Taupo Tiger Trout Fly must have a red head!
The Taupo Tiger is one of the most popular Matuku-style trout flies sold in New Zealand. It was, according to Keith Draper, in Trout Flies in New Zealand, the original creation of James Ross of Napier in the early 1930s. It was originally known as the Tiger Ross.
Fished close to the bottom this makes an excellent smelt imitation or a bully (small freshwater fish). It is a good lure to fish at river mouths on a sunken fly line for trout waiting over the drop-off. It is very popular as a smelt imitation in the central North Island lakes and streams. This really is an essential pattern to have on when fishing Lake Taupo and the Rotorua Lakes.
This lure is also popular for harling and trolling throughout New Zealand. Many Canterbury anglers also fish this lure for sea-run brown trout. Indeed it is one of the best known and most often fished lures used by New Zealand trout anglers.
Like many New Zealand lures, we have described on this site the ‘Tiger” has been subject to numerous changes of body colour. It can be found in tackle stores is green, fluoro lime green, and even pink. A red bodied version is historically correct and is known as a Tiger Ross.
Hook: Size 2-8 lure hook such as Kamasan B830.
Body: Yellow chenille (though various colours as used as above).
Rib: Silver oval tinsel.
Wing: Two or four badger hackles.
Head: The head of a Taupo Tiger is always painted red (or you might use red thread).
A few strands of pearl Krystal Flash or Mylar may be added to each side if desired though such “flash” is by no means essential.