Pattern Squid patern?


Active Member
What size fly are we talking? I like a variety of materials depending on size and use, current flow (heavy or light), etc. In general If I'm tying one 4 to 8 inches and I'm in a hurry I'll often just use schlappen. 4 to 8 feathers depending on the fullness I want and how broad the feathers are but on big flies if I feel I need a stronger profile I'll go over that number. I'll sometimes tie in a longer grizzly hackle on each side, but that's more for the fisherman.

I also use a combination of yak hair, ostrich herl, and hackles. sometimes just two of the three (any combination works). I don't want it too full unless I'm fishing in the rips so actually kinda sparse most of the time for open water.

For flies under four inches I'm using yak hair and ostrich, or for really tiny ones sometimes just ostrich with a super short sparse bucktail underwing to keep things from getting matted or stuck together.

I personally don't go for realism in movement because most squid flies concentrate on tentacle movement while if you watch a squid swim they aren't moving their arms around that much. They oscilate the fins on their bodies. Nice squiddy profile is all you need in my experience.

Here's a freshwater river pattern I tie for steelhead. Yak and ostrich.


Active Member
That small I would tie in a ball of some kind of dubbing, or crystal chenille at the bend of the hook, and then distribute ostrich evenly around it. It won't be the most durable fly on the planet but it'll catch any fish willing to hit a squid pattern:thumb:
OK, I lied. My ostrich is MIA and I'm out of eyes. I just tied one with peacock and white hackle. I added lead wire and painted wood eyes. After I finish the eyes, I'll post a picture of it.

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
This is the handout of a tube squid that I recently tied at Orvis.



THREAD Clear Mono
WEIGHT Normally tied on 1/8” HMH plastic tube. Can be tied on brass tubes with lead wrap, called the .38 Special.
BODY Polar bear FisHair. Pearl Krystal Flash. White medium everglow piping. Pearl Glow in the Dark Flashabou. Pink or Purple Krystal Flash. I sometimes add plastic “tentacles”
HEAD 5/32” Witchcraft eyes in gold or silver.

Cut tube to length of 1.0” to 2.5” depending on desired size. I fish this fly in sizes ranging from 2.5” to 5.0”. Add junction tubing.
Tie in a sparse bunch of Pearl KF on top of the tube about 4” long. Add similar 3” bunch on both sides.
Tie a sparse tapered bunch of 4” FisHair on top of the tube. Continue to add sparse bunches around the tube, leaving only the bottom open.
Optional, I tie in 8 rubber legs (tentacles) around the top of the junction tubing.
I also add 8 pieces of glow-in-the-dark flashabou. Tie off the mono.
Cut mylar piping long enough to cover the body and extend about an inch past the back of the tube. Take the piping liner and tie it in over the top of the body to create bulk. Cover the body with mylar piping. Wrap the clear mono over the piping back to the head of the squid.
Tie in a dozen pieces of Pink or Purple Krystal Flash centered over the top of the body extending the the end of the tentacles. Wrap with mono. Add two large eyes.
Tie off and coat the body with epoxy.

This fly measure 2.5” to 5” depending on time of year. It represents an immature squid. I have caught Coho, Coastal Cutthroat and Blackmouth with this fly. At Tofino, the Calamarko resulted in a hookup with a bright 15 pound Coho. The tube slid about three feet up the leader. Twenty feet from the boat with the first fish now on the surface, a second Coho slammed the tube and held on until he got to the boat.


For squid tentacles I tie on a tuft of tan marabou, followed by two tan hackle tips tied over the top. I like the action of marabou in the water and the two tan hackles imitate the actual tentacles.