Purple Peril

November 2015

Purple Peril by Nancy Messmer




	                     Fly Pattern: Purple Peril


            Tyer's Name: Dr. Nancy Messmer
            Date: November 2,2015

    Fly Originator and History: George McCleod invented this iconic fly in the middle 
    of the last century.  He ordered wine-colored feathers to duplicate the Montreal, 
    a favorite Canadian fly of his father Ken McCleod. Since he tied flies commercially, 
    he ordered feathers by the pound.  The company made a mistake and sent a large 
    volume of purple feathers. George turned the mistake into a new fly pattern, 
    one he and a friend named the Purple Peril. It is now considered a classic steelhead 
    fly.  George fished it mostly in the summer, but it is also good for winter fishing. 
    It can be tied sparse as a wet fly or very bushy as a dry fly.

                                How the Fly is Fished
    Suggested line and leader: Floating line for dry fishing, and heavy weight-forward 
    sink tip for fishing wet.
    Depth range: It is fished dry on the surface, or deep when fished wet.
    Suggested retrieve: At the tail end of the drift, straighten the line, and then 
    retrieve hand over hand.
    Comments: It is fished wet, in the early season, and fished dry in the summer 
    and fall. George tied 80% of his Purple Perils on size 6 hooks, with some also 
    on 8's or 4's. 

                                Fly Material
    Hook: #6 steelhead hook, eye down. Can be tied on # 4 or #8. George uses a Mustad-Sproat.
    Thread: 6/0 Uni thread. Usually black. 
    Weighted: No.
    Tag: Flat gold tinsel.
    Tail: Purple Chinese saddle hackle feathers.
    Body: Purple Rayon Braided floss .
    Ribbing: Flat gold tinsel.
    Wing: Buck hair-grayish. Best white tail or mule deer.  
    - For wet fly, use coarse hair in middle of back.  
    - For dry fly, use hollow hair more to the side.
    Hackle:  Purple Chinese saddle hackle feather, barbs about as long as the body.
    Head: Small head with black thread


                                Tying Steps (from George McCleod) 
    1. Starting halfway on hook, wrap thread to hook and tie in tinsel. Secure with Half-hitch.

    2. Tail. Select a bunch of purple hackle barbs about length of body.  Tie these in.
    Repeat with more hackle barbs as needed. Secure with Half-hitch.

    3. Body. Tie in purple floss at the bend of hook. On larger hook, double the 
    floss in a loop. Wrap the floss forward toward the eye, wrapping away from yourself. 
    Stop with plenty of room for hackle and wing. Secure with a Half-hitch.

    4. Wrap tinsel under the tail as a tag, and then over the floss up to the hackle point. 
    Secure with a Half-hitch.

    5. Hackle. Select a purple feather having barbs about as long as the floss body. 
    The portion of the hackle feather to be wrapped should also be about as long as the body.

    6. Preen the barbs so that they are perpendicular to the stem and pull off fluffy 
    feathers. Clip the stem.

    7. Tie stem just in front of the floss body.  Wrap hackle forward toward the eye, 
    about 5 tight wraps. Tie off. Secure with a Half-hitch.

    8.  Wing. Tie on the buck hair wing.  It should be bushy and as long as the body.

    9. Head. Trim buck hair wing at an angle.  Finish head in a taper.

    10. Whip finish head.  Glue a couple of times with "Sally Hansen Hard as Nails."

    11. Enjoy fishing!


            Dr. Nancy Messmer 12/09/15