Vinal William Christensen

1899 - 1988

 Vinal William Christensen was born in New Denmark, New Brunswick on September 30, 1899.  He was the son of Johanne Marie (nee Jensen) and Jens Peter Christensen.  He lived in New Denmark with his wife Margaret Louise Paulsen until 1980 when they moved to Saint John, New Brunswick.

In his early life he owned a farm.  He eventually went to work as a supervisor for the New Brunswick Department of Public Works.  In 1945 he stopped farming and went to work as a fruit and vegetable inspector for the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture.  He worked at this from his office in New Denmark until 1956 and then he was transferred to Grand Falls where he worked until his retirement in 1964.

Vinal was an active member of the New Denmark School Board and was instrumental in getting the New Denmark Historical Society Museum started.  He also loved to hunt, gardening and fishing.  He spent many early mornings on the river

 

Vinal William Christensen tying flies in December 1962

 Vinal was a terrific fly tyer.  Tying flies started out as a hobby in the early 1950’s.  By the 1960’s and into the 70’s and early 80’s the hobby had turned into a little sideline business.  Had it not been for his failing eyesight Vinal Christensen, without a doubt, would have tied flies till the day he died.

Vinal had about fifty different fly patterns that he tied and sold.  For many years Vinal averaged sales of several thousand flies each year to anglers.  He was capable of tying most fly patterns, but he was also known for originating some of his own, which were very successful fish takers.  One of his creations is a fly called “Red Pine Special”, which he tied and named while on a fishing trip on the Restigouche River in Northern New Brunswick.  At the time you were allowed to keep four fish and one morning Vinal took his limit on this fly, while the other anglers in the pool couldn’t get a fish to look at a fly.  He also originated the “Lester Special” a fly he named after his good friend, Lester Jensen from New Denmark.  He even created his own version of the “Minister’s Dog”.  Vinal sold about seven to eight hundred flies each year from Carl Parson’s Barber Shop in Plaster Rock, but he mostly sold flies from his home.

Vinal Christensen had many talents.  He was also an artist, something he began to do just after he retired.  His paintings were sold across Canada, but most of them were purchased in the United States.  At the age of eighty he was still painting, but eventually surrendered his painting to failing eyesight.  Needless to say, Vinal Christensen was not pleased when he could no longer fish, hunt, paint, or tie flies, because he was always very involved and a busy person with so many talents.

    
These 3 paintings by Vinal reside in Buzzards Bay, Massachussets at the home of his Nephew, David Christensen, Please click on them for a larger view.
Thank you David for allowing us to show the fine paintings by your uncle.

 

Vinal, who loved life, was a true sportsman and he believed in fishing by the rule.  In 1977 the local paper in New Denmark wrote an article about Vinal Christensen in which they recognized his contribution to his community and to fly tying.

Vinal passed away on February 12, 1988 at the age of eighty-nine.

 

Flies tied by Vinal William Christensen circa 1975
 

Brown Fairy    Jock Scott
Black Dose

 

“Red Pine Special”

Originated and tied by Vinal Christensen

 

 

Grizzly King          Folleys Fancy

 Rusty Rat          Yellow Drake

 “Lester Special”

Originated and tied by Vinal Christensen

 

 

Vinal Christensen’s version of the “Minister’s Dog”