"Theodore Gordon, noted angler-author, tier of the first
American dryflies, and creator of the fly that bears his
name, [Gordon Quill] was born in Pittsburgh in 1854. He died at Bradley,
New York, on the Neversink, in 1915. The last thirty-five
years of his life were spent on or near the trout streams
of Sullivan County. He was an ardent and expert fisherman
and a most proficient fly tier. He is considered the father
of dryfly fishing in the United States.
He was well known in England, where he had fished, as in this
country and was a valued contributor to the outdoor publications.
Mr. Gordon was tying dryflies on eyed hooks in 1888 or earlier.
With the exception of the Kewell Brothers, of San Franciso,
formerly of London, who were making and selling "Boynton"
floating flies, as "new to the States," Gordon was the then
only souce of such dryflies, except English made flies in some
Mr. Gordon tied his first dryflies from samples and instructions
from Halford. He was the first to urge the use of dryflies
for salmon, which flies he started tying in 1891.
...For the Quill Gordon, he stated the wing should be
a single upright bunch of wood duck barbules because the
natural holds its wings erect and together when at rest,
which indicates a Mayfly. Gordon called this fly a Blue
Quill Gordon. Gordon himself referred to his gold bodied fly
as the Golden Spinner."
"...In 1903 Gordon introduced a cork bodied, feather and
bucktail haired bug. Gordon tied his own dryflies to
suit the water and the season.
Tag: Fine oval gold tinsel.
Body: Yellow floss.
Rib: Fine oval gold tinsel.
Wing: Light slate quills.
Hackle: Light dun hackle.
He was a disbeliever in foreign patterns and believed in
copying our own natural insects as closely as possible. He
carried out his beliefs in his own tying.
Writing in 1906, Gordon said of hackled flies: "If
the size, color of body and legs are right, they (trout)
do not detect the absence of the upright wings, which
are so conspicous to us.""
Credits: Text from Fly Patterns
and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedley,
Published by Westshore Publications. Fly photo and
recipe from Forgotten Flies. We appreciate