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Z13[2]The Zonker is a great streamer that fishes well both in streams and ponds. It is effective for trout, bass, pike and other species.

Though this pattern has been around for years, I first tied one at the Michigan Fly Fishing Club when Al Haxton selected it as a featured fly.

Recipe:  Zonker

Hook:  Heavy 4x streamer hook.

Size:  2 – 10

Thread:  Black / Red

Body:  Mylar Piping (silver or gold)

Wing:  Zonker strip (light for silver piping / dark for gold)

Hackle:  Match wing

* weight the fly with lead or equivalent wire tied traditionally over 2/3 of shank.

Though this pattern calls for few parts, it can be cumbersome to tie until you’ve tied a couple and gotten used to the technique.



  1. Wrap lead wire on shank of hook and tie down with thread making sure to secure the lead. Leave room to tie down wing, piping and hackle in front of the wire and behind the eye. Tie off and cut thread.
  2. Cut a piece of piping about an 1/2 inch longer than the hook, remove stuffing and fray one end, then slide the hook into the piping un-frayed end toward the back. Tie down behind the eye.
  3. Cut a point on the front of the zinker strip – make sure the grain of the fur flows toward the rear of the fly – and tie it behind the eye.
  4. Wrap 2 – 3 turns of hackle and tie off then whip finish.
  5. Lift the zonker and pull it out of the way as you push the piping forward, causing the body to swell and tie it off at the bend of the hook. (with a light colored zonker and silver piping, use red thread to tie down the rear.)
  6. Pull the zinker strip back over the top of the shank, separate the fibers at the bend where you tied in the piping, tie it down and whip finish.
  7. Trim the frayed portion of the piping protruding past the bend to about 1/4 inch and trim the zonker strip to about 1 inch behind the bend.

Good stuff!


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