When I was looking through the book, "The History of Fly-Fishing in Fifty Flies," and came across the Matuka Streamer I knew that it would not only be a fun pattern to tie by be effective as well. Combining the Old School English style of tying flies with the New Zealander twist should be a win win. I really enjoy learning about the history of the flies I tie and that this one is named after the bird, The Brown Bittern, which in Maori is "Matuku." The use of this birds feathers is banned to avoid them becoming extinct, but luckily we have wonderful chicken breeders who are coming up with awesome substitutes and there are new materials to add a modern twist as well.
I tie mine on a smaller hook, a 4XL due to the size of bait fish where I would typically use this fly in my region. Simply adapt the feather and overall proportions to adjust for this shortened fly. It is almost too simple of a fly to have a 20 minute video, but its in the details that matter. The number one complaint I have heard or seen is getting the ribbing to look 90% perfect. This is just something that takes time and patience. Using good hackle and a bodkin will aid in the process. When using a wider tinsel I have sometimes cut the barbs where I cross through to make it look pretty, but I dont think the fish care at all. Tie some up in your favorite bait fish imitation colors and hopefully they pierce some lips for you as well.
The Recipe: Hook: Random 4xl I don’t know
Body: #semperfliflytying 400d floss ribbed with Semperfli oval tinsel
Hackle: #Whitingfarms Freshwater Streamer in Silver badger
Throat: white bucktail
Head: #whitingfarms American hackle and
Eyes: jungle cock