Give em the Magoo [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Give em the Magoo

06-23-2005, 10:06 AM
Author and friend Rick Kustich recently tagged along on one of our Salmon fishing trips to the Gaspe. He asked what flies he needed for the trip and of course we gave him a good list. Now while Rick is a fairly good fly tier he does tend to be a procrastinator, usually waiting until the last moment before cranking them out in Caffeine enhanced all-night tying binge.

On this particular trip I think he waited a bit to long and decided to cut some corners. He took a look at the Magog Smelt and said to himself “what can I leave out on this fly to make it faster to tie yet not lose its fish catching properties”. Since we usually use Nickel-plated AJ hooks the silver tag and body were obvious choices to start. And if you’re not putting on a body why bother with a rib or tail. Hell, there are lots of salmon flies that don’t even have tails. The wing he left as is, white, yellow and purple. He decided to nix the peacock herl topping however. The red throat? What the hell, he left that. But the teal sides, who needs them? And last but not least, the jungle cock eyes. Had to keep them, it is a salmon fly after all! Rick’s brother Jerry dubbed the resulting fly the Magoo.

Cut to the fall zone on the Dartmouth River. We had about 30 fish in ladder pool, not sure about the other pools. They are hard to see into, but they defiantly had some fish. The 2 gentlemen we shared the zone with left early without catching any fish. I got a few tugs with my completed Magog Smelt and a few other flies but hooked nothing. And Rick with his Magoo? He hooked one large 20lb fish and landed 2 bright smaller fish to finish the day early. No Justice. :mad:


06-23-2005, 10:27 AM
And Rick with his Magoo? He hooked one large 20lb fish and landed 2 bright smaller fish to finish the day early. No Justice. :mad:


I've seen low water ties, but this is the first "no water" tie I've seen :hihi:

I don't know if he tied this one, or if you did, but the skill and quality are obvious. It's beautiful.

06-23-2005, 10:35 AM
Thanks Philster,

I had to tie this one because he didn't even give me one.

Can you belive it. :(


06-23-2005, 01:19 PM
The Magoo. I like it! It will be in my box next year.


06-23-2005, 06:31 PM

His reducing the fly to just a wing, throat, and cheeks reminds me of Gartside and how he tied his streamers with just a few wraps of marabou and a duck flank throat with or without j.c. cheeks. Just like the Magoo, no bady, tail, ribbing, or wing topping.

I don't think there are too many folks who know this about Bob Arnold and another local steelheader, Russ Miller. They have been tying summer steelhead flies like this without bodies, tails, ribbing or hackle for years. They take a nickle or gold plated hook, tie some marabou on top and bottom (purple, black, red, dark blue) and then whip finish the "fly". No fuss, not muss and nearly anyone can tie them. As Arnold puts it, "Pedestrian tyers like myself or beginning tyers can tie all the wets they need to catch summer steelhead by doing this." They are usually tied in a single color but will add a 2nd color it the mood strikes them (purple/black, red/dark blue, purple/blue, black/orange, red/orange/ red/black).

06-30-2005, 11:17 AM
Lovely fly, and great tale to go with it! I will tie up a few Magoo's, for sure,,,, I'm a firm believer in the "less is often more" approach to flies for Atlantics, after consulting with the fish for a number of years :) Thanks for sharing,,,