Irvine John Smith

1919 - 1993

             Irvine John Smith was born on June 3, 1919 in Burton, New Brunswick.  He was the son of the late Frances J. (nee Wood) and Norman W. Smith.  Irvine moved to Fredericton with his family when he was seven years old.  In 1956, he moved to Marysville where he lived the remainder of his life.  He was an employee of NB Tel.


Irvine John Smith circa 1990

             Irvine Smith started tying flies in 1948.  He had no formal training, but he honed his tying skill through extensive reading of books about the subject.  Irvine loved to tie dry flies more than any other type.  His favourite hair-wing fly was the “Minister's Dog” and his favourite feather-wing fly was the “Oriole”.  He tied thousands of flies, many of them for Wallace W. Doak and E.M. Young.  Many hours were spent behind the vise with Ted Williams who wanted to learn how to tie a fly called the “Oriole”.  Most of his enjoyment, though, came from tying flies and giving them to friends.

            His favourite river was the Cains but he dearly loved fishing “Hartt's Pool” on the Saint John River.  While fishing on the Nashwaak River in the fall of 1952, he caught a 36-pound salmon.  During one week of fishing on the Cains and Nashwaak Rivers, he pulled in an impressive total of 176 pounds of salmon.

            Even though he was a tolerant man, one thing that Irvine Smith would not stand for was poaching.  As proof of this, he once challenged two people in the courts when he discovered them fishing illegally.  They had taken more than their limit and Irvine would not tolerate that type of greed.  Because of a technicality the court case was dismissed.  However, this event generated respect from other fishermen.  It also served as a warning to others not to disregard the quota laws-at least in the presence of Irvine Smith.

Ministers Dog

Head:   Black
Tag:   Fine oval silver tinsel and yellow floss
Tail: Golden Pheasant crest
Butt: Black Ostrich herl (optional)
Body:   Black floss
Rib:   Oval silver tinsel
Hackle: Black saddle hackle palmered forward from the second turn of the tinsel
Wing:    Sparse bunch of dyed yellow calftail over a smaller bunch of red calftail (If you happen to have a golden retriver, you can use some of its hair.)
Collar:  Medium blue hackle



This fly is also known as the “Garry” and the “Yellow Dog.


Flies of Irvine John Smith to Follow