 2004

 “Dewey, I thought for sure you would know.  I thought you knew all the Fly Tyers of New Brunswick”, she said.  My response to her statement was slow. “Think Dewey, think”, I said to myself.  I was embarrassed.  I was born and raised in Blackville.  I never lost complete contact with the area since I moved to Newcastle in 1978, but for the life of me I could not name the tyer.  Reluctantly I admitted I didn’t know who the mystery tyer was.  I begged for another clue and Cathy responded with a hint that the tyer had just competed in the New Brunswick Fly Tying Championship.  Now I was really confused. I then had to tell Cathy Carnahan I didn’t know New Brunswick had a fly tying competition.  I’m sure Miss Carnahan figured she made the wrong call when she called me.  “Well!  Did she win”, I asked.  “I don’t know.  That’s why I’m calling you”, said Cathy.  “Listen Cathy, the only fly tyer I know in Blackville is Marc Madore.  You could give him a call to determine if he knows the mystery lady tyer”, I said.

“You know Dewey, now that you mention it, I heard his name mentioned with respect to the lady fly tyer.  I’ll try and find a number for him, or give the information to one of the other reporters to follow up on as I will be away for about a week”, said Cathy.

For the next day and a half I tried to guess who the mystery fly tying lady could be.  On the evening of the following day I just happened to be speaking to a friend in Blackville when I popped the question.  “Listen, do know of any woman who is tying flies in Blackville”, I asked.  It was at this time that my friend told me a young lady named Cathy Colford was tying flies for Miramichi River Outfitting.  This was the clue to the mysterious fly tying lady.  That same evening I contacted Cathy Colford at her home in Blackville.  She confirmed that she is the lady who ties flies, and this is her story.

Catherine Lynn Colford was born in Lac St. Jean (Chicoutimi), Quebec on April 8, 1958.  She is the daughter of the late Carmel (nee Washburn) and Benedict Colford.

While she and her siblings were growing up, her parents always spoke about Blackville and Upper Blackville as they were from that area.  They used to come to the Miramichi once or twice a year and they could never wait to get there.  “It was so fun hanging around the rivers.  As I was growing up I always felt that my heart belonged here in the Miramichi”, says Cathy. 

In 1976 she graduated from high school and since her father had finished his 25 years service with Alcan they decided to move to Blackville, the place that Cathy always considered home. 

Over the years Cathy worked at various jobs in which she’s had to cater to the public.  Dealing with the public can be very demanding, but because of her friendly disposition and gentle manner she gets along well with others and therefore never had any difficulties.  However, her ability to deal with the public was really tested when she went to work for Brock Curtis at Miramichi River Outfitting in the Village of Blackville 2001.  Being employed at an outfitting shop meant she had to learn all about the equipment used by anglers.

You see, the angler or fisherman are a different breed.  Most anglers are forever looking for the perfect gear, the secret weapon that will land them the “big one”.

The first thing Cathy had to do was to learn about the rods, reels, lines, waders, nets, and of coarse the flies of every size colour and pattern.  For Cathy, working in an outfitting shop was more than she had bargained for.  At first it was a bit hectic, but after a while she started getting the hang of things, accept for the flies that is. 


 Cathy became fascinated with all the beautiful flies in the shop, which were tied by well-known fly tyer, Marc Madore, who is also a resident of Blackville.  She was amazed by them and considered it as “art on a hook”.

Catherine Colford with her Fly Tying Instructor and Mentor, Marc Madore


In 2001 she met Marc at the shop and began talking to him about the flies and her interest in them.  Not long after this Brock and Marc suggested it was time for her to learn the Art of fly tying.  Cathy couldn’t wait.  Marc began by teaching her how to tie the famous “Green Machine” salmon fly since it is one of the flies you have to have in your fly box if you are going to fish the local rivers.  He then taught her how to tie “Bombers”, “The Butterfly” and “Whiskers”.

In the beginning Cathy found tying flies to be quite difficult, but with great patience Marc managed to keep Cathy focused and soon she began to enjoy tying.  Cathy chuckled when she told me that tying flies is hard work.  Her shoulders and arms get tired and sore, but she admits it sure beat flippin’ French fries for a living.

Since she started tying flies three years ago, Marc Madore has become a good friend and her mentor.  “He is so patient with me.  I always look forward to learning a new fly with Marc, as he makes it fun and interesting.  He’s the very same way when he teaches me about fishing”, says Cathy.

In February 2005 she went to the Fly Fishing Forum in Granby Quebec where she was the only female among the 16 fly tyers entered in the show.  In April 2005 she will be attending as a guest at the Moncton Fly Fishing Show.

Cathy Colford tied the flies in this presentation.  It appears that she is well on her way to becoming a well-known reputable fly tyer in New Brunswick  We are pleased to enter Cathy as a member of the “Next Generation” in Where the Rivers Meet, The Fly Tyers of New Brunswick.

"Bomber" "Green Machine"
Hook: Neptune #6   Tag: Small Silver Tinsel
Tail: Split Wing-Calf Tail   Butt: Red and Green Uni-Stretch
Body: Blue Deer Hair   Tail: Crystal Flash
Hackle: Brown Body: Green Deer Hair
  Hackle:  Brown

Whisker (The Handsome Dude)

Created Catherine Lynn Colford

Hook: Mustad #6  
Butt: Chartruse Uni-Stretch  
Tail: Grey Squirrel Tail  
Wing: Grey Squirrel Tail  
Body: Peacock herl and small gold ribbing  
Hackle: Brown