Steelhead Fly of the week – Maxwell’s purple matuka [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Fly of the week – Maxwell’s purple matuka

03-28-2006, 12:32 PM
This fly was invented by Forrest Maxwell of Salem Oregon back in the Mid 1970’s and has been a popular steelhead fly ever since. Because of it’s bait fish like shape it is now becoming more and more popular in the tributaries of the Great Lakes.

Hook: Up eye Atlantic Salmon hook
Tag: Oval silver tinsel.
Body: Black seal dubbing or substitute, picked out.
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Wing: 2 Purple neck hackles bound to the body matuka style, using the oval silver tinsel rib.
Hackle: Purple wound as a collar.
Head: Gray

04-01-2006, 08:04 AM
Fantastic dressing, Charlie!

It's rather challenging (to say the least) to bind the wings down properly and still maintain neat, even wraps of the tisnsel - and you've done your usual impecable job.


04-01-2006, 10:16 AM
Hey Igor, it's hard to bind it down right on a normal dressing. It's damn near impossible with the amount and coarseness of the dubbing used in this one. Impeccable job indeed!

04-02-2006, 12:44 AM

The fly you posted is but one variation of Maxwell's Purple Matuka. He ties it with a silver tinsel body, and purple dubbing body, an orange body, a hot pink body, and a red body. Those who have used it have found it is rather effective, and really not any harder to tie than any matuka streamer. Maxwell also ties it at times with hen neck or saddle feathers for a "fuller, denser wing" for better visibility in higher water flows.

Dave McNeese and John Shewey tie it from polar bear (or artic fox or goat hair) and marabou respectfully by tying it the "wings" at each body/rib segment and increasing the size from back to front. The polar bear (or other hair) or marabou wing spikes create a different look and cause the fly to swim differently than Maxwell's original matuka style; but they are still very effective. And in high. slightly colored water, the wing of McNees or Shewey shows better because it appears denser in the water and has more action than the original matuka wing.

At any rate, it is a great fly that deserves more of a following whether tied matuka style or with the marabou or hair spike wings of Shewey and McNeese respectitively.

Well done my friend.

04-03-2006, 02:10 AM
I can't visualize how the hair or marabou could mimic the matuka style. Also, what kind of feather is the wing shown by Charlie? Is the hen neck or saddle feathers bigger with longer barbs- is that why it would present more bulk in heavy flows?

04-03-2006, 09:27 AM
Perhaps FT could show us examples of both McNeese's and Shewey's variants of the Purple Matuka.

On an aside; The single example of McNeese's (Purple Polar Bear) 'Matuka' I've seen looks to my eye to be more of a 'lush' hairwing.


04-03-2006, 09:45 AM
Thanks guys, but I think you give me more credit than I deserve. While the dubbing is picked out heavily giving the illusion of bulk, (I used a dubbing loop) it is actually dressed rather thin making it easy to rib.


The wing in my fly is a purple dyed feather from a Chinese or saltwater rooster neck. The hen neck feather that flytyer is referring to has more web, giving it the illusion of more bulk. The technique he refers to for using hair or marabou is simple but time consuming. To do it you would tie in some dubbing, then tie in a sparse clump of hair on top of the hook, then tie in another clump of dubbing followed by another sparse clump of hair. Repeat this process until you reach the front of the hook. Then finish the fly as you normally would with hackle and head. It makes for some very cool looking flies. I will have to make a few for you to look at and post them later in the week.


04-03-2006, 09:46 PM
The hairwing matuka sounds abit like some of the salmon fly patterns I used and tied last spring in MT, using deer hair alternating with dubbing (don't remember the pattern name).

04-04-2006, 09:11 AM
Your probably thinking of the Mohawk dry fly. Similar, just use a lot less hair. :hihi: