Tips for tying a Zonker Streamer Pattern including a materials list, instructional video, and much more. Improve your fly tying skills here.

The Zonker is a popular trout pattern that can be either stripped or dead drifted in high water conditions. The Zonker imitates a variety of mobile prey including sculpins, crayfish, and small baitfish. This pattern works particularly well in high water but can be fished year round for aggressive trout and Bass looking for a large meal.

Trident Fly Fishing is a full-service fly shop. We spend a lot of time testing gear and writing reviews to give you all of the tools to make your next trip a success.  We are not a blog or a review site. 100% of our funding comes from your gear purchases, so if this blog post helps you on your next fly fishing adventure, please support us by buying your gear from us.



Hook: Gamakatsu B10S Stinger Hook Size: 1

Wire: Hareline Spooled Lead Wire Size: .020

UTC Ultra Wire Size: Medium Color: Silver

Thread: Uni Waxed Thread Size: 3/0 Color: Purple

Body: Hedron Micro Flashabou Color: Opal Mirage

Hedron Flashabou Color: Red

Tail: Hareline Zonker Cut Rabbit Hide Color: Purple

Head: Hareline Ice Dub UV Color: Purple

Eyes: Flymen Fish-Skull Living Eyes Size: 6mm Color: Wind


Step One:

Wrap the lead wire and seat it toward the eye of the hook. The lead wire will help the Streamer sink quickly. It also helps develop proper body proportions of a baitfish or crayfish. After wrapping the wire, wrap the thread back to the bend of the hook.

Step Two:

Tie in the UTC wire that will later be used to wrap over the Zonker Strip. The UTC wire should be tied in behind the lead wire near the bend in the hook shank.  Keep the UTC wire on the side of the hook closest to you.

Step Three:

Tie in the Micro Flashabou right behind the lead wire. Choose roughly a dozen fibers. After tying in the Micro Flashabou, wrap your thread back up to the eye of the hook and leave it there.

Step Four:

Wrap the Micro Flashabou to create a tapered body. Start by wrapping the Micro Flashabou up to the eye of the hook, double it back down, and wrap back up to the eye of the hook creating a layered body. Tie off the Flashabou near the eye of the hook and cut off the excess strands.

Step Five:

Wrap the UTC Wire to attach the Zonker Strip to the hook. When wrapping the wire, try not to catch too much of the Zonker Strip. After 3-4 wraps, use the thread to tie off the UTC Wire near the eye of the hook.

Step Six:

Tie in the Red Flashabou on the underside of the hook to create a gill line. Use 2-3 strands of Flashabou to add an accent to the fly; the gill line shouldn't be too overbearing.

Step Seven:

Tie some UV Ice Dub in on the top and bottom of the fly to create the head. After tying in the dub on the top and bottom, pull the dub back and use the thread to tie a nice, neat head. Throw a whip finish to anchor the thread and the dub.

Step Eight:

Glue in the eyes with Zap-a-Gap. Part the dubbing and place the glue on the body of the fly. After placing the glue, position the eyes and hold them down for a few seconds until the glue sticks.

And that's the Zonker Streamer Variation. If you have questions about any products or techniques used to tie this pattern or any pattern, don't hesitate to give us a call at (888) 413 - 5211 or email us anytime at [email protected]