"This fly was named in honor of Tomah-Joseph, the Indian guide who
put the first one together. Tomah-Joseph lived in a little Indian
settlement, Peter Denis' Point, on the lower of the Schoodic chain of
lakes, and was well known to the anglers who, back in the 1870's
visited Grand Lake Stream, outlet of Grand Lake, in Washington
The landlocked salmon were then and there known as "white trout" and
Tomah-Joseph and his brother, Gabriel Tomah, were sons of Pel
Tomah. Gabriel were Grand Sachem of the Passamaquoddy tribe,
while Tomah-Joseph represented his people in the State Legislature.
The original, made in Indian style by Tomah-Joseph, was presented
to Mr. Edward A. Samuels, who named it. He had Sarah McBride copy
it is several sizes. Mr. Samuels used the pattern successfully for salmon
on the Miramichi, New Brunswick and the Ashuapmouchouan in
Mr. Samuels was born in Boston in 1836. From 1860 to 1880 he was
assistant secretary to the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture. Of his
numberous works, two were With Fly Rod and Camera,
1890, and With Rod and Gun in New England and the Maritime
Provinces, 1897. He served as president of the Massachusetts
Fish and Game Protection Association from 1885 to 1892. He died in
The fly, as tied by Sarah McBride, had a yellow and white floss body,
wound hard, with a narrow strip of silver tinsel. [Silver tinsel
body shown] The tail was composed of yellow fibres from the crest
of the Chinese golden pheasant. The red and yellow hackle was full.
The wings were narrow feathers of the wood or summer duck, with
black and white bars.
Tomah-Joseph's advice was, "Bring plenty wood duck wing fly -
Tomah-Joseph gave one to Charles Woodbury Stevens of Boston,
after whom the Stevens fly was named. The fly became a great
favorite of Mr. Stevens, in his charming book, Fly Fishing
in Maine Lakes, or Camp Life in the Wilderness,1880, he wrote
The Stevens fly, original with J.W. Keene, was body, dark green silk;
wings, the lead colored under-feather of the duck's wing; hackle small
feather of ruffed grouse.
Quoted section from Fly Patterns and Their
Origins, published by Westshore Publications,
Color photo from Forgotten Flies.
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