Published Jul 21. 2012 - 11 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 29. 2020

Squirrel Zonker

This is an update to one of the first patterns ever featured on the Global FlyFisher. The old article about this fly is from 1996, and has been on the site with its scanned B/W pictures ever since.

Thick skinned - Some zonker strips are very thick skinned like this squirrel. That makes it important to be a little careful when tying on the wing, but won\'t affect the finished fly much as long as the skin is tanned and soft
Sea trout love it - Most predatory fish will love this little fly
Martin Joergensen

This is an update to one of the first patterns ever featured on one of the forefathers of the Global FlyFisher - Fishing Denmark. The old article about this fly is more than 16 years old at the present time, and has been out there with its scanned B/W fly picture since then.

Now I have retied the fly in connection with an upcoming article series on zonkers and zonker strips, and done a step-by-step series of photos. I've tied the fly many times during the many years that have passed, but just never photographed it.

The fly is an excellent, small and generic baitfish imitation, which has caught numerous seatrout in its time, and is bound to be able to work on brownies, stripers, bass, snook and many other predatory fish. I fish it on a floating line and simply retrieve it in small jerks to make it act like a swimming fish. I tie small flies like this onto my tippet using a loop knot, allowing them to move more freely.

Squirrel Zonker
Pattern type: 
Wet fly
Martin Joergensen
Kamasan B175 size 6
Black 8/0
Fine oval tinsel
Medium silver tinsel
Zonker strip, natural squirrel, tanned
Hair hackle, same as wing
Tying thread
Skill level/difficulty: 

Step 1 - thread

Step 2 - rib

Step 3 - to the rear

Step 4 - to the front

Step 5 - tinsel

Step 6 - first layer

Step 7 - body done

Step 8 - trim tinsel

Step 9 - zonker strip

Step 10 - rib

Step 11 - ribbing

Step 12 - rib done

Step 13 - trim rib

Step 14 - dubbing loop

Step 15 - hackle strip

Step 16 - spin hackle

Step 17 - wind hackle

Step 18 - trim zonker strip

The finished Squirrel Zonker - A nice and neutral baitfish imitation
Martin Joergensen
Many years ago - Myself with a fish caught on the Squirrel Zonker many moons ago.
For sea trout - The fly was originally tied for sea run brown trout, but will work for many other fish too
Sea run brown trout
Martin Joergensen

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