The Fly was described in Flies, Ties, & Techniques: A Practical Guide To Tying 50
Irresistible Flies by Charles Jardine (ISBN-10: 0-7641-3906-1) which I recommend for fly
Bead Head Rabbit Zonker, from Wolgang Porte'
Hook: Nymph, 3X Long, Size 4-10
Thread: Black, 3/0 or to match rabbit strip
Tail and Wing: Zonker cut rabbit strip,
(color to match body)
Tail Option: 4-6 strands of Krystal Flash or
Body: Chenille, braids, wool or Poly Flash
Head: Tungsten bead behind thread or floss
Slide the bead on the hook.
Start to lay down thread foundation at the hook eye for about 1/8 of an inch. Then
tie in the tungsten bead. (The space between the hook eye and the bead will be
used for the thread head.) Continue the thread to the bend of the hook.
Take 4-6 strands of Angel hair (peacock is an effective color) and tie in at the end
of the hook shank.
Secure the body material at the bend of the hook and palmer forward to the bead,
Cut a 1 1/2 “ piece of zonker strip, and on the end, where the hair extends past
the hide, trim the hide to a point.
Place the strip on top of the hook (hide side to the hook), extending the pointed
end one shank length passed the tie-in point (bend of the hook). Divide the hair
above the tie-in position and secure the strip with 3-4 tight wraps.
Pull the zonker strip toward the hook eye covering the bead. (The space between
the hook eye and the bead is the tie-off point). Remove the hair from the hide at
the tie-off position, and using floss, take two wraps around the hide and the hook.
Now pull the zonker strip tight toward the hook eye, position the strip and secure
with 3-4 more solid wraps. Trim the excess hide and finish forming the head.
Through trial and error, I have come up with certain combinations of body materials and
colors of zonker strips that seem to be favored by specific trouts.
The white zonker strip with a pearlescent body and bright red head seems to be
preferred by rainbows, while the McLean’s white/black bar-dyed zonker strip, combined
with an orange Poly Flash body and black head are brookies favored food.