Step 1. To create the Magic Squid I start by attaching large bead chain eyes to the back of the hook shank, just before the bend; not for weighting, but to stabilize the fly and keep it from twisting during the retrieve. They’re secured to the back of the hook-shank and painted black before any feathers are worked into the fly.
Step 2. Long, narrow hackle feathem are used for the long tentacles
because of their perfect shape and superb action, which persists even between strips as the fly is retrieved. These are secured to the top of the hook, just behind the eyes. Two feathers are all that are needed; any more is less.
**Step 3. **The fluted short tentacles are also tied just behind the eyes, around the long tentacles. These feathers are tied in short, both for profile appearance as well as to prevent the fly from fouling during the cast. The right feathem have curl to them and they are fastened to the hook so that they splay outward and pulse with every strip, much like a tarpon fly.
**Step 4. **The right feathem for the body are very webby so that when palmered each fiber remains long and free to move; schlappen is best. Less webby feathem produce a less effective, bristle-like body. When the body is done right it has a wild, unruly look to it – never neat and clean. The long shank hook provides ample length to build the palmered body.