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Old is Good

Posted by Mark Sunday, August 11, 2013

  I have been slowly gravitating back to many of the patterns that were fished in the past on the river. The simple hair wing designs and colors of many of these old school patterns are as effective as any steelhead fly known. Often times on pressured fish, a pattern such as one of the three listed below is just the ticket to get a fish to grab. The fish on the North see a lot of the same style flies doing the same thing, day after day. Think about showing the fish something different every once in awhile. Check them out......


A recluse named "Umpqua" Vic O'Byrne had established a camp a few miles upstream from Steamboat, across the river from an old, abandoned fish hatchery. The spot was known as Hatchery Ford, because it was one of the few places where a pack train of horses and mules could cross the river. O'Byrne built a cabin and fished for salmon and steelhead in grand solitude. He was reputed to have been a military man before he "took to the wilds." He later drowned in what some considered mysterious circumstances, since his glasses and other personal effects were found laid out neatly on his cabin table after his body was recovered from the river downstream. He holds a place in the rivers history and was responsible for one of the many great fly patterns that came out of those early days, the Umpqua Special. 

Vic O'byrnes Umpqua Speacial



The Purple Peril, was developed by Ken McLeod in the 1940's. Ken was a Pacific Northwest Steelhead man of great acclaim.  Though Ken was from Washington state and this pattern was largely fished up there in the beginning, it didn't take long for this fly to reach the NU and has become a successful pattern everywhere it was fished. It has long been a staple pattern on the North Umpqua. This pattern works best in clear water situations where its subtle contrasting colors work their magic best.

Ken Mcleod's Purple Peril    


This is an oldie but a goodie. The Black Gordon was first tied in the mid 1930s by Clarence Gordon for fishing the North Umpqua. Gordon was a guide and lodge manager on the North Umpqua.

Clarence Gordon's Black Gordon


 

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