Joseph George Caissie

1922 - 1983

 

Joseph George Caissie was born on August 8, 1922 in Bathurst, New Brunswick. He was  one of a dozen children born to the late Marie (nee Young) and Joseph Caissie.

Joseph George Caissie always signed his last name as, Casey.  Why or how he adopted “Casey” as the spelling for his last name is a mystery, but he did.  All records indicate that his father's surname was spelled “Caissie.”  The mention of this name difference serves only to ensure his family and friends, that the name difference was detected and there is no grammatical error by this writer.  Regardless, we are referring to the same George Casey, fly tier, rod builder, angler and river guide from Bathurst, New Brunswick.

George started tying flies in 1935.  In the early years George tied flies by the light of an oil lamp.  Frank Lewis, a well-known jeweller in the City of Bathurst, got him started in the art of fly tying.   George studied and practiced tying the different illustrated patterns in books and magazines. As the years passed the quality of his flies got better and better.  His reputation as a quality fly tier began to grow.

During the Second World War George went overseas and served for his country.  When the war ended he returned home and went to work as a lumberman and guide.  He didn't have a lot of education and jobs were hard to come by so he began tying salmon flies to supplement his income.  He became very well know for his fly tying and was soon supplying salmon flies to many people and businesses across the province.  He would tie flies all winter and begin selling them in the Spring.  He supplied vast quantities of salmon flies to W.J. Kent Company Limited, and Eddy Hardware Limited in Bathurst.  In what spare time he had he spent it building fishing rods. 

He eventually got hired on as a watchman for the Bathurst Mill.  Through the mill he made contacts that allowed him the opportunity to do some guiding for special guests associated with the mill's Board of Directors.  He spent most of his time guiding on the Nepisiquit River.  The Nepisiquit River was his favourite for fishing and in 1948 he caught a 24-pound salmon there. 

Joe didn't have a car so he depended on others for transportation to the rivers.  He owned a camp past Pabineau Falls.  He stayed there for quite a few years, but eventually returned to the City of Bathurst, where he retired.  He continued tying flies until a few years before his death in April 1983.      

Joe Casey specialized in tying the hair-wing patterns, but experimented with the fully dressed feather-wing patterns too.  He designed a number of different patterns, but according to his close fishing companion Louis Melanson, George is best known for a fly he originated in 1967, called “Yellow Montreal.  It is best fished during periods when the fish are stubborn and the water low.  It is said that George Casey caught 18 grilse and salmon with his creation during a two-week period.  A secret to the success of the fly is that it must be used in clear water, with smaller sizes being the best producers. Joe sold thousands of salmon flies each year, but the “Yellow Montreal” was not among them.  The fly was not often displayed and was limited in presentation to an inner circle of his close and personal friends.

Joe was a fly tier who would share his fly tying knowledge with anyone willing to listen. 

 

“Green Highlander” tied by Joe Caissie

  

“Yellow Montreal” originated by Joe Caissie and tied by Joe’s friend Louis Melansen from Bathurst, N.B., in 1994

 

Yellow Montreal

 

Tag:                        Flat gold tinsel

Tail:                        Red hackle fibers

Rib:                         Oval gold tinsel

Body:                     Claret floss

Wing:                     Golden yellow calf tail

Hackle:                   Golden yellow, collar

Head:                      Black     

 

 

Fly tied by Joe Caissie from Bathurst, N.B.

Fly tied by Joe Caissie from Bathurst, N.B.

 

Fly tied by Joe Caissie from Bathurst, N.B.