The original zonker pattern was tied by the American fly tyer Dan Byford in the 1970s and was quickly recognized the world over, as a big fish fly and extremely easy to tie, yet a 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. The flexibility of the Zonker as a bait fish imitation pattern is only limited to your own imagination. There are a huge amount of rabbit fur strip materials on the market in just about every colour imaginable, not to mention fox, squirrel, mink etc, the combination possibilities are endless. Another advantage with the zonker, unlike buck tail and feather wing streamers, is that it is an extremely robust pattern. If tied correctly the fly will normally outlive the hook, although the eyes are somewhat vulnerable to the small sharp teeth of trout. This can be improved by attaching the eyes with super glue and coating them with Bug Bond or head cement.
When fishing this pattern or any long tailed streamers in general for that matter. Many fly fishermen are of the thought, that when fishing a long tailed streamer the fish tend to “Nap” at the tail and won´t take the fly properly! This can be the case for smaller trout but generally speaking a large trout will take this pattern hard and fast. If you do experience napping at the tail when fishing, stop the retrieve dead, and let the fly sink a little for two or three seconds, nine times out of ten the attacking fish will pick it up on the drop.
Head: Natural kangaroo body hair spun in dubbing loop and clipped to shape
Eyes : Epoxy eyes
Cottus Gobio sculpin step by step
3 Cut a good bunch of Siberian squirrel tail with clear markings. Stack the hair and tie in for the tail. The tail should be approximately the same length as the hook shank. If you would like to add weight to your fly, this is the time to do it.
How to tie Cottus Gobi sculpin streamer
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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.
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