Bead Head Flash Zonker

Bead Head Flash Zonker, by Pat Neuner

Every fly fisherman has favorite flies that they’ve used for years with success.  For me one of the most successful streamers I’ve ever used is the Bead Head Flash Zonker.  It is a fly that anyone can tie regardless of experience and it catches fish for me wherever I go.  Here is the recipe and instructions for tying this fly:


Hook:                    Lightning Strike SN3 size 6

Thread:                 UTC GSP 75 denier, White

Bead:                    3/16” Cyclops Bead, Nickel

Body:                    Pearl Chenille, Small, Pearl

Back:                     Zonker Strip, White

Gills/Collar:       Prism Dubbing, Red


Step 1:

Thread the bead onto the hook and mount it in the vise.  Start your thread anywhere on the hook shank and wrap it back on the bend until it is opposite the barb.  Tie in an 8” piece of Pearl Chenille as shown.


Step 2:

Now cut a piece of zonker strip to the desired total length of the fly.  Separate the hair on the strip at the point of tie in.  Tie in the zonker strip as shown.


Step 3:

Advance your thread forward to just behind the bead.


Step 4:

Now wrap the Pearl chenille forward in tight wraps until it is behind the bead.  Tie it off and trim off the excess.


Step 5:

Dub a generous amount of Prism dubbing onto the thread and wrap it just behind the bead.  This will become the “red gills” of the baitfish you are creating.


Step 6:

Push the bead back from the hook eye slightly.  This will expose a small amount of hook shank.


Step 7:

Pull the zonker strip over the back of the fly and the bead.  Tie it off in front of the bead and trim off most of the excess.


Step 8:

Make enough thread wraps to cover the remaining excess and to form a tight head.  Whip finish and the fly is complete.