Fly of the Month: January 2012- The Purple Peril

January 10, 2012

Fly of the Month:

January 2012

Purple Peril

Hook: Daiichi Tiemco 7999 size 6

Body: Gold Flat Mylar Tinsel

Body: Purple Angora Goat

Rib: Gold Oval Tinsel

Hackle: Dark Hen Hackle (or Purple)

Wing: Squirrel, brown bucktail or woodchuck


This month South Sound Fly Fishers has declared it to be Steelhead month. We have provided opportunities for steelhead education, steelhead fly tying and best of all steelhead fishing.


It only stands to reason that the fly of the month be a steelhead fly, and a good one at that. The Purple Peril is a fly that has stood the test of time. It was originated by a man named Ken McLeod in the 30’s on our very own Northwest rivers.


The Purple Peril is a rather simple fly, and has the same style as many other northwest hair wing patters. It is also a smallish fly with a sleek profile. Sometimes when the water is low and clear a big gaudy, bright colored fly will actually scare fish away. This is when you break out your small dark flies.


To tie the Purple Peril, start by giving the fly a wrap of gold tinsel a slight way past the tip of the hook. Here you can add a tail or do without. Now tie in the oval tinsel and start dubbing your goat hair. The classic profile is a cigar shape but a tapered profile looks good as well. All that is left is the wing and a couple wraps of hackle. Keep your wing sparse because it is easy to go overboard here. Also be sure to trim the wing butts at an angle to make it easier to form the head. That is one way to make sure you get a nice small even head.


Again, this fly is pretty easy to tie, but can be effective at the right times. Put a few in your box for those occasions and have fun.