The Magus Salmon Fly

Needle Tubes and Tube Flies

Fly tying Step by Step

by John Gray


The Magus

The Magus

I first used the Magus on the River Endrick in 1989, where it caught quite a few salmon and sea trout. Since then, the fly, in its various incarnations, has taken a number of salmon from rivers as varied as the Spey, Earn, Ruchill, Teith, Allan, Alness, Borgie, Nairn, Dulnain, Dee, Tyne and probably a good many more. Intended originally as a tenuous representation of the prawn, Parapandulus richardi, as illustrated in "Salmon Fishing" by Hugh Falkus, the Magus has been modified over the years. The most noticeable change has been the substitution of fluorescent floss for the jungle cock cheeks but the fly retains the mobility and translucence I look for in a salmon fly, with a touch of colour and a bit of flash thrown in for good measure. I have recently adapted the dressing as a needle tube fly, substituting the very mobile dyed Arctic Fox hair for the original squirrel, with or without a few strands of Krystal Flash.

How to tie the Magus


Single, double or treble salmon hook (size 8 Ken Sawada double shown)
Black tying thread size 8/0 or 6/0
Squirrel tail dyed magenta or light claret
Crystal hair
Silver wire or oval tinsel
Flat silver tinsel
Fluorescent pink or magenta floss
Natural squirrel tail
Cock hackle dyed magenta or light claret to match tail colour
Cock hackle dyed black.

Click on the images below to enlarge

Step 1

Tie a bed of tying thread as shown.

Step 2

Tie in a bunch of dyed squirrel tail fibres in magenta or light claret.

Step 3

Tie in a strand or two of crystal hair.

Step 4

Tie in a length of silver wire or oval tinsel and wind thread back towards the hook eye.

Step 5

Tie in a length of flat silver tinsel.

Step 6

Wind the tinsel to the tail and back up again and tie in.

Step 7

Wind a rib of wire or oval tinsel over the flat tinsel.

Step 8

Trim wire and tie in a length of fluorescent pink or magenta floss as shown.

Step 9

Fold the floss back and trim to the desired length to form a wing.

Step 10

Tie in a cock hackle dyed magenta or light claret.

Step 11

Wind three turns of hackle.

Step 12

Trim the first hackle and tie in the black hackle in front.

Step 13

Wind two or three turns of the black hackle in front of the magenta hackle and trim the surplus hackle.

Step 14

Tie the hackles back to the desired angle, whip finish and apply two coats of varnish to the head.


The Magus 1989 to 2012

The evolution of the Magus over twenty years

The Magus 1989

The original fly was dressed as shown here with jungle cock under the top black hackle.

The Magus 1989


The Magus 2000

Fluorescent Neon Magenta floss has been substituted for the jungle cock and a couple of strands of Krystal Flash added to the tail, along with an underwing of natural grey squirrel in the bigger sizes.

The Magus 2000


The Magus 2012

The Magus may be dressed simply on a short Needle Tube, in this case using mobile Arctic Fox as a wing/tail in appropriate colours of magenta and black, leaving the silver tube undressed. Krystal Flash may be added if desired. A fluorescent pink hackle has been substituted here for the fluorescent floss wing behind the two front (magenta and black) hackles.

The Magus 2012


Book - Sea Trout Nights


 Salmon Spinhead


HMH Tube Fly Tool



Grays of Kilsyth

Salmon Flies

Trout Flies

Fly Fishing Knots

Salmon Fishing Scotland

Trout Fishing Scotland

Sea Trout Fishing

Sea Trout Flies

Tube Flies

The Tube Fly Shop


 Slim stainless steel salmon and sea trout flies



Online Fly Shop



needle tube fish ] The Spinhead ] The Needle Fly 2 ] Bead Tube Flies ] The Needle Fly 3 ] Grays Needle Tubes ] Needle Tube Flies ] Micro Tubes ] Tube flies ] sea trout fishing ] Linked Tube Flies ] Flug ] Endrick Sea Trout ] An August Night ] The Sea Trout Fisher ] The Muckle Saumon ] stocking ] religion ] Brown Trout or Sea Trout ] [ Magus fly ] sea trout decline ] sea trout river ] Memories ] needle shrimp ] fly lines ] spey cast ] spey sea trout ] hill walk ] highland river ] corrie loch ] grays loop ] wading stick ] Inverness fishing ] Aberlour Fishing ] Sea Trout ] Avon sea trout ] steelies ] cascade tube flies ] steelhead needle tubes ] tube fly vise ] blackback tube flies ] catch and release ] salmon fly hooks ] Spey salmon and sea trout ] needle tube fly or waddington ] fiery cascade tube fly ] black & silver tube fly ] scottish shrimp flies ] river spey photographs ] wee monkey tube flies ] Irish shrimp tube fly ] cascade step-by-step ] spring tube flies ] River Nairn ] Mallard & Silver Fly ] black & yellow tube fly ] River Dulnain ] sea trout fly ] Loch Fly ] Willie Gunn tube fly ] black & pink fly ] upside down flies ] magus shrimp fly ] dusty miller fly ] spring green tube fly ] beltra badger tube fly ] minitube flies ] snake tube flies ] summer shrimp flies ] night tube fly ] skye ] lammas shrimp fly ] salmon tingler ] salmon shrimps ] salmon fly depth ] ruddy buck tube fly ] salmon needle fly ] stoats tail ]

Trout and Salmon Fishing