Garnet Edwin “Red” Tweedy

1925 - 1988

 Garnet Tweedy managed a little general store in Burton, New Brunswick. When you walked through the door, the first thing that caught your eye was a wall of lures and salmon flies.  Most of the lures were imported, but the salmon flies were tied by Garnet.

Garnet Edwin Tweedy was born on October 18, 1925 in Kingston, Ontario.  He was raised by his mother, the late Lena (nee White) and his stepfather, the late Howard Wellington Jones. 

Garnet, better known as “Red” by his friends, was a devoted military man.  He joined the army in 1944, where he became a Sergeant Major with the Artillery. 

“Red” and his family moved to New Brunswick in 1959.  He lived in several different areas throughout the province, and eventually retired in Burton, in 1972.  He opened a general store along the Restigouche Road in Oromocto.  In 1978, “Red” and his wife moved to Fredericton where he lived until his sudden death in 1988. 

“Red” started tying flies in 1960. When he moving to New Brunswick he wanted to do some fly-fishing, but he had no salmon flies, and he was having trouble finding anyone he could buy them from.  It was then that “Red” decided he would learn how to make his own. “Red” was that kind of guy.  If he needed something, he learned how to make it, and when he made something it was very well crafted.  You could say that “Red” Tweedie was a perfectionist.  He was extremely creative and exhibited his skill through his work with leather, wood and the fine, fanciful materials used to make trout and salmon flies.  He also made fine furniture, fishing rods and archery equipment.  He was a master craftsman.

“Red” was a big man, but he was very nimble, quick on his feet, and even quicker with his hands.  He could tie a fly as fast as you could tell him the pattern.  Just like a lot of fly tiers who after years of conversations with fly fishermen he became extremely knowledgeable about the type of flies they needed for a particular river, and what was required to compliment the climate and water conditions.

“Red” tied all the different patterns, but he really enjoyed experimenting with materials to create something new, which in a lot of cases proved very effective.  He especially liked the dry fly and bug type trout, and salmon flies, and he always had plenty on hand.  He probably gave away more flies than he ever sold.  Many times when a fisherman went to “Red” with a tale-of-woe about how a fish that wouldn’t take the fly, “Red” would have a fly tied and given to the unhappy fisherman before the story ended.  That was just the kind of guy Garnet “Red” Tweedy was, kind, thoughtful and generous. 

Fishermen say that “Red” Tweedy was a commercial fly tier.  He tied trout and salmon flies for people from all over the province.  He also tied for W.W. Doak in Doaktown, and in order to meet the specifications required by Mr. Doak, a fly tier had to be able to tie a quality fly.  “Red” taught a number of people how to tie flies. Some of his students were Gary Gilliett, Pete Huyghbert, and Frank Wilson.   

There was never a shortage of anglers around to purchase “Red’s” flies.  According to Master Fly Tier, Marc Madore, “Red” enjoyed the company of other fishermen so much that Marc somehow believes “Red” opened the store with the fly tying shop so he could just be in the company of other fishermen.  “Red” always carried about a dozen boxes of flies with him.  He was forever giving away flies.  He was also instrumental in getting me interested in fly tying after I moved to New Brunswick”, says Marc.              

“Red” fished from the time he was a little boy.  At a very early age his father used to take him fishing catfish in Lake Ontario. Fishing was a sport that he had an unending love for.  According to his wife Rose, “Red” always found fishing relaxing and so he never got upset if he didn’t catch something. “He would get up real early in the morning, and leave the house around 5 a.m.  He’d be gone until darkness made it impossible to fish any longer.  I would go with him sometimes, but not too often.  Red usually travelled with one of his other fishing friends.  I would pack a nice lunch for him.  He always took along a thermos of tea or coffee.  He was just like a little boy going out to play. I never minded him going, as everyone needs an outside outlet, besides family, it makes the family stronger”, says Rose.

“Red’s” favourite fishing pool was located somewhere on the Nashwaak River.

This yellow and brown Scud was originated and tied by “Red” Tweedy

Stone Fly Nymph

Underbody:   Brown curon
Tail: Dark-brown or black horsetail hair
Body:   Fur-dubbing blend of ½ dark-brown Seal, ¼ seal-brown rabbit, 1/8 burnt-orange Seal, and 1/8 dark natural amber Seal
Abdomen:  Fur-dubbing blend of ¼ dark-amber Seal, ¼ light-amber Seal, 3/8 yellow Seal, and 1/8 golden Rabbit or bleached Beaver belly
Rib:  Gold silk or nylon buttonhole twist
Wing Case:  Dark-brown Turkey
Thorax: Fur-dubbing blend of ¼ dark-brown Seal, ¼ burnt-orange Seal, ¼ amber Seal, and ¼ golden-brown Rabbit or Beaver belly
Legs: Grizzly neck hackle dyed light-seal brown
Head:  Dirty orange and dark brown
Antenna: Dark-brown or black horsetail hair

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