Sidney Mason Jarratt

1914 – 2003

 

          Sidney Mason Jarratt was born in Kenogami, Quebec, on April 15, 1914.  He was the son of the late William E. Jarratt of Maidstone, Kent, England and Alice Glenys Sidney, of Lincoln, New Hampshire.  He moved to Bathurst, New Brunswick in 1923 and became a graduate of the Rothesay Collegiate School in 1933.  In 1978 he retired from the Bathurst Consolidated mill.

          In 1939, Sidney asked an aunt, who lived in New Hampshire, to send him some flies for trout fishing.  She arranged, through an angling friend, for some flies to be sent to him.  The following Christmas Sidney received a Herters fly tying kit.  The kit contained a note saying:  “Why don't you tie your own?”  Tying flies was more frustrating than Sidney expected and, after a couple of weeks, he nearly "pitched it."  Things eventually started going right and he began to enjoy tying trout flies.  Four years later he began tying salmon flies. 

Master Fly Tyer Sidney Jarratt (May 1994)

 

The beautiful colors of the classic patterns fascinated him, but finding someone to teach him the art of dressing the Classic patterns was not easy.  The tiers of the fully dressed patterns were very secretive and reluctant to share their knowledge.  Around 1943, or 1944 he traveled to Atholville to see a couple of well-known tiers, who had five or six people tying for them. 

          At first Sidney was greeted very warmly, but not long after they became very leery and figured Sidney was their competition.  When Sidney stopped by for a visit, they stopped tying.  Eventually he just stayed away from them.  Most of what he knew about tying was learned through trial and error.

          Sidney's favourite fly is the “Silver Grey.”  His favourite river is the Southwest Miramichi or the Little Southwest Miramichi River.   

          When Sidney ventured into the commercial end of fly tying, he began doing business with William Mills and Sons from New York.  He was only allowed to make 60 flies a week because of export restrictions.  He was only paid seventy cents for each fly even though some flies took an hour to make.  The venture wasn't worth it financially and tying became a chore.  As of 1994 he preferred to tie flies for friends and neighbors, and enjoyed doing so at his own pace.

                      

Dusty Miller tied by Sidney Jarratt in May 1994

 

Over the years Sidney has been a special feature in numerous magazines and newspapers devoted to fly tying. Television also played a part recording and broadcasting specials on Sid Jarratt as a New Brunswick fly tier.  He is also part of the collection of fly tiers featured in Where The River’s Meet “The Fly Tiers of New Brunswick,” displayed throughout the province. 

Because of Sidney Jarratt’s love for the preservation of the fly tying art, and his love for the Atlantic salmon, he contributed so generously to many association fundraisers for these causes. Many of his beautiful flies have been donated for fundraising across the country.  

Sidney practiced his craft for more than 60 years and even into his 80’s, he continued to tie flies that are on par with the best in New Brunswick.

On October 23, 1997, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, New Brunswick Salmon Council honored Sidney Mason Jarratt for his contribution to the sport of angling for Atlantic Salmon in New Brunswick by having distinguished himself in the art of Crafting and Designing Atlantic Salmon flies.  Sidney was presented with an award at the 6th Annual Atlantic Salmon Federation, New Brunswick Salmon Council Dinner in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

In 1998, the NB Film Co-op produces a one-minute documentary on Sydney Jarratt heralding him New Brunswick's oldest, living professional fly tyer at that time.  The film recognizes him as one of fly tying’s leading masters of the old classic Atlantic Salmon fly patterns.

Sidney Mason Jarratt passed away October 11, 2003.

  

 Green Highlander tied by Sidney Jarratt in May 1994

 

 Spey Fly tied by Sidney Jarratt in 1995

 

 Durham Ranger tied by Sidney Jarratt in 1994

             

Thunder and Lightning tied by Sidney Jarratt in 1994