50 Pheasant Flies: Matuka

By Nick Simonson

The matuka is a streamer that can be tied with just about any long feather on the pheasant’s body, but traditionally it’s tied with the elongated church window feathers from the upper back. It makes for a shad-like profile so it looks like a big baitfish and has a subtle shimmy in the water – great for bass and big trout.

Hook: Streamer, Size 1-8
Thread: Red 6/0
Tail & Wing: Elongated Church Window Feathers
Body: 3 Strands of Peacock Herl
Rib: Medium Copper Wire
Collar: Pheasant Rump Hackle

Click here for Step-by-Step

Start by securing your thread on the hook and tie a three-inch-long piece of copper wire on top of the hook shank, leaving some room behind the hook eye. Then tie in three strands of peacock herl at the bend (1). Advance your thread to the front end of the copper wire and form the body by wrapping the three strands of peacock herl forward, tying off just after the front end of the wire (2).

Next, select two similarly-patterned elongated church window feathers – not the smaller rounded ones, but the ones that look more like arrows (3) – and hold them together, with the colorful sides out and the dull sides facing in. Strip the webbing from the bases and then remove the fibers evenly from the bottom of the feathers so they cover the top of the fly’s body and match up. Tie these feathers down by the stems at the front of the hook, still leaving some room behind the hook eye and wrap the copper wire straight through both feathers above the bend, parting the fibers with a dubbing needle, as needed (4). Do this two more times over the body, securing the feather to the hook and forming a rib. You can massage the feather fibers so they stick, forming a solid wing. Tie down and trim the wire (5).

Finally, select a medium pheasant rump soft hackle and tie it in by the stem (6). Wrap it around the hook three times using a hackle pliers to form the collar. Trim off the excess, make a thread head, whip finish and add a drop of cement (7). Your pheasant matuka is ready to go!

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