Austin “Doug” White
Austin White was born on July 31, 1954 to Lila Geneva (nee Grant) and Peter
Austin White at the old hospital in Bath, New Brunswick. There is a bit of an
unusual story surrounding the time when Doug was born. You see, it just so
happens that there was a good salmon pool in front of the hospital where Doug
was being born, and on the evening Doug arrived his father down there fishing
in the pool.
Giving birth is a very important event in a couple’s life.
But, there is a lot of stress surrounding the event and it was more than
likely that wonderful caring Lila sent Peter to the river to fish so he could
cope with such stress. However, Peter ensured that he made timely checks on
the progress in maternity. To add further lustre to an already joyous
occasion Peter caught a nice salmon that evening. It just happened that the
salmon weighed just over 6 pounds, which was a tad bit more than what his son
Doug White at the vise at Tammerack Sports 2005
Doug lived the first 20 years of his life in the little
settlement of Divide, situated just on the outskirts of Juniper. As a boy he
loved fishing and recalls doing it at the tender age of thirteen. The first
time he went fishing was with his Grandfather, Frederick Grant. He remembers
very well that his family were attending a gathering at his grandfather’s
house. It was in the spring of the year and the fishing season had just
opened so Fred decided he’d like to go fishing trout at Stillwell’s Bogan,
which is just below the forks of the North and South Branches of the
Miramichi. River. Fred, Doug and two of his Aunts headed to the Bogan to give
it a whirl.
Grandfather Grant spent most of his time getting Doug’s
hook free from the bushes while Doug’s aunts spent most of their time telling
Fred what a bother Doug was. The aunts kept bickering about how Fred should
have left Doug home and that they should of brought along one of their boys
instead. On the other hand, Doug was just glad to be there with his
grandfather and kept thinking how nice it would have been to leave the two
aunts at home.
Doug spent a lot of time with his grandfather, whom he
believes was a man with the patience of a Saint. Fred always took the time to
answer any questions Doug had about everything imaginable to a kid. This
would go on until the darkness of night shrouded them. But, when darkness
came Fred would make his way into his fly tying room. Doug would follow along
and before he knew it Fred would be winding fur, feathers and tinsel onto
hooks and turning out fly after fly. It was in that same room that Doug would
listen to story after story about Fred’s adventures in the woods and on the
river. There were so many stories Doug listened to he is sure he could write
enough of them to fill a book.
When Doug started tying flies in 1976 he did so out of
necessity. At that time he couldn’t afford to buy them and besides he knew
there was a yearning inside him to learn how to tie flies as a result of
watching Grandfather Grant do it. He also knew that within him a spark had
been lit years ago and that now was the time to rekindle the desire to try it.
He had a basic idea how to go about it and knew where there
was someone who could help him if he got stuck. He spent about two weeks
trying to tie his first “Buck Bug”. He didn’t have a clue in the world how to
get the hair to stand up so I could shape it. So, off to Grandfather Grant’s
he went. It took his grandfather about half a minute to explain the procedure
and Doug has been tying bugs ever since.
“Warrior” originated and tied by Doug White
“Folly’s Fancy” tied by Doug White
The “Warrior” works well in dirty water and the “Folly’s
Fancy will catch fish if anglers are willing to give it a try
“My favorite flies include “The Warrior” and the “The
Henry Special”, which are two of my own patterns. When it comes to choosing a
Bug it is hard to beat the “Green Machine” tied with brown hackle. In a
Bomber I like one of my own creations called “An Animal”. It is a dark bodied
fly with orange hackle. When it comes to Dry Flies I have too choose the
“Royal Wulff”, or one of my own adaptations of the “Queen of the Waters”. As
you have probably figured it out by now, I like to try different colours and
materials. Let’s face it, if people didn’t experiment we’d all still be
fishing with our hands”, says Doug.
In 2003 Doug opened a little shop called Tammerack Sports,
situated at 6767 Route 107, Juniper, New Brunswick. He is seldom lost for
words and will always take the time to stop and talk to anyone.
“Queen of Waters”
Tied by Douglas A. White