10 Minute Ties

10 Minute Ties

Large Matukas: Big browns at twilight and dusk? Here's the fly...

  • By: A. K. Best
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  • Hook: Mustad 79580 size 2
  • Wire: Diameter to match hook shank
  • Thread: Danville's black Monocord
  • Rib: Thin gold braid
  • Body: Tan yarn
  • Wings: Two pair of webby, mottled-brown Cocque de Leon butt feathers
  • Collar: One mottled Cocque de Leon butt feather
I occasionally enjoy going to the stream in the evening to look for deep holes and drop-offs where I'll fish a large, weighted Matuka in hopes of fooling a big, cannibalistic brown trout. I usually take a 6- or 7-weight, 9-foot rod and fish a 7-foot leader with a 3X tippet. It's a meat-and-potatoes set up, but it's what I need if I have any hope of landing the big fish that come out in the evening looking for a mouthful. I prefer a mottled-wing Matuka-style fly for this kind of fishing because the wing of the Matuka is lashed to the hook shank, preventing the wing from separating from the weighted body of the fly. Some Cocque de Leon rooster saddles have a few feathers at the butt of the pelt that are perfect for this and make beautiful Matukas.

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  1. Place a size 2 streamer hook in the vise and wrap lead-substitute wire from just above the hook point to within a hook-gap space behind the eye.
  2. Attach tying thread just behind the eye and wind back and forth over the lead wire a couple of times. Liberally coat with head lacquer.
  3. Tie in the gold ribbing immediately behind the lead wraps.
  4. Tie in yarn immediately behind the lead wraps, and then wind thread forward to hang down immediately in front of the lead wraps.
  5. Carefully wind the tan yarn forward and tie it off on top of the hook immediately in front of the lead wraps.
  6. Carefully pair the wings, strip enough fibers from the tops to allow for tie down behind the eye and enough fibers from the bottom to clear space for lashing to the top of the hook shank. Wing should extend beyond the end of the hook by at least a hook length.
  7. Wet top wing fibers with saliva and stroke them up to form "V's" and take the first turn of ribbing under the wings.
  8. Continue ribbing over the wings to the front of the body, tie off the ribbing on top of the hook.
  9. Tie on the collar feather on top of the hook with the shiny side forward.
  10. Carefully wind the collar hackle to lean to the rear, whip finish and apply two or three coats of head lacquer.