Steelhead Fly of the week Black Gordon [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Fly of the week Black Gordon

12-28-2006, 01:44 PM
This oldie but goodie 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. It is still fished in many rivers on the west coast and the great lakes.

Hook: Up eye salmon hook.
Butt: Oval gold tinsel.
Rib: Oval gold tinsel.
Body: Rear 1/3: red yarn; front 2/3; black chenille or yarn.
Hackle: Black hackle.
Wing: Black bucktail.
Head: Black

12-28-2006, 07:46 PM

This is one of my favorite ties. I have used it or a modified version for several years all over the Northwest. I am currently using a highly modified B.G. here in Washington.

Hook is A.J. Steelhead Iron gold.

12-29-2006, 07:32 AM

Great looking flies! Did you use Guinea for the hackle on the top one? The bodies on your flies also look much fuller than the one I tied. I will have to make some up like yours and give them a try. Black and red is a great color combo in the great lakes.

Im also interested in your opinion on the A.J. Steelhead Irons. I have not yet used these hooks, but they do look good.


12-29-2006, 11:08 AM

I tie the hackle both ways, black and Guinea hackle.

The dubbing for the body: Red Trilobal. Black Polar dub. Both are Hairline products. Rib is fine gold wire. this dubbing lends itself to the fuller bodies. I trim the body and you will find it looks almost plastic when trimmed. great reflective qualities.

I used this fly all last summer and fall.


12-30-2006, 12:32 AM

Once again it is nice to see one of the old flies. Like Skilly, I've found it to be a good fly for summer fishing in North Puget Sound when tied small on the AJ Steelhead Irons sizes #7 and #9.

I've been using Alex's Steelhead Irons since before he called them that. They are the Daiichi 2161. But since Alec has catalogued them and called them the Alec Jackson Steelhead Iron, I've been getting them from Alec. I especially like them in #9 for tying and fishing Bob Arnold's SPADE.


Very nicely tied. I especially like the ones with the guinea face hackle.

12-30-2006, 06:20 PM
Not often that flytyer misses one, but the Alec Jackson Spey Fly Hook by Daiichi is not the 2161, though this is a great hook for steelhead flies. google and you find it is the 2050 through 2055(gold). The 2061 through 2065 are the heavy wire Spey versions. I have some old Alec Jackson Spey Fly Hooks by Partridge (cs22). Apparently, early on Partridge made some hooks for him, or sold some with the Alec Jackson name.

12-31-2006, 10:41 AM

I like the heavy wire Steelhead Irons in # 5 because they don't bend as easy as the regular wire. The regular wire in the #3 is fine. I had one fish break the light wire hook right in the bend last year. Others would bend if you grabbed the leader trying to keep the fish in the water for realease. Tiemco now has the light wire version of this hook with a different super sharp point. Tiemco 202 SP #6. When you go to the A J #7 in the heavy wire you get a short hank hook. In the light wire #7 you get the traditional length.

Here is a pic of the #7 heavy wire.

01-01-2007, 11:19 PM

You are right about the Daiichi hook numbers for Alec's Spey Hooks; however, for the last 5 years he has been marketing the regular shank, heavy wire Daiichi 2161as the Alec Jackson Steelhead Iron, which is the hook Skilly tied his flies on. If you click on Skilly's photo, you will clearly see that it is not the long shank Alec Jackson Spey Hook.

Alec simply added Alec Jackson Steelhead Iron as a name for the hook and changed the size names to #3, #5, #7, and #9 (from largest to smallest) instead of those used by Daiichi for the 2161.

You are also right about Partridge having made the spey hooks for Alec when he first had them made and offered for sale to the rest of us. He has had them made by Daiichi for him since I think 1990 because of quality control problems and not getting hooks delivered when promised. Since switching to Daiichi as the hook maker/supplier of his spey hooks, he has not had problems with quality control or delivery.

There was also a slight design change in the Alec Jackson Spey Hook when he moved to Daiichi. The point was redesigned and now has a very small dropped point angle, while the Partridge ones have a more pronounced dropped point. This slight change has made a lot of difference in how well his spey hooks hold because it helps prevent the point from rolling over when a fish takes.

Alec now offers the Alec Jackson Spey Hook in standard wire in #3/0, #1.5, #3, #5, and #7; the heavy wire Alec Jackson Spey Hook in #1.5 and #3; the Alec Jackson Blind Eye Spey Hook in #1.5 (it is a terrific very long shank hook for dee flies); the afformentioned Alec Jackson Steelhead Iron; the River Dee Low Water Hook (which is the Bob Veverka Low Water Hook by Daiichi model # 2131) in #3, #5, #7, and #9 (or as Daiichi numbers them #2, #4, #6, and #8); the Alec Jackson Soft Hackle Hook (a very nice, standard shank, Limeric bend, straight eye trout fly hook); and a small saltwater hook for coastal cutthroat flies.