Ken & George McLeod’s McLeod Ugly Steelhead Fly

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while the McLeod Ugly isn’t the ugliest fly pattern I’ve ever fished, it certainly isn’t what I’d call a cheery fly. Father and son team of Ken and George McLeod of Seattle Washington are the originators of this and many other great steelhead flies(Skykomish Sunrise and Purple Peril). They invented the fly in 1962 for fishing rivers in Washington and British Columbia. It can be tied with a weighted shank or not, but I believe the originators tied the fly almost exclusively weighted. Either way, the fly should be fished near the bottom.

I’ve tied this fly with a standard wing of bear but if you don’t happen to have any bear hair handy, bucktail, fox or even marabou should be a good substitute.

George McLeod Interview –

McLeod Ugly Steelhead Fly Recipe

Hook: Superfly HKHWS #2
Thread: Black 6/0
Tail: Red marabou
Ribbing: Medium copper wire
Body: Black Laser Dubbing
Hackle: Grizzly saddle hackle (webby)
Wing: Black bear


Youtube Channel: Piscator Flies
Video Link: DIY Laser Dubbing
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