R. S. DAWES literally had a ‘cottage’ industry in Port Arthur, On. making fishing flies using the brand name Nipigon Devil. After serving in WWll with the 35th Battery of the Canadian Artillery (and helping to liberate Holland), he and his new war bride Adrienne, who was also serving with the Canadian force, moved to Port Arthur, On.
He tied his flies while working in the family business, running the Hill Top cabins on Court St. north. According to his obit, Dawes ‘loved the outdoor life’ and was ‘in his element’ fishing, hunting, camping and exploring back roads throughout the Northwest. The family also had a cottage on Stewart Lake. In 1968, one year before Port Arthur became part of Thunder Bay, he won a prize in the Lake Trout category of the Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival.
The markets for his flies were most likely the Trout fishermen who were after Rainbows in nearby streams and those after the legendary strain of Brook Trout in the nearby Nipigon river. (this is where Dr. J.W. Cook set two world records in 1915- one for his 14lb., 8oz. Brook Trout, and also one for catching two Brook Trout on one line).
In 1956, the family moved to Red Rock, On. (which would date the flies from the end of the war to 1956). where he was the manager for the large Chapples Dept. Store. In 1969, the family moved to Dryden, On. where he became a Justice of the Peace.
R.S. Dawes passed away in Dryden in March of 2008, at age 88.