This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Black Gordon.
I found this fly in one of my steelhead fly boxes and thought it would be a good candidate for a TBT Fly. The Black Gordon is a well-known steelhead fly pattern developed on the North Umpqua River in the 1930’s by Clarence Gordon, a great fisherman and guide. Gordon first travelled to the North Umpqua in 1929, returned to fish for several years and finally decide to build the North Umpqua Lodge on the site of Major Mott’s camp.
World War II had a significant impact to the North Umpqua Lodge in the 1940’s. Dams were being built and roads constructed in the area, allowing significant silt and river fluctuations during construction. Obviously, this had an effect on the steelhead in the North Umpqua and Gordon’s North Umpqua Lodge.
Clarence Gordon opened the Steamboat Store where Steamboat Creek and the North Umpqua River converge. Construction crews frequented the store and lunch counter. Eventually, the store moved to where the Steamboat Inn resides today.
A construction company leased the North Umpqua Lodge in 1953 and ’54. Gordon sold his Lodge to the Forest Service in 1955 and moved the Steamboat Ranger Station to the Lodge site.
For more information about the North Umpqua Lodge and Steamboat Inn story, check out the Steamboat Inn website.