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Mar Lodge by Bob MacDonad 2011-09-05
Excalibur - designed & tied by Bob MacDonald
Almost There - designed & tied by Bob MacDonald
Macaw Fly designed & tied be Bob MacDonald in 2009
Woody designed & tied by Bob MacDonald in 2009

I reside in the small community of Mulgrave, Nova Scotia, Canada, with my wife Angela and two children Jill and Luke.


I began tying flies in 1974 at the age of 14 when my brother Gary purchased a tying kit for me as a Christmas gift. It was a natural progression for me because my dad grew up in a fly fishing household. His father, Len was an avid fly fisherman and rod builder and grew up pursuing  sea-run brook trout in and around the streams of Antigonish County. Dad’s brother, Len B. Mac Donald, was also an avid fly fisherman, fly tyer and rod-builder, also loved the sea-trout fishing in the area, but branched out to fly fish for salmon in subsequent years.


After a month or two of trying to figure out the ins and outs of applying the different materials to hooks, my dad took me to Uncle Len’s house for an afternoon of tying. This created a foundation of my tying style as well as a pattern preference that is still with me today.


In the early eighties, I started fishing with my cousin Leonard MacDonald, (son of Len B.) who added his thoughts about flies and fly design. Leonard has been my mentor both as a fly fisherman, best friend and my fishing partner for the last twenty-five years.


Early on in my tying career, I focused on the big brook trout that were present in some of the lakes around the Mulgrave area. These trout were feeding on smelt that were present in the lakes, so naturally I focused on “bucktails and streamers” to represent the local forage fish. I progressed to “attractor patterns” and ”nymphs”, then to trout dry flies, as I got accustomed to the different hatches that were present in the local lakes.


At the same time, I began reading about Atlantic salmon and wanted to try my hand at tying and fishing for these wonderful fish. A trip was planned for the Margaree River in the summer of 1980. After catching two grilse on that first trip, from that point on, I was hooked on Atlantic salmon flies & fishing.


A couple of years latter I was introduced to the sea-run brown trout of the Guysborough area and focused on tying forage fish imitations to fool them. Brown trout are very selective, so this educated me about material selection and fly profile when tying flies as baitfish imitations. Also at the same time I began tying other saltwater imitations for striped bass found in the area.


During my entire fly fishing career, I was always intrigued by the complexity and beauty of traditional Atlantic salmon flies.  This led me to my latest tying endeavor, which has been tying “Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies” which has become very exciting and challenging for me. Under the careful eye of Bill Carpan & Jim McCoul, these two gentleman have been quick to point out flaws in my flies, while giving helpful hints to overcome the many pitfalls that can occur. Also, I post flies on the “Classic and Artistic Salmon Fly Forum” to get critiqued and pointers from the many masters around the world.


Tying classic Atlantic salmon flies opens up another hobby in itself, which is the collecting of the many materials needed to tie these flies. Although many of the materials called for in the patterns can no longer be obtained, substitutes have been developed through different feathers and dyeing processes to fill in the voids.


I hope you enjoy all the flies on this site, and that all of you enjoy this journey of fly tying & fly fishing like I have.



Green Highlander 4/0 tied by Bob MacDonald
Dusty Miller - Tied by Bob MacDonald in 2009
River Magic's Green Highlander Workshop, 2008
Bob Macdonald, left, and Peter Hill

Bud's Reject - Designed & tied by Bob MacDonald in October, 2009
Blue Bayou designed & tied by Bob MacDonald in 2009
Stillwater Slim - a 3/0 fly designed & tied by Bob MacDonald in 2009
Salmon River Sunrise - designed & tied by Bob MacDonald in 2010
Madame Brenda - A 3/0 fly designed & Tied by Bob MacDonald in 2009
To & Fro - Designed & tied by Bob MacDonald, 2009