Lawrence Arthur Green
1908 – 1979
Lawrence Arthur Green was born on
May 21, 1908 at Perth, New Brunswick. He was the son of the late Marjorie (nee
Vandine) and Henry Green.
When he was still in his teens he
moved to Detroit, Michigan where he lived with his half brother who was a
barber. Lawrence’s first employment was at a motor vehicle plant doing
bodywork on the vehicles on an assembly line. He then enlisted in the
Merchant Marines. Even though he was under age he got accepted. When his
mother found out about it she reported him and he was discharged immediately.
He then studied barbering and began working with his brother. Soon after he
met and married his wife Marjorie who during the war migrated to the United
States from Belgium. They moved to Perth, New Brunswick in 1937 where they
raised a daughter and two sons, and lived out the remainder of their lives.
Lawrence who was now a certified
barber opened his own barbershop that same year. It was around 1945-46 that
he added an alcove to the barbershop. It was from there that he operated a
small store selling fishing and hunting licenses and supplies. Lawrence also
repaired and sold fishing rods and their accessories. He was responsible for
getting an awful lot of people started in fishing and hunting. Lawrence
Green’s Barbershop was the place for most people to go if they wanted to talk
hunting and fishing. And talk it they did, by the hour, day after day.
Arthur Green circa 1968
|A few Big ones
||At the Fishing Camp
||Lawrence and Friend
Lawrence started tying flies around
1946. For the first several years he exclusively tied feather-winged
patterns. He patterned his flies after the old English ones. Toward the end
of his fly tying days he tied mostly hair-wing patterns, but during his heyday
he tied and sold hundreds and hundreds of the fully dressed patterns. He was
viewed as a perfectionist when it came to tying flies.
experimenting with flies. He had customers that would go to him with an idea
for a particular pattern, or with a fly pattern used successfully but that
they had lost or broken. He would tie the fly and away the customer would go
to the river. He also enjoyed tying flies for the younger kids who angled in
the area. He got great satisfaction in giving a fly to a kid. He especially
liked designing his own trout flies.
He also experimented with different
materials, dying his own deer hair and substituted the feathers of starlings
to replace jungle cock, which was expensive and hard to get.
In the late 1940’s he
originated a fly called “Simon Red.” It was named after his very close Native
friend the late Simon Paul who lived on the Tobique Reserve. Simon and
Lawrence had a very strong friendship and spent many years fishing together.
The pattern for the Simon Red has long since been forgotten, but Lawrence’s
son Claude Green from Perth recalls that it looked like a “Light Montreal”.
Lawrence would tie
flies all winter and sell them during the summer. Not only did he sell his
own flies at the shop, but he helped other tiers like Jimmy DeWitt, another
well known fly tier who lived in Perth, display and sell flies there too. He
helped other tiers learn the basics of tying. He shared his techniques with
anyone who showed an interest. He also taught his son Claude to tie at the age
Lawrence’s flies were sold to many
of the local fishermen and to countless customers from many different
countries. Few records exist as to who his customers were, but during the
research into the fly tying past of Lawrence Green it was learned that he sold
flies to visiting sportsmen from all over the world. The names of the
customers weren’t important to Lawrence. If the person was an outdoorsman,
fisherman or hunter he was friend. He didn’t even have to have a name to
purchase from Lawrence Green. He didn’t even have to have money for there are
accounts of Lawrence giving away many salmon flies. People who got their
hair cut by Lawrence would be given one of his salmon flies.
Some of the more popular patterns
he enjoyed tying during his era included the “Green Cosseboom”, “Silver
Doctor”, “Brown Hackle”, “Dusty Miller” and “Green Drake”.
Lawrence was an avid angler and
fished many New Brunswick Rivers including the Saint John, North Branch of the
Miramichi, Southwest Miramichi, and North Pole Brook, but his favourite river
was the Tobique. He regularly traveled to Sillikers, New Brunswick where he
fished the Little Southwest Miramichi too.
The largest salmon that
Lawrence ever landed weighed close to 30 pounds. Lawrence’s son Claude tells
the story about the big one that got away on his father. When Claude was very
young he would go fishing with his father in the canoe. Lawrence would get
Claude to raise and drop anchor as he maneuvered the canoe to fish different
spots within the pool. One evening Lawrence wanted Claude to go with him to
fish Ann’s Pool, situated behind Ann’s Hotel. Claude wanted to go fishing, but
his mother wanted him to go to a movie with her. His mother won out and so off
to the movie they went. To get to the theater they had to cross the bridge
overlooking the pool where Lawrence was going fishing. It was nearly dark
when Claude and his mother left the theater. As they were crossing the bridge
on their way home they spotted Lawrence who was still in the pool. They
thought he was on his way home and so they continued on their way. About an
hour after they got home Lawrence came through the door. He was very upset
and started telling them about the big salmon he had hooked and was still
trying to land when they spotted him from the bridge. Lawrence was upset
because he couldn’t get the salmon landed. The salmon was too big to bring
close enough to the beach. After many attempts Lawrence managed to work the
salmon into some deeper water close to shore, but he still couldn’t get close
enough to the salmon because it’s belly would drag in the sand when he tried
to bring it closer. The salmon broke free when Lawrence missed in an attempt
to gaff it. The belly of the salmon made an imprint on the sand as he fled
back into deeper water and freedom. He hooked that fish in early July, and he
always believed the salmon weighed easily 35-40 pounds. The following day he
took Claude to the spot where the fish broke free and showed Claude the belly
mark that was still in the beach.
Lawrence was an avid
hunter. He had a bird dog trained for hunting woodcock, duck and grouse. He
was also an expert Marksman and took part in numerous pistol, rifle, and skeet
competitions, at which he won many medals and trophies. He did some guiding
when he was younger, but limited his guiding for close friends. He was also an
extremely good canoe man.
Green’s Barbershop was situated on
Main Street in Perth. It was built on the top of the hill next to the river.
The back wall of the shop was built so close to the edge of the riverbank that
the wall was supported on poles to keep it from falling over the hill and into
the river. Lawrence could look out the back window and see everything that
was going on in the Bridge Pool. According to some witnesses it wasn’t
uncommon for Lawrence to leave his customer sitting in the barber chair with a
half completed haircut whenever he saw an angler hooked into a big salmon.
Without warning he would make a rush to the river with net in hand to help
In 1952 the government built a dam
on the Tobique River. For the first year they didn’t have a fishway on it, so
the salmon couldn’t get past the dam. According to Lawrence when they dammed
the Saint John River in 1957 everything went to Hell. Damming the river
really bothered him and a lot of anglers lost interest or completely gave up
angling because of it.
Lawrence was a Sportsman. He
supported hook and release and never took more than he was allowed. There
were many times that he released fish and never took the number of fish that
was legal. He did the same thing while hunting and allowed many game animals
to walk away from his sights. Lawrence Green was not a man to abuse his
hunting and fishing privileges. He got very upset if he heard about people
poaching in his area.
Lawrence Green’s love for angling
and the river never wavered throughout his entire life. He tied flies right
up to a short time prior to his death on December 24, 1979. He would also
take his fishing rod and drive to any nearby river or brook to either wet a
line, or just to be near the stream. It didn’t matter if he saw or caught
anything he just loved to be out there.
(Photo and pattern
for “Simon Red” to follow)
Tag: Oval gold tinsel
Tail: Green hackle fibers
Body: Dark green floss or yarn
Rib: Oval gold tinsel
Wing: Gray squirrel tail
Collar: Yellow hackle
tied by Lawrence Arthur Green in the Mid 1950’s
Jock Scott Black Dose
Thunder & Lightning
Nighthawk Red Abby