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Tying Video – Silver Zonker

The Zonker streamer is one of those flies that was created as a baitfish imitation and has done so well that has evolved into a type of tying “style” as much as a specific fly.  Similar to the Woolly Bugger or the Clouser Deep Minnow.   The originals were tied in a certain way with certain materials but there are so many different variations these days that all include the designation “Zonker” in the name.  The first time I was introduced to the Zonker fly was about twenty years ago and it was a basic Silver body with Black wing Zonker.  It is basically a baitfish imitation but the beauty lies in the simplicity of the fly.  Other than the lead weight there are only three materials to the fly but there are an endless number of variations that this fly can take (kind of like the Woolly Bugger!).  It is an easy pattern to tie with the only tricky part being the Mylar tubing.  It is even easier to fish.  If you are on moving water all you need is cast this across the current and let it swing.  You don’t even have to strip it in if you don’t want too.  On still water simply cast it out and sloooowly bring it back in with an occasional twitch for good measure.

As I mentioned, the only tricky part about tying this fly is dealing with the Mylar tubing.  If you do a search on YouTube you’ll see lots of different videos on tying the Zonker.  The way I tie it in this video is the way I learned it many years ago and that is to use two bobbins.  It is a bit different than how most people tie it but once you get used too it I think you will see that it is a better way to go.  That said, you need to be able to do a whip finish by hand or have a deep throat-ed whip finish tool.  The method in this video actually help conserve some of the materials but also helps with the flow and construction of the fly.  However you choose to tie the Zonker just make certain you do.  You will have fun at the vise and have some great flies for streamer season (which is now by the way)!

Hook:Tiemco 5263, #4 – 10
Thread:Wapsi UTC Ultra Thread 140 Denier Red, Uni Thread 8/0 Black
Body:Silver Mylar Tubing, Medium
Hackle:Rooster Saddle Hackle, Red
Wing & Tail:Rabbit Zonker, Black
Links above are to affiliate products as are any links to books or videos mentioned in this post.  If you purchase any of these products through the affiliate link it helps Dressed Irons.  Thanks in advance!

Since it is streamer season here in the Midwest, I have a number of videos on streamers coming up through the end of this month and October.  All are interesting flies to tie and all will catch fish when baitfish are on the menu.  A couple actually have some interesting stories behind them and one I am not certain of the name of the fly!

If you would like to purchase some Silver Zonkers there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

If you haven’t yet, sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on Dressed Irons as well as receiving more details about this upcoming class.  The sign up form is on the right of this page!

As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

2 thoughts on “Tying Video – Silver Zonker

  1. Great video again. I tied ONE of these up from just inspecting a fly in a shop a couple of years ago and realizing that I had most of the materials; so for another $3 I could tie a new (to me) fly. I’m not sure how it turned out…I’ll have to look in my boxes for it and compare with yours to see how crappy mine looks. I will revisit this one for sure.

    This weekend I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to tackle next (although your Green Butt Skunk made the short list). I ended up researching Enrico Puglisi, and his flies and materials. Needless to say, I will be working on some saltwater flies later this week, EP shrimp (and variations) and Merkin crabs. Any wisdom regarding working with EP fibers?

    Thanks! Shane

    • Shane,

      thanks for the feedback on the Zonker. There are MANY different versions of this basic fly. I am certain you can find one that suits you and catches fish. I have some suggestions on using EP fiber. I will send them along in an email. Look for it soon. – Ian Anderson

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