Zonker Madness | Fly Tying

If someone was to ask me “What is your favorite material to tie flies with?” , my answer would be simple, “Zonker!”

Zonker is another name for rabbit fur strips.

To me there is nothing more versatile, action creating and pure fish producing than a nice strip of soft Zonker. Its raw fish attracting ability is bar non, and is an absolute go to for any Bass, Trout or Large Mouth Yellow Fish anglers. Over the years of fly fishing I have used one pattern to more big fish success than any other, and that pattern is the simple Zonker Minnow. This simple, easy to tie pattern will always be found in my fly box in an assortment of sizes and colours. They can be used in rivers, streams and still waters and usually are my patterns I turn to when I think their may be a big fish around or when the water is oddly quiet. The olive green pattern works exceptionally well in the late afternoon on still waters and even more effectively when fished side on to the current near structure and undercuts for large river Rainbows and Browns.

If you are heading to the Eastern Cape then brown and black variations work well depending on water clarity and dragon fly colours that are around. Tip** always study the insect life on and around the water you are fishing, chances are certain colours will be predominant and you should try to sue a pattern along those colours. What I have noticed personally is that certain dragon flies and similar species can be certain colours on different days, for example those small blue dragon flies and the red ones are often around still trout waters, and I more often than not will use a fly with either a red or blue flash in it. It is often those flies on those insect matching colours that produce the fish and get more hits than others.

I would like to share this incredible pattern with you in my instructional video below, be sure to let us know your additions or alterations to the pattern.

Remember, fly tying allows us all to bring our own iterations and ideas to a trusted pattern that in turn increases personal confidence on the water. This translates into a much high catch and hookup rate, confidence is king in fly fishing.


This is just a quick pattern and is a great one to learn to tie and perfect. Whipped it up in about 6 minutes.


REEL Fly Fishing products used
  • REVO-Lite fly tying vice
  • Pro Bobbin holder
  • UV glue – thin
  • UV torch
  • Bodkin
  • Whip finisher
  • Scissors – fine point



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