A staple for many South African fly fisherman is the yellowfish. They are indigenous, eager to take a fly and accessible to most people. There are clear differences in tactics and techniques when fishing different river systems such as Vaal vs Orange river for largemouth yellowfish or the Doring vs Olifants river for clanwilliams but a fly that has proved itself over and over on most waterways is the “Muishond” style fly.  The pattern I’ve tied here incorporates a rusty orange brush and is a colour I really smaak for yellows who seem to like some ginger more than Meghan Markle. I tend to tie these patterns slightly differently to the original Muishond but again this is specific to your personal style of tying.   The pattern can be weighted according to your preferences and whether you intend fishing it on a floating, intermediate or sinking line.

“Rusty orange is a colour I really smaak for yellows who seem to like ginger more than Meghan Markle.”

I also intend on fishing this type of pattern a lot more when I’m targeting kob in the salt so watch this space.


Just because I’m too lazy to write the whole thing out, the pic should do it. Notes on the recipe as below:

  • I typically use 4mm tungsten eyes but you need tie according to the water you will fish and how you want the fly to sink.
  • You can make your own brushes and a full gold or silver flashy brush is a must for a few of your patterns.
  • The #2 hook is my default but a lot of guys like to use a #4.
  • An orange hotspot is something I almost always incorporate into these patterns and it’s usually done using orange thread to finish off the fly and tie in the weed guard.

Step 1:

Tie in a loop right at the back of the hook shank to prevent the zonker from fouling. Do it, don’t be lazy, if a fly fouls 20% of the time it can reduce your catch rate dramatically. Check the loop from time to time when fishing because on the odd occasion it can wrap around the hook bend. You can also tie in a tail of sorts at this point, using crystal flash of something more subtle like peacock hurl. Tie in the dumbbell eyes and leave just enough space to finish off the fly and tie in a weed guard.

Step 2:

Tie in the zonker strip. Bigger is not better and most flies if fishing for largemouth, smallmouth and clannies should not be bigger that 7cm. Yes, bigger flies will catch fish but smaller flies will mean consistency. The largie in the featured pic was caught on a Ginger Ninja style pattern no bigger than 5cm.

Step 3:

Tie in the brush and palmer it forward, brushing it out as you go.

Step 4:

Tie in some gold Angel hair. Yellows and especially largies, love gold. I was a bit conservative on this tie as I’m planning on fishing this fly in some clear waters but I’ve caught plenty fish on Christmas decorations before.

Step 5:

Tie down the zonker. This is a tough step to master.

Step 6 and 7 and 8:

This is really the only tricky part of this fly. Tie in the first stack of deerhair while simultaneously tying in some lazer dub below. Do the same with the second stack and add a different colour dub if it floats your boat. It’s important not to use too much deerhair, especially if fishing the fly on a floating or inter line as you want the pattern to get down. Once you are happy with the density of the deerhair and laser dub, tighten with a few firm wraps and tie in the weedguard. For a #2 hook I like to use 40lb Maxima Ultragreen and for a #4 I use 30lb.

Step 9:

When trimming the deerhair it’s important to leave a collar. The collar creates disturbance which makes the zonker dance like a trance party reveller on LSD.

A Beautiful clannie that fell to a similar pattern tied in black with a cone head.

Some colour combos that work well


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