Steelhead Fly of the week – McLeod Ugly [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Fly of the week – McLeod Ugly

06-16-2006, 08:52 AM
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think this fly proves that adage. The Originator’s of this fly are the father and son team of Ken and George McLeod of Seattle Washington. They are also responsible for some other very affective patterns. They invented the fly in 1962 for fishing rivers in Washington and British Columbia. According to the McLeod’s this fly should be tied on a heavy wire hook and waited.

Hook: Up eye salmon hook.
Tail: Red Hackle barbs, the fluffy ones at the base of the hackle.
Under body: Lead wire.
Body: Black chenille.
Hackle: Grizzly palmered over the body with a few extra turns at the head.
Wing: Black bucktail.
Head: Black

Jim Miller
06-16-2006, 09:28 AM
in the eye of this beholder....
That is a real beauty! :)

thanks for sharing all these wonderful ties!

06-17-2006, 11:47 PM
A favorite fly. My son caught his first steelhead 2 years ago on a sparse McLeod Ugly tied on a light wire hook, and unweighted.

Like many fishers, I modify patterns slightly for my own needs or whims. I've taken to using black marabou for the wing on McLeod Uglies, espcially if tying a heavier pattern. For my heavier flies, I use a TMC 700, which is a very heavy wire down eye hook. I usually reverse-tie my wings on hairwing patterns, but I only do that on loop eye hooks. The TMC 700 has a standard eye, so I switched to the marabou for that hook.

Also, for just a touch of flash, I use sparkle chenille.


06-18-2006, 09:15 PM

I've seen George McLeod fish this fly unweighted during summer on a floating line. He also fishes a dry version of it both as a skated fly and a traditional trout style "dead drift" dry.

One of the best tips I ever received about tying this fly effectively came from my good friend Bob Arnold who told me it fishes best as a wet when tied with very webby hackle from a hen neck or hen saddle. This is especially true when it is tied small (#8-#12). The hen hackle really "livens up" the fly in the water.

06-19-2006, 03:43 PM
Some interesting tips on this one.

Thanks guys!

06-29-2006, 01:23 PM
The "Purple McLeod Ugly" is one of my more effective Bulkley patterns - only changes from the original "McLeod Ugly" is that the body is purple and the tail is pink (I prefer a sparse tuft of pink antron)