Hi Allan,

I know what you mean! I'm from Nova Scotia originally (moved here for work when I was 30), so I figure I represent a balanced view! Curiously, I like to introduce people back home to New Zealand patterns, and here, I like to use a lot of patterns from home. Mostly, I think, I'm curious about how well patterns from different areas do when transported around the world (through time as well, which explains my fascination with Pritt's patterns, and others from the 1800s). I find that patterns seem to work most everywhere, which makes me question just how much "match the hatch" really needs to be done to catch a fish. For example, I have fished streams, thinking I've finally cracked it when I finally start catching fish. Chat with other anglers, and sure enough, each of them has "cracked the secret" of the day, and yet, rarely are any of us using the same fly or pattern. In fact, at times some have found "the right dry", others "the right wee wet", other "the right nymph", and others again the "right streamer"! All in the same stream, all of us fishing the same "selective" trout. Then again, I've also had experience where Vanessa and I were catching nothing, I got on to fish, gave her a similar fly, and both of us were into them with a fish on or at least a strike most every other cast. I switched flies to see if they fish just came on the bite, and suddenly I couldn't get a touch, back to the original pattern, and I was hooking up again (the "magic" pattern was a bright yellow bodied version of a Greenwells Glory, but also with a copper wire rib rather than silver tinsel - through more experimentation it seemed that the yellow was what was important as Vanessa switched to a Royal Coachman with a bright yellow hackle tail, and that would take fish, but flies without any yellow were ignored).

Anyway, New Zealand has some good streamers (Matuka style flies) that people know about, and the flat winged flies (Pukeku-style) are great (other places have flat wing streamers using mallard, etc), but the Killer and Bi-hackles are less well known. The Red Setter is the best known of the bi-hackles (it's in the fly of the week, way back in the first year), but that general construction can be used to create a variety of patterns by mixing up body colour and hackles. The original pattern tied that way was called a Fuzzy-Wuzzy (by a Fred Fletcher), and he originally palmered the hackle before switching to two hackles (one mid-body) for durability - that would make it a wooly bugger except the tail was squirrel tail rather than marabou. He tied this back in the 1930s, so it precedes the WB by quite some time. The killer patterns (with soft feathers tied vertically on the side) are not ones I've seen anywhere else. In olive and brown ones in smaller sizes (around 10) they make great swimming damsel fly or dragon fly nymph patterns.
- Jeff