The original zonker pattern was tied by the American fly tyer Dan Byford in the 1970s and was quickly recognised the world over, as a big fish fly and extremely easy to tie, yet realistic imitation for most smaller bait fish. The original pattern used a lead or tin sheet that was folded and glued over the hook shank and then cut to shape to make the underbody. This melt glue body technique gives the zonker a new life. If viewed by a fish in reflected light the shine and flashing of the maylar mixed with the animation of the pulsating fur strip, makes it a first class bait fish attractor pattern. But when viewed by a fish in a back-lit situation ( in silhouette ) this pattern really comes to life, with the light penetrating through the transparent melt glue / maylar body and fur guard hairs.
Born in England, Barry Ord Clarke is an internationally acclaimed and much published photographer, author and fly tyer. His own flies can be seen in the legendary ‘Fly Fishers Club’ collection, in London and the ‘Catskill master fly tyer collection’ in the United States. For the past 28 years he has lived in Norway where he works as a professional photographer and a fly tying consultant for the Mustad Hook Company and Veniard Ltd. His successful YouTube channel ‘The Feather Bender’ has 43,000 subscribers. Barry Ord Clarke voted US Fly Tyer Magazine’s Fly Tyer of the Year 2021. The prestigious award honours the exceptional international contribution Barry has made to the world of fly tying with his innovative approach of linking his clear step-by-step tying instructions in book-form to his popular YouTube channel ‘The Feather Bender’ videos which then show him tying EXACTLY the same fly online. This ground-breaking ‘pairing’ is a first in the world of fly tying instruction. A renowned photographer in his own right, his tying images are crystal clear, minimalist and stylish. His approachable attitude and innovative tying techniques have encouraged thousands of beginners to take up the hobby in the first place or more experienced tyers to up their game. His most recent two books, The Feather Benders Fly Tying Techniques and Flytying for Beginners, pub. Merlin Unwin Books, are out now and already gaining plaudits from around the world. Fly Tying for Beginners, will also be published in the USA by Skyhorse Publishing in Autumn 2022. View all posts by barryoc