Steelhead Fly of the week Cummings Special [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Fly of the week Cummings Special

02-23-2007, 12:39 PM
As word has it this fly was developed in the 1930s by Ward Cummings and Clarence Gordon in Oregon. Cummings was long time guide for author Ray Bergman.

Hook: Up eye salmon hook.
Rib: Oval gold tinsel.
Body: Back 1/3 yellow floss, front 2/3 claret wool.
Wing: Brown Bucktail.
Collar: Claret hen hackle.
Head: Black

02-25-2007, 12:05 AM
Hey, Charlie,

Another great realization of an old standard.

Here's some corroberation from Trey Comb's _Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies_, 1976, p. 79:


[Dressing as above. "Cumming's [sic.] Special noted as having jungle cock shoulder."]

"The fly was given birth one night through the brainstorm of two fly addicts and a quart of Ballantine Scotch," says Ward Cummings. Clarence Gordon was the other "fly addict", and together they cranked out a pattern that has remained an Oregon steelheading favorite for more than thirty years.

"The early 1930's found Cummings guiding on the Umqua, an occupation that allowed him to join permanently with steelheading's Golden Age. For this depression decade featured the final development in our unwavering affection for four storied rivers: California's Eel and Klamath, and the Rogue and Umpqua in Oregon.

"The Umpqua, which Cummings worked for his employment, had already felt local angling's keenest pursuits since the 1900's. Its steelhead had been seasonally diagnosed for fly fishermen--a summer run that split into June and September peaks. Fame of the North Fork's three dozen exquisite fly casting miles was then broadcast to an eager trouting fraternity, and the river was elevated to national prominence. To further invite anglers were wonderful fishing camps that flanked this river's passage near Steamboat and served their clientele a heady diet of steelheading mystique.


"[Clarence] Gordon's throughtful administration of a camp situated with such an angling advantage drew fishermen from all parts of the country. When Ray Bergman, author of _Trout_ and one-time fishing editor of _Outdoor Life_, matriculated west for a course in steelheading, he sought out the North Fork and succeeded under the tutelege of Clarence Gordon."

Cheers, and keep 'em coming,


02-25-2007, 05:27 PM

Bergman included this fly in his book on trout fishing, TROUT as a very useful fly for steelhead.