This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Forest Maxwell’s Purple Matuka.

Maxwells Purple Matuka |

I first started tying this fly in the 90’s after I met Forest. At that time, he worked part-time at Keith Burkhart’s Valley Flyfisher fly shop in Salem, Oregon. Forest talked me into a couple Powell steelhead rods for Karen and me to fish. And he sold me a steelhead fly line using 30′ interchangeable heads attached to some running line (the non-fly line type). I had a little problem getting used to casting the line, but once I got the hang of it, I could cast a long way!

I’m sure part of our conversation came back to flies…”what fly do you use”? Well, a fly with his name on it told me everything I wanted to know. So I bought a few and went home to tie them. Back then I had a little trouble tying the matuka style wing. It just took a little practice to develop the proper technique.

Forest Maxwell’s Purple Matuka has a couple of good things going for it…it’s purple and it’s purple!

For some reason, many of the steelhead I’ve been fortunate to land have had some purple in the fly. Sure, there’s the Green Butt Skunk which doesn’t have any purple materials in the fly. But many I fish do.

I don’t know why it works. If fact I wrote a post entitled Purple Flies awhile back and provided a few favorite purple flies.

Forest is a friend of John Shewey’s, a notable fly fishing author and current editor for Northwest Fly Fishing magazine. Check out a few of his books in the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books tab. I’ve really enjoyed Steelhead FliesSpey Flies & Dee Flies – Their History & Construction, and look forward to reading Classic Steelhead Flies.

John and Forest have caught a few steelhead together and hunted upland game birds as well. Good friends and avid fishermen.

You may recognize one of my favorite John Shewey’s flies…the Spawning Purple. I’ve discussed it in a few steelhead posts. Love the looks of that fly as well.

Sheweys Spawning Purple |

Oh, before I forget…this is what Forest Maxwells Purple Matuka is trying to catch.

Deschutes Steelhead |

Better get out on the water and try one of these flies. I hear the fish are in!

Enjoy…go fish!

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One Comment

  1. Nice blog today… Yep! it’s time to dust off that steel head gear and update you fly box of choice. Good luck everyone.

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