This is a basic zonker streamer that I tied to catch some of our larger freshwater predatory fish. The colour combo is based on other effective streamers, especially tigerfish streamers, used across Africa (I took a page from Malcolm Meintjes’ zonker tiger flies as displayed in the FOSAF Favoured Flies series). I’ve only been fishing it in 2018 and it has already proven to be effective for catching spotted and smallmouth bass, yellowfish and tigerfish.


Thread – Gordon Griffiths Sheer 14/0 black

Hook – Gamakatsu B10S #4 – #2

Bead – Large hot orange tungsten bead

Undertail (‘anti wrap guard’) – Stripped black zonker, short piece (this is glued to the top zonker strip with GemKem contact at the end)

Body – Root beer cactus chenille

Wing/tail – Black zonker strip

Rib – 12 lb monofilament


1 Squash the barb on a 2 B10S and place a large hot orange bead on the hook.
2 Wrap thread onto the hook shank and tie in the stripped zonker piece that will serve as the undertail.
3 Tie in a piece of copper wire (best when fishing for tigerfish).
4 Tie in the root beer cactus chenille and a piece of olive wool.
5 Wrap the wool forward to form a uniform body.
6 Wrap the cactus chenille over the wool.
7 Tie in the zonker wing behind the bead.
8 Secure the zonker strip with the copper wire.
9 Tie the brush in right in front of the zonker strip.
10 Wrap the brush forward and tie off onto the bead – I specifically tie it off onto the bead to make the hot orange more subtle in this fly.
11 Cover the two opposing zonker surfaces at the tail in a thin layer of contact glue.
12 The finished product after the tail zonker strips have been glued together – this is quite an effective way to prevent the tail from wrapping when casting, a trick I learned from Edward Truter.


This fly works well for good size Clanwilliam yellowfish, which was my aim with it initially, but I subsequently also caught tigerfish on it in South Africa. For a more durable fly to catch multiple tigerfish, for instance, the mono rib should be replaced with copper wire. I fish the fly with long slow strips on a clear intermediate line with 12 – 15 lb fluorocarbon tippet. Smallmouth and spotted bass also ate it while fishing for yellows in rivers. Takes on this fly have been very aggressive so keep that stripping hand ready to give line when something hits and runs!