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Current Tags for This Pattern
/ bluegill / Copper Wire / Dubbing / floss / Mallard Flank / olive / Squirrel / zonker /

Bluegill Zonker

tied by luvinbluegills
Fly Type: Streamers,
Target Species: not available Steelhead, Freshwater Bass, Panfish, Trout,
Imitation: General Baitfish,
Material List:
hook: size 4 Mustad streamer (9674)
Thread: 6/0 Olive
tail: Mallard flank
rib: Copper wire
body: Sparkle Blend, Squirrel Belly color, followed by bright orange synthetic dubbing, then Blue floss
back: Olive Zonker strip
eye: stick on dome eye or Jungle Cock
Tying Instructions: Tie in your tail to about 1/3 the length of the body, then tie in the copper rib at the tail, thickly dub the body (you might want to use a dubbing loop for a thicker, faster body) then your hot Orange, then the Blue floss at the front. The floss only needs to be noticeable, as young 'gills (even older ones) rarely have a great deal of Blue showing despite their common name. Measure a piece of Olive Zonker from the eye of the hook to where the skin reaches just past the hook bend. Maybe a 1/4 inch past.

You can save a lot of time after measuring the first one by cutting all your pieces to match it before you start tying.

Hold it against the hook with the tip reaching the eye, and where it touches the bottom of the bend of the hook, impale that part on the hook so that the hair extends from the inside part of the hook.

Straighten the strip and tie it down at the eye. Now, wrap your rib forward, carefully pulling the hair out of the way as you go, so that it flows as freely as possible. This is where a bodkin or any needle comes in very handy!

Try not to put more than one wrap (if ANY) of ribbing through either the Orange or the Blue. If you can run it between them where they meet, that would be great. This is too keep as much of these minimal colors exposed as possible.

Tie off the wire with your thread, create a head for the fly, tie off and cement.

If you decide to use Jungle Cock (or other appropriate feather) for the eye, tie it in as the last step before finishing the head.

Add your stick on eyes with whatever adhesive you prefer. I like Zap a Gap.

To trim this fly for the final touches, trim the Zonker skin back to where there's just a bit of a tag beyond the bend of the hook. Trim the fur so that the tail is the end of the fly instead of the hair.

Most young 'gills this size are actually a lighter shade of Olive to a Golden Olive and some are even a very light Green on their back, blending very subtly to the belly, which this shade of Sparkle Blend is a great match for, so experiment with those colors if you get the chance.
Presentation Tips: It's not a true Zonker due to the lack of a sheath body, but the principle is the same. I ordinarily would not post a fly until I've used it (today is 4/28/06), but after using many other colors in this exact tying style, I have a great deal of confidence that this will work.

Small Bluegills are abundant along the shoreline, and will always be looking for cover of some sort, so work this streamer in 1 foot or longer strips, with pauses in between, along the shore where there is overhanging vegetation, wood cover in the water, or a weedline.

At the same time, don't be afraid to get it "out there". I don't think that a predator will refuse it even in the wrong place.

This should work for any fish that eats baby 'gills, Large and Smallmouth Bass, Pike and Pickerel, Crappie and big Perch, and probably even large 'Gills.

18 FTF Members Bookmarked This Pattern
Mr. McGinty
Andy Fisher
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