Sidney Mason Jarratt
1914 – 2003
Mason Jarratt was born in Kenogami, Quebec, on
April 15, 1914.
He was the son of the late William E. Jarratt of
England and Alice Glenys Sidney, of
He moved to Bathurst, New Brunswick in 1923 and became a graduate of the
School in 1933. In 1978 he retired from the Bathurst Consolidated mill.
Sidney asked an aunt, who lived in
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
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)
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.
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.
favourite fly is the “Silver Grey.” His favourite river is the Southwest
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
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