Maddin’s Chromatic Circus Peanut

Tied by Wes Bradley

If you are a fellow streamer thrower you probably know who Russ Maddin is and if you don’t you should. Maddin is from the great state of Michigan, a place that has given us other streamer legends like Kelly Galloup and Tommy Lynch.  Maddin developed  one of the most prolific streamers of all time, the Circus Peanut. If you aren’t intimately familiar with this fly I suggest filling a box with them now. The fly that I’m tying is an updated version that Maddin calls the Chromatic Peanut. With all of the new materials available nowadays it’s a lot easier to add bulk without too much weight, and to add new dimensions to a fly that was not possible when the OG Peanut was born. The updated Peanut has been a great producer the past year and with a few tweaks it has become one of my go to patterns when I’m targeting our local trout of the larger variety. This particular color way is one of my favorite brown trout streamers, but I highly recommend tying these in any color your heart desires.


Gamakatsu SP11 sz. 1

Foxy EP Brush 1.5″ Sand

EP Sparkle Brush 3″ Rootbeer

UV Polar Chenille Olive Copper

EP Craft Fur Brush 3″ Brown/Olive

Holo Rootbeer Flashabou

Copper Krystal Flash

Medium Red Lead Eyes

Micro Barred Legs Orange/Black

MFC Yellow/Brown Barred Marabou

MFC Orange/Black Barred Schlappen



Step One: Start your thread, pretty straight forward. I like using Veevus GelSpun or UTC 210 but any stout thread will do.

Step Two: You always wanna measure your tail before you tie it in, using the shank of your hook is the easiest way to do it. I like to leave mine just a touch long on this pattern.

Step Three: The next step is flash, you’ll see I like to tie this one with quite a bit of flash. Thats a personal preference and if you want to make it a little more muted then go for it. The first flash I’m using is the copper Krystal flash. I use about 10-12 strands and split them evenly on each side of the tail.

Step Four: More marabou because I felt self conscious about the size of my tail. 


Step Five: A lot of Flashabou, this fly is really meant to get there attention.



Step Six: I don’t think there are many streamers I fish that don’t have polar chenille somewhere in it. Wrap it all the way up to behind the eye, leave yourself a little room for the last ingredient.



Step Six Extended: Brush the hell out of it.

Step Seven: The final piece for the rear hook is some good ol’ schlappen, I tie mine in near the base of the feather to get some of the really soft fibers. Palmer it up to the eye and the rear hook is done.

Step Eight: Finish it off however you like, half hitches, whip finish, glue, UV, etc.

Step Nine: I like to use wire for my connection, heavy mono will work as well. The most important part about making sure your not gonna lose your rear hook is steady tension on all your thread wraps. Just to make sure I always use a little glue for extra security.


Step Ten: Marabou for the tail and polar chenille body, same as the rear hook.

Step Eleven: More flash, Krystal and Flashabou again. Im using similar colors as the rest of the fly but this a good opportunity to add some variation if you wanted.

Step Twelve: So now to add some bulk to this fly using a couple different brushes. First tie in the root beer sparkle brush, then the olive/brown craft fur brush. When you wrap these up together, aggressively palmer it to make sure fibers don’t get stuck.  Leave a little room behind the eyes for rubber legs.

Step Thirteen: Brush the hell out of it. Brush it out forward, then brush it all back.

Step Fourteen: Just like the flash, tie your rubber legs in.  I like tying in three legs, even on both sides.


Step Fifteen: Im using a foxy brush for the head, Maddin uses a chromatic brush. Im not sure if it matters as long as the color goes with what you are tying.

Step Fifteen Part Two: I don’t need to tell you that cutting brushes with scissors will ruin them quick, get some wire cutters and save yourself the frustration.

Step Sixteen: Brush out the head and finish the fly however you prefer!



The completed fly fishes well on sinking line for faster or deeper situations while a floating line is good for shallower or low water situations. Stay tuned for more ties as we will have monthly tying tutorials each month that complement the time of year.

Tie your own with our Maddin’s Chromatic Circus Peanut Kit!