A day in the Canyon

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
What a nice day in the Canyon! Instead of snow, it was sunny all day. Cold. The guides were icing half the day and there was fast ice on the shores. Like Wyoming?

A cloud of chironomids covered the water, even before the sun hit the water. But nothing feeding at the surface. Since those midges looked better than my midges, I didn't even try mine. But the fish really wanted my Fred Meyer bodied zonkers. I had a bunch of fish on that came off after gallant fights. My theory is these fish were never hooked: the zonker looked so tasty the fish just clamped down fighting me for it. Lost all my zonkers, had to go home. I ran through all the stone repertoire, but that was disappointing. No sheep seen but saw a bald eagle and a peregrine.

Can't talk, must tie more zonkers!
Could you please describe to me what a zonker actually is? My wife works at Fred Meyer so I am in there all the time, is it a brand name or something?

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
The zonkers I use have a kind of minnow type body and a strip of rabbit fur. They tend to be on the bigger side, #6 / #8 hook. I have found them in tan / gray. Down at Cady, I did well casting these into the logs on the shore line. It was great to see those big fish hit the fly.

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
(Chuckling) See the thread "Scrounging tying materials" where I introduced the concept of using after-Christmas sale garlands from Fred Meyer to make the bodies. I think I should get a both at the Sportsman's Show and sell this stuff in little $2 bags.

Yesterday in the canyon, a yuppie fly guy wondered what I was using. I put on my best deadpan, cupped it in my hand and told him " I have to charge you two bucks just to look at it." But I couldn't hold the deadpan and started laughing.

I'm using the crinkley brown metallic mylar strips unraveled from Christmas tree garlands. The garlands are full of 1/16 by 3-inch pieces, but I pull out the 5/16 by 4-inch pieces. These strips are solid on each end and shredded in the middle. I cut them in the shredded middle and fold them at a 135-degree fold across the shredded part. I tie this at the fold in at the bend so the shed spins and flares into a short mylar tail with some orange tread. And leave the orange thread hanging at the bend. Then the rest mostly solid piece is pointed up the body at a 45 degree angle ready to wrap about three times up the weighted 6 4X long or 2X long hook with a black tungsten bead on it. Tie it in with black thread with a second bobbin. Since I'm trying to make a skulpin, I tie in some cheeks between the head and the lead made of the tips of the ring necked pheasant body feathers with the brown and black bars and the green tips. A pair of them, curved out. Then an olive bunny strip (also found at Fred Meyer) tied and whipped at the head, run back to the tail sitting on top of the body (no wraps), then tied at the bend with the same orange thread that tied the tail. Tie off the orange with clove hitches or whip it good if your finisher can reach that far.
Is this the wide 3 inch (approx) ribbon type stuff that has metallic threads in it? My wife picked up a bunch of it on sale and it more like Gold in color. Maybe I have the right stuff already for a Zonker. The next thing I need to do is actually bribe you into letting me see one so I can actually use the instructions you gave. You know that a picture is worth a thousands words. I am willing to exchange my "Pink Salmon special " that I use on the Stilly.

I also have some Macaw feathers that I am attempting to figure out what to do with but so far I have not found a good use. My wife's pet Macaw sheds small bright yellow chest feathers that are about one inch long and are fan shaped. He also sheds the long one-foot tail feathers. I have tied some flys using them instead of Pheasant tail but I have not used them yet.
The ones I use in lakes are olive or gray. The olive are more productive it seems. I have been tying them on size 8 and 6 hooks.
Olive bunny strip's about 2" long.

Latest posts