Fly Angler's OnLine "Fly of the Week #19"

Jim Evans' Zonker Minnow

January 5th - 11th, 1998

Jim Evans Zonker Minnow


Two Mustad 36890-1.


Black 3/0.


Berkley steel-on-nylon coated wire to make a tandem hook set.


Yellow cross-cut rabbit (variation white).

Wing case:

Black zonker strip.


Red Marabou.


Yellow/black plastic, 7.5 mm.


Barge all purpose.

Jim Evans is a relative newcomer to fly fishing and fly tying, having tied his first fly in 1993. He took beginner and advanced fly tying classes back to back that year. In the Spring of 1994, he was asked to produce some pike flies. As an old spin/bait fisherman, he thought big was the way to go. He made a tandem bunny bugger with eyes. The flies were so popular he was asked to tie them for a local fly shop. The flies became know as "Jim's Red and White Pike Fly." He started to use the "what would happen if I did this to that?" approach to his tying and crashed some popular patterns together. One of these became the Zonker Minnow a cross between a bunny bugger and a zonker.

Jim's bass and pike flies so impressed the tyers at the 1994 FFF Conclave in Kalispell Montana that he was invited to be a demonstration tyer at the 1995 FFF Conclave in Livingston Montana. All this in one year's time. He lives in Manitoba, Canada and is a member of the Manitoba Fly Fishers.

Tying Instructions:

  1. Use the wire to make a standard tandem hook set.

  2. Tie in red marabou tail on the trailer hook.

  3. Tie in tail of zonker strip and the white cross-cut strip on the trailer hook.

  4. Wrap the cross-cut to just past the point of the first hook. The wrapped fur will pull the trailer hook out of line with the firsthook at this point. Take five or six turns of thread at this spot. We can now rotate the fur back to line up the hookd. Pinch the fur and finish winding up to just behind the eye. Tie off the cross-cut and trim to half form the head.

  5. Trim the fur along the top of the fly down to the leather.

  6. Apply cement to the leather strip along the top of the body and lay the zonker strip down, smooth into place and tie down at the head. Build up head with tying thread and whip finish. Glue plastic eyes to each side of the head.

    Information provided is from Patterns of the Masters, 30th Anniversary Edition, 1995 Copyright ©1995 Oregon Council, FFF (Federation of Fly Fishers).

    "Tying Tip"

    When cutting or trimming any fur body material, go easy. It is easy to cut off too much. Use the sharpest tool you have (a double edged razor blade broken in half lengthwise with pliers is the sharpest, but tape the broken edge for safety) and cut a little at a time until you have a feel for it. - DB

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