Skully Circus Peanut

The Skully Circus Peanut is a slight variation of the original Circus Peanut that is accredited to have been created by Russ Madden. The addition of Fly Men CO Fish Skull is simple but changes the dynamic of this fly pretty dramatically.

Step By Step Instructions Skully Circus Peanut White:

Starting with what will become the rear hook of this tandem fly, secure it in your vise and lock your thread to the hook shank.

Select a marabou feather and measure the tip to match the length of the hook shank. Secure to the top of the hook near the bend of the gape. Trim the tag end material to match the hook shank and secure the the material to the hook.

Tie in two or three strands of Krystal Flash on one side of the hook. Fold the material over and wrap it reward to mirror the opposing side. Trim the flash to match the length of the tail.

Select an appropriate sized hackle feather (Use the Hook Gape for gauge) and secure the tip to the hook. Strip and tie in a strand of Ice Chenille and warp forward covering the entire hook shank.

Palmer the hackle over top of the chenille slicking the fibers back as you go. Secure the feather behind the hook eye and trim excess material. Whip finish and add a small amount of glue to finish the rear portion of this fly.

Insert the front hook in your tying vise and slide a fish skull onto the shank right behind the hook eye. Start your thread behind where the skull rests as a measuring point for later in this tie. Add a small length of intruder wire and tie to one side of the hook shank. Use super glue to to help ensure a locking bond to keep the wire in place.

Once the wire is secured, add a few glass beads as separators to help keep the two hooks apart and maximize articulation. Thread the wire up through the rear built hook/tail of this pattern. Fold the wire over and pass back through the beads. Finish by securing the wire to the opposite side of the hook shank. I typically over wrap and then also superglue this portion to ensure it doesn’t separate when a fish is hooked by the rear hook.

Select another marabou feather and measure the tip to match the length of the hook shank. Tie in in the same fashion as the tail on this fly.

Repeat the process of building the rear fly while leaving room for the skull on the front. Whip finish a large head as the base for the skull.

Use super glue on the the thread base and slide a skull in place. Create a thread dam in front of the skull and glue eyes in place.

Whip finish!


  • Hook: Firehole 811 2-4 front 4-6 back
  • Head:Fish Skull Baitfish Heads
  • Thread: UTC 140 W
  • Tail: Marabou
  • Under Body: Hareline Cactus Chenille
  • Ribbing: UTC Wire Brassie
  • Hackle: Grizzly Saddle Hackle
  • Flash: Krystal Flash
  • Articulation connection: Senyo’s Intruder Wire

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