1899 - 1988
William Christensen was born in New Denmark, New Brunswick on
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
and tied by Vinal Christensen
Grizzly King Folleys Fancy
Rat Yellow Drake
and tied by Vinal Christensen
Christensen’s version of the “Minister’s Dog”