Fall is a great time to chuck streamers for trout that are trying to fatten up before the long winter, and a fly with some flash and a lot of motion in the water is often just the ticket for success. The Zonker streamer has been around since the mid 1970s, when Colorado fly-shop owner Dan Byford came up with the pattern, based on some unconventional streamers coming out of New Zealand at the time. Like many streamers, the Zonker can be tied in a variety of colors to imitate different baitfish, and the pattern is effective in both fresh and saltwater. It’s also a great bass-and-pike fly.
In this video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions demonstrates his method for tying this great baitfish imitation. Strangely, the technique seems to involve a lot of spit and cursing.
Hook: 3X-long streamer hook (here a Lightning Strike SN3), sizes 2-6.
Weight: .020 lead-free round wire.
Thread 1: Red, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Body: Pearl Mylar tubing, medium.
Adhesive 1: Superglue or UV Cure Resin.
Back and tail: White zonker strip.
Adhesive 2: Superglue or UV Cure Resin.
Thread 2: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Hackle: Red saddle hackle.
Head: Black thread.
Adhesive 3: Head cement or UV Cure Resin.
Note: Tie this in color combinations to match any baitfish.