Fly of the Month: October 2022

Lunker Buster

In the early days of my competitive fishing, I received great support from Roy Cotter, from Pahiatua, who not only assisted in suggesting suitable competition venues on the Manawatu River but supplied me with a number of flies. These included a pattern which he had developed himself which he had aptly named the Lunker Buster.

The word Lunker is an Americanism denoting a large fish and while it certainly catches its share of trophies, also works well on small
browns and rainbows.

The fly has worked well for me on many occasions since that day either as a single fly or in a larger version used in tandem with a
smaller nymph. The fly has also been very successful when tied as a larger pattern on 10’s and 12’s in lakes and large rivers fished as a dragonfly pattern or even swung downstream on a wet line and slowly retrieved.

I suspect my current version differs somewhat from Roy’s original for which I apologise for still using his distinct name.

Lunker Buster
HookHook Kamisan B 175 size #12 or #14
TailPheasant tail fibres
AbdomenBlack tying thread
RibCopper wire
ThoraxDubbed hare’s fur with plenty of guard fibres
Wing CasePheasant tail fibres or Christmas tinsel for flash back


• Tie in 3 or 4 tail fibres no more than 10mm extending from the bend
• Tie in copper rib at bend
• Use the tying thread to create cigar shaped body from bend of the hook to 2/3 of the way up the shank.
• Rib body with copper wire (three to four turns) and tie off.
• Tie in pheasant tail wing case two thirds up the shank so that the tippets are long enough to form the wing and also to be folded under to create legs.
• Wrap lead wire behind the eye to form thorax and dub in hares fur.
• Fold wing case to the head and tie off but don’t trim.
• Fold wing case tippets under the body and tie off.
• Cement head.