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TIER

Zonker

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Yes, primarily baitfish, but that type of fly can be tied in various ways, and colors, so possibly other things as well. We too often assume what a fly might imitate, but can't ever know for sure what the fish may mistake them to be.

 

I like tying with fur strips, and tie with the rabbits strips a lot. The movement they have is very attractive to fish, and gets positive responses, so really doesn't matter what the fly might imitate, only matters that the fish want to grab it. wink.png

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Bait fish would be the main imitation. Black and olive for leeches and hellgrammites, possibly dragonfly nymphs. Might even pass them off as crayfish if you tied them on a jig hook. I've been tying for 20 years now, and learned how to tie in a beginners class back then. I always thought they were to bulky and heavy for my taste. Each year I pick a fly that I haven't used in awhile or never used. This year Zonkers came up. I'm tying them on size 6 or 8 4xl hooks, either unweighted or lightly weighted. There's some really nice strips out there. I'm partial to the barred strips. Here's a couple that I tied up.

 

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Jigged "vigorously" ... I think a zonker looks just like a leech swimming through the water.

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Philly, those all look great, and they could imitate a variety of things.

 

This one is a baitfish pattern, but not a typical Zonker. Tie this same fly in black, or olive, it could imitate leeches or large nymphs, or possibly tadpoles or something else.

post-17678-0-00874900-1559504630_thumb.jpg

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Here are two more examples on the Zonker theme, but again, not typical Zonker streamers.

post-17678-0-27536000-1559504980_thumb.jpg

post-17678-0-58289800-1559505006_thumb.jpg

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There is a New Zealand fly called the Rabbit Matuka, and is tied in various colors. Tied in the same style as denduke has shown, but rabbit strips are used. Basically, the same idea as a Zonker.

 

I recall an old magazine article about New Zealand trout flies, published back in the late 60's or early 70's that mentioned the Matuka & Rabbit Matuka styles, as well as some other popular patterns. From what I've read, the Matuka is a bird in New Zealand that was used for that Matuka style fly, but is now protected. So, other suitable feathers are used, as he has shown!

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