Circle Design Incorporated of Winnipeg has designed a set of four domestic rate commemorative stamps, each of which features a specially commissioned fishing fly ”frozen in a nostalgic moment of time” on a painterly Canadian trout stream or salmon river. The stamps are a philatelic tribute to the craft of fly-tying, the revered art of fly-fishing (considered by many as the pinnacle of angling), and to the pristine wilderness, fertile waters and diverse geography that have helped create Canada’s worldwide reputation as an anglers’ paradise.
An article in the January 2005 issue of Canada’s Stamp Details magazine states: ”Combining the exquisite talents of expert tiers with masterly paintings of landscape scenes has netted a stunning set of stamps and the flies depicted in this series are Canadian fly-fishing favourites. The elaborate Jock Scott (for Atlantic Salmon), composed of 57 different elements, originated in Britain during the Victorian era and became a mainstay of early angling in Canada. The Alevin (for Rainbow Trout), was created in the spring of 1939 on B.C.’s Adams River by legendary fly fisherman, author, and artist Tom Brayshaw. Named after the narcotic-laced drink, the Mickey Finn (for Atlantic Salmon) was another Canadian original, created by Charles Langevin in the 19th century and promoted by John Alden Knight, the inventor of the Solunar Tables – it was used on the Jacques-Cartier River in the Quebec City area. And the P.E.I. Fly (for Brook Trout), originally tied from feathers of the now-endangered Red Ibis, is perhaps the earliest Canadian creation, with its origins dating back to descriptions in 1860s literature.”
”The post office has a real responsibility to ensure that Canadian postage stamps reflect the country – its people, history, traditions and cultures,” said Jim Phillips, Director of Philatelic Products at Canada Post. ”These tiny pieces of paper offer so much opportunity to share the best of Canada with all Canadians, and the world.” By using intricately designed commemorative stamps, Canadians can choose to celebrate what makes our culture and society unique.
Canada Post will officially launch the commemorative ‘Fishing Flies’ stamps on 5 February 2005 at the Quebec – Maritimes Fly Fishing Forum in Granby, Quebec. The issue is available in a booklet of eight pressure sensitive stamps (5,000,000 stamps) with descriptions of the flies and their tiers, and also as a special, gummed souvenir sheet that features exquisite underwater photography of trout and salmon (225,000 sheets of 4). A limited edition Official First Day Cover (souvenir envelope with a date of issue cancellation) with a philatelic cancel depicting a rising trout, will be of special interest for collectors. The stamps are also featured on prepaid postcards and decks of playing cards available from Canada Post.
Robert L. Peters, Circle’s founder and design director describes the collaborative process of successful stamp design: ”Creating stamps is fun, but it’s also very demanding. The challenge of appealing to the general public, the critical philatelic community, and the experts associated with any particular topic is considerable – and of course there’s our client as well, Canada Post. From start to finish, it’s really important to work with respect for historic authenticity, with requisite knowledge of the theme, and with an eye to the intricate detail that is revealed by the remarkably fine reproduction standards available – these stamps were printed with an incredibly fine stochastic dot only 10 microns in size! Success involves a thorough and exacting process that calls on the talents of a large team of experts.”
Overseeing the process at Canada Post was Alain Leduc, Manager of Design and Production, Canada Post Stamp Products. The fishing-fly stamps were researched and designed at Circle by a collaborative team of designers: Peters, Susan McWatt FitzGerald, and Celina Blandford; supported by coordinator Carol MacKay and production specialist Domenic Tozzo; with advice from fly fishing authority and expert consultant Bill Charles. Expressive background paintings were commissioned from Alain Massicotte, a talented Montreal illustrator, and expert fly tiers were sourced and commissioned from across the country; Rob Solo in Newfoundland (P.E.I. Fly), Hazel Maltais of Quebec (Mickey Finn), Rick Whorwood from Ontario (Jock Scott), and Brian Chan of B.C. (Alevin). Each delicate fishing fly was scanned digitally at Circle, meticulously close-cut, and then combined with electronic images of the background scenes using image-editing software. Underwater fish photographs for use on the souvenir sheet were provided by marine artist Gilbert van Ryckevorsel in Nova Scotia, and from ex-pat fish ecologist and professor Ernest R. Keeley in Idaho. Colour separations and delicate pre-press refinement took place at Schawk in Toronto, and the stamps were then printed in eight lithographic colours (plus tagging and varnishes) by Canadian Bank Note.
Circle has previously designed commemorative stamps for the RCMP’s 125th Anniversary (including the award-winning RCMP 125th Anniversary Collector’s Set), the 1999 Pan American Games, Canada’s historic role in banning Land Mines (for Canada Post’s Millennium Collection), and the 2001 Christmas issue. Circle’s work has received widespread recognition, has appeared in publications worldwide, and has won numerous national and international awards.
Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post’s website. Stamps and Official First Day covers will be available at participating post offices, can be ordered online by following the links at Canada Post’s website or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA call toll-free: 1-800-565-4362 and from other countries call: +1 902 863-6550.
Read Canada Post’s News Release
Download Stamp Images