Robert Marc Madore
1942-2014


 Robert Marc Madore, son of the late Aline (nee Berlinquette) and Henry Madore, was born in Larder Lake, Ontario on April 2, 1942.

From the time Marc first learned about the sport of fishing he absolutely loved it.  Most of his youth was spent fishing along the rivers and lakes near Timmins, Ontario.

As he got older he turned his attention to fly-fishing and being a perfectionist he wanted quality flies for angling, but believed it would be more cost effective if he tied his own.  The reality is that Marc’s interest in fly tying was drawn by the fascination of the flies and the challenge in making them.  That fascination was so strong that once it made its way into his heart he’s never had a desire to let it go.  Experimenting with materials and patterns, and the challenges that comes with it brings to him an excitement, love and passion that he needed.  “Tying flies is terrific fun and a heck of a great way to relax and relieve stress”, says Marc.

 After finishing high school he attended Scholar Hall College in North Bay, Ontario.  He joined the Armed Forces in 1961 and made his way to a number of places throughout the world.  He eventually settled down in Hamilton, Ontario for a while before coming to New Brunswick

Robert Marc Madore April 2005

 Marc Madore tied his first fly in 1958.  It was a trout fly called “Dark Montreal”.

Back then he used a set of vise grips to secure the hook, or else stuck the hook into a block of wood.  It wasn’t the greatest way to tie a fly, but it worked for a little while.  At that time you could buy little flies tied with small hen feathers for a nickel each.  These little flies were okay for some of his fishing, but in order to get quality flies you had to pay a pretty penny.  

In 1965 he purchased more materials, a vise and other tools and a book on fly tying.  The book he started with wasn’t even an original copy.  It was a photocopy of  “Mastering the Art of Fly Tying.  

Marc began taking fly tying serious in 1967 when he went back to Germany.  There were a lot of fly tying shops there with fly tyers eager to teach the art.  It was also cost effective because the materials were tax-free.  At the same time Marc was an avid shooter, but his interest leaned more toward fly tying.  He chose fly tying as his main interest and set out to master it.  That same year he took a fly tying course and since then he never slowed down in his attempt at accomplishing perfection.

“After playing around with fly tying for a bit I discovered the real secret to tying was in the materials.  It dawned on me that it wasn’t the fly that was a complex problem, but it all had to do with material.  I was convinced that if I could pick up a piece of material, anything from a feather to a shoe lace, and master putting it on the hook correctly eventually I could tie any fly in any book”, says Marc.

Most of Marc’s influence in fly tying came from his very close friend, the late Garnet “Red” Tweedie, from Burton, New Brunswick.  The first time they met was while Marc was in Gagetown, New Brunswick for advanced training in 1975.  “Red” tied flies and fished with Lee Wulff for many, many years.  He was a great man and could tie great hair wing flies, but never sought any recognition.  He could tell I enjoyed tying and that I was very serious about it.  He more, or less, forced me into tying more flies because he refused to sell his flies to me”, says Marc. 

In 1981 Marc made a permanent move to Oromocto, New Brunswick.  He soon hooked up with “Red” again and from 1981 through 1983 “Red” tutored Marc on the many techniques used in tying the Hairwing, Bugs and Bomber flies.  By 1983 he had all but mastered the hair wings and now was seeking a greater challenge.  For years Marc had been enjoying just tying flies for himself and giving a lot of them away to friends.

In 1981 he made the move toward tying feather wing flies with “Red” Tweedie.  “Red” wasn’t all that much into tying the fully dressed feather patterns, but he had knowledge and a repertoire of books with the information for tying them, and this was right up Marc’s alley because he loved reading.  “Red’ encouraged Marc to get started tying the more difficult and intricate patterns.  Marc took the advice and thus his journey began under the watchful eye of Garnet “Red” Tweedie.   

There were others who influenced Marc in dressing feather wing flies. He always respected Poul Jorgenson, but has had lots of fun and enjoyed the many times he tied flies with the Master and World Champion Fly Tyer, Jerome Molloy from Saint John, New Brunswick.  Marc credits Jerome with being the one who polished his skills.  

Between 1975 and 1980 he spent a lot of time in New Brunswick.  The province had the appeal he was looking for in determining where he would one day settle down.  In 1981 he moved to New Brunswick for good.

From 1975 through 1983, while all this learning about fly tying was happening, “Red” also taken Marc under his wing and began teaching him about Atlantic salmon fishing on the Nashwaak, Saint John and Miramichi Rivers.

In 1995, having completed 35 years with the infantry and Airborne Regiment he retired and chose the Village of Blackville, New Brunswick on the main Southwest Miramichi River as his permanent place of residence and where he could pursue his passions, his love of salmon fishing, the art of fly tying and teaching others the art.

When he retired in 1995 he use to tie approximately 12 thousand flies a year.  Because of many things that have taken place in his life over the last few years things have slowed down quite a lot.  “To fish with flies one has personally produced gives great satisfaction.  One of my greatest pleasures over the years is to have supplied most of those flies to the local area.  The demand to tie for other organizations outside of New Brunswick is very tempting, but the satisfaction of having the locals talk about and fishing my flies far outweigh the monitory gain”, says Marc.  

Marc, who is recognized as a professional Fly Tyer in North America and Europe,

never sought recognition as such, but the recognition is certainly warranted when one reviews his accomplishments and talent in the art of fly dressing.  His work has been presented in Fly Fishing and outdoors magazines and books such as Modern Atlantic Salmon Flies and in Shrimp and Spey Flies for Salmon and Steelhead (Stackpole Books).  He is also featured on the Internet at: Castle Arms Fishermen’s Furs and Feathers by Phil Castleman www.castlearms.com  Fly Anglers On Line (FAOL) www.flyanglersonline.com  

Over the years Marc originated a number of fly patterns.  Many of them are tremendous for fishing while others have a much more personal attachment to him. 

One such fly is the “Son of Canada” which he created for his son who was serving with the military in Bosnia.

“Son of Canada” originated and tied by R. Marc Madore

 

Miramichi salmon have fallen prey to many of Marc's own patterns and he has tied custom orders for every major salmon river in the world.  He originated a series of unique shrimp patterns that are highly sought after during the salmon season.

 

       In 2001 Marc was commissioned by the Province of New Brunswick to tie a Classic Miramichi fly when the Miramichi Celtic Pipes and Drums Band went to England and Scotland.  To commemorate the occasion he created the “Miramichi Viking”.  It was presented on behalf of the Miramichi River Valley to Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, The Prince of Whales and many other dignitaries in Scotland.  It has since been presented to President, George Bush and his father, George Bush Sr.  The local newspaper “ The Miramichi Leader” did a special feature on this fly on October 2,

 

“Miramichi Viking” originated and tied by Marc Madore

When Fly Anglers On Line (FAOL) approached Marc for flies and ideas, he teamed up with Ronn Lucas Sr.  They wanted to show folks that nice flies can be created using very inexpensive materials.  The challenge was to get people to think “out of the box”.  It became a great success, competitions were established and many tyers came on line.  However, over the past several years he really started to take issue with the furs and feathers from endangered species of animals and birds that are sometimes use.  Because of this Marc decided to stop using them.  It was a difficult decision to make because of all the beautiful and expensive materials he collected over the years sits in boxes and drawers in his tying room.  He still loves to see the beautiful classic flies tied, but only to be admired.  He has reservations today about using the exotic goodies. 

 

An “Out of the Box” creation by R. Marc Madore

 In 2000 Marc created a number of soft hackle flies he named “Madoreabou Assassin's”.  These flies are unlike any other and are sensational for spring fishing.


 Marc’s favorite feather wing fly is the Canadian Black Dose while his favorite hair wing flies have to be a green butt “Black Bear” and a slightly modified “Undertaker”.

 “Canadian Black Dose” tied by R. Marc Madore

 

In 1993 he caught his largest Atlantic salmon at the Blackville Pool beside Doctor’s Island.  The magnificent fish, which weighed in at 28 pounds, was caught on a fly called “Picasse” tied on a #4 hook.

 

“Picasse” tied by Marc Madore

 Marc maintains he is responsible for popularizing the Chenille Bugs in the Miramichi system.  This was not an easy task, but he finally got an authority on flies for the Miramichi to admit that they fish well, however, the same person refuses to stock the Chinelle Bugs because they are not tied with original material.  “There are problems in  tying the Chinelle Bugs.  The main ones are that you have to double the bodies and tie in the hackle by the butt rather than the tip, or the hackle can break”, says Marc.

“I’ve done a lot of study on the Atlantic salmon.  I am totally focused on it and I gave up all other fishing so I can fish only Atlantic salmon.  I gave it all up so I can learn what makes the salmon tick.  One of the things I learned is that, contrary to popular belief, the Atlantic salmon eats bugs when it enters the fresh water rivers”, says Marc.

According to Marc we are fishing flies that are way to big.  The smaller the fly the more fish he gets.  There are reasons for this.  Marc believes that flies should have a lot more action to them than the flies we produced up to 1996.  The whole world of fly tying can be regenerated if we wanted it to.  If we take a look at the history of some of the older flies, and who tied them and where they were fished, we could get some of it back.  If we look at the “Jock Scott” and the other very Classic flies for example.  Where were they made and where were they fished?  They were fished over thousands of fish, but the Gillies at the time could not fish in those pools, nor afford to fish these places.  Those flies were designed for fishing under ideal conditions. The Gillies had to fish what they would call adverse conditions, some of those classic flies did not work for them, so they produced some of the hairwing flies many are fished today.

Marc feels that it is just as much of an art to tie the fully dressed feather pattern flies by using substitute material.  It doesn’t cost an arm, or a leg, for material and the substitute material can look just as beautiful.  Marc has been teaching a lot of people the art of fly tying and when he sends his students away at the end of the course he tells them to go and practice what they were taught.  Many of his students have come back and told him that when they converted the technique and precision he taught them to tie the feather wing flies into tying their hair wings they now tie a hair wing fly that is twice the fly they tied previously.  In the early 1980’s Marc tied a fly that he was very proud of, so he took it to show Cliff Brown, an older and experienced fly tyer in Oromocto, New Brunswick.  Cliff examined the fly carefully and said, “Marc, it’s a good fly, but remember one thing.  Continue tying flies as you are, but keep that fly and in five years take another look at it.”  Marc did as he was told and in 1985 when he looked at the fly again it was totally different.  After he started tying the feather wing patterns in 1981, his hair wing flies improved tremendously because of the precision and techniques he had to master in order to tie quality feather wing flies. 

It is not easy for a guy like Marc Madore to name his favorite flies.  It’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is.  You couldn’t help but to love them all.  However, in being forced to choose his favorites Marc selects the following:  

 Favorite Tying and Fishing Hair Wings

Canadian Black Dose

Thunder & Lightning (Conversion)

Green Butt “Black Bear”

Undertaker (Modified)

 

 

Favorite Classic Patterns

Mar Lodge

Jock Scott (Loved because it is so complex to be tied properly)

Green Highlander

Dusty Miller

 Favorite Origination

A modified version of a the “Carter’s Bug”, which Jerome Molloy and Bryant Freeman (Eskape Anglers) got him interested in tying.  It’s not an attractive looking fly, but fishes well.

Marc, who is also a registered New Brunswick Guide, takes great pride in helping guests who come to the Miramichi to capture the elusive Atlantic salmon.  He is committed to protecting the integrity of the guide and can be very vocal if he feels that guides are not living up to the expectations of what they are required to do to insure that their guests are properly cared for.  Over the years he has met a lot of guides, some very good, some not so good.  There are the ones who will say, “This is the only way we do it”, even if they are wrong.  Marc is the kind of guy that believes in what is right and he is the first to tell them that this might not be the only way we do it, why not consider another method or technique. It has to be done right, or don’t do it at all.

 

 R. Marc Madore on the Miramichi in the Fall of 2003

Every fisherman has a story to tell and Marc is no exception.  His story begins in 1994 where he was fishing salmon with his good friend Larry Tracy.

“Larry and I were fishing the bottom pool at Guy Smith’s Lodge.  I had been fishing there for about a couple of weeks and my reason for doing so was not to catch fish, but to spend the time understanding the pool because I had to guide there.  After two weeks I had the pool pretty well mastered.  I recorded the information on every aspect of that pool in my little notebook.  I had poled through it a number of times in the canoe.  I knew every rock in it and studied every ripple and current.  I had the information about that pool nailed down as I fished and fished and fished it.

Larry and I were enjoying ourselves and just fishing away.  It was nothing for us to catch between four and ten fish there a day because there was between two and five hundred fish in the pool.  Because we had beat the odds by mastering the pool we knew everything there was to enhance our chances of catching the fish there.

Larry and I were always acting the fool because we were always catching fish and having so much fun doing so.  But the fishermen across the river from us, on the Jardine side, were not as successful.  Oh, they would pick up the odd fish, but Larry and I were hooking them left and right and having a heck of a pile of fun.  We carried on so crazy that about a week later we learned the ten or more anglers on the opposite side of the river thought we were either drunk, or on drugs.  I guess they had every right to think so.

When we go fishing we take turns being each other’s guide and on this particular day I was the acting guide for Larry. 

Anyone who knows Larry Tracy knows that he likes to play with his fish and it wasn’t long before Larry hooked onto about a 12-pound.  He plays the fish for about ten minutes when in a loud enough voice for the fishermen on the other side of the river to hear me say, “Larry, you’re going to play that fish to death.  Its going to take you an hour to bring that stupid little fish in.  Listen, I can go out there, hook a fish and land it before you can bring that fish in, which you have already have a ten minute head start on me.  Larry takes the bait and mumbles something back, so I grab my fishing rod and wade out into the pool and on the first cast I hook a grilse.  This was no more than luck and the odds of doing it again would be so stacked against me that I dare say that it might never happen again, but everything just came together at the precise time.

The fishermen on the other side of the river are watching and listening and here I am with this grilse, that I still have to land before Larry lands the salmon.  I’m determined to play this out as I intended and so I start wrenching the grilse in.  The line is straining and on the verge of breaking, but I won’t give it any slack and know that the line will either hold, or its going to break, because I want to land this fish before Larry land the salmon, no matter what.  That fish is fighting, and fighting hard.  Our friend, Chummy, is watching the contest and I call to him to pass me the net.  No sooner do I have the net and set it in the water when the grilse makes a run and runs straight into the net.  So, here I am with the rod in one hand and the grilse in the net in the other hand.  I also have an eight hundred dollar camera around my neck.

Everything was worked out perfect, so I decided that I’m really going to show off for the crowd.  I wade over to Larry and start telling him that I’m going to net his salmon for him too.  Larry knows that I’m “spreading the bull”, but at the same time brings the salmon in real close to us.  I drop the net and quickly scoop the salmon into the net with the grilse.  Talk about luck., I couldn’t believe what had just happened .  It was almost to good to be true.  I’m happier than all get out and I take into the roaring and laughing and laugh so hard the tears are running down my back.  Larry was looking at me as though I’m crazy while at the same time I start backing up toward shore.  I’m making real good progress toward shore when suddenly my feet flies out from under me and down I go into the river.  Now I’m into a racket because I’m tangled in the net with two Atlantic salmon, I’ve got a fishing rod in the other hand, my waders are full of water and the water is up around my neck and my eight hundred dollar camera is submerged.  I can tell you it wasn’t any joke now.  I start hollering for Larry to come save me and he’s acting just as cool as a cucumber, just standing there watching while I’m starting to drown.  After a pile of whoopin’ and hollerin’ he finally grabs me by the scruff of the neck and drags me out onto the shore.

I will never know, and really don’t care to know, what the fishermen on the other side of that river were thinking when I made the big splash.  I can’t help but still laugh about the matter even though it cost me eight hundred dollars for I ruined a very good camera by showing off and acting the fool.  When I relive that event now I still, somehow feel the loss was well worth it because it was so funny. 

After more than 35 years as a fly fisherman, guide, and fly dresser Marc continues to maintain a life style emerged in the fly-fishing sport.  He is currently living in Blackville with his best friend, his beautiful wife Line.  Marc came out of retirement for a few years to manage the Miramichi River Outfitting tackle shop in Blackville, has now handed over the reins to Cathy Colford, he frequently goes to the shop where he enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills to fly fisherman.

He continues experimenting with flies in his attempt to produce contemporary flies, which are durable and alluring to fish, while at the same time will entice the angler and collector.

 

(Marc’s favorite personal fly pattern)

The Fiddle Head

(Originated and tied by Marc Madore)

Created for fall fishing on the Cains

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