"It's Reub not Rube [also Reuben Wood] as too often incorrectly spelled.
Reuben Wood, 1822-1884, was born in Greenbush, New York, and Syracuse
became his home at an early age. He was an ardent member of the Onondaga
Fishing Club of that city and as often as opportunity afforded, he wore the
badge of that organization.
Although he was raised to the baker's trade in Greenbush and followed it for
a time in Syracuse, he forsook it for the sporting goods business.
In 1881 Reuben Wood won all the distance fly events at the New York State
In 1883 Mr. Wood, who was in London in charge of the American exhibit at
the International Fisheries Exposition by appointment of Professor Spencer
Baird, participated in a fly casting tournament. He took first in the salmon fly
event with 108 feet, and first in the single handed trout fly event with 82 1/2
The Reub Wood fly was first tied by himself to simulate a live insect found in
his favorite fishing locality, Cranberry Lake, in the Adirondacks. The insect
was probably a white bodied moth with gray wings. After he presented some
to his friends, they called the fly "Reub Wood."
The Reub Wood is described as:"
"The Proctor, named after T.P. Proctor, of Utica, dating about 1885, is a
Reub Wood, but with a pale pink body tipped with olive brown.
- Body: white chenille, small red tip at lower end.
- Tail: Brown.
- Wing: Brown.
- Hackle: Brown.
After Mr. Wood's death a monument was erected on Cranberry Lake,
near the north bank of Sucker Creek. The memorial, composed of three
blocks of granite about 12 feet in height above the water at the inlet, was
worthily dedicated by Justice I. G. Vann of the Court of Appeals of
Syracuse. The inscription composed by the Justice read, "In memory
of Reuben Wood, a genial gentleman and great fisherman, who was
fond of these solitudes."
Quoted section from Fly Patterns and Their
Origins, published by Westshore Publications,
Color photo from Forgotten Flies. We appreciate use permission!