Winter Fly Tying: Zonker

If you are able to tie a Woolly Bugger, you should have no trouble tying this streamer pattern. The Zonker has been my ace-in-the-hole fly on more than one occasion, and I've caught trout, steelhead, bass, panfish, pike, and even crappie on this pattern. Like the Chernobyl Ant, this fly recipe only really has two materials—mylar tubing and a rabbit strip. Silver mylar tubing is available at most craft stores, as are rabbit hides (you can cut strips from the hide), or there's a good chance a local sporting goods store carries both items. I like a No. 6-8 Tiemco 5263 for this fly, but you can get away with just about any streamer hook out there. Once wet, the rabbit strip on this fly comes to life under water, and it one reason I think the fly works so well—it just looks alive! For an added touch of realism, you can glue small eyes on the side of the fly near the head, but I've never had trouble fooling fish without them. Give the Zonker a try, and get ready for the fourth and final fly pattern! —Ben