How to Tie: The Rainbow Zonker

In this week’s How to Tie video feature, Holsinger’s Fly Shop is here to show us how to tie the Rainbow Zonker Streamer.

Learn About This Fly

Difficulty: Intermediate

When it comes to streamers, there are few better patterns than the zonker style. By utilizing a dubbing body, weighted eyes, and a zonker strip, these flies capitalize on their simplicity and ability to take on a life-like personality. This tie is no different. The Rainbow Zonker streamer capitalizes on the same shape and style of any minnow, belly scratcher, etc., except with now with a familiar twist.

Most anglers understand that in the established hierarchy that exists beneath the ripples, trout are more predatory than their gentile frame and elegant colors may suggest. Full-grown fish have full-grown diets, and as many shredded streamers will show, no meal is off the table. What looks like a release of newly hatched trout to anglers, looks more like an all you can eat buffet to a hungry brown trout that’s on the prowl. By capitalizing on these savage instincts, this is zonker is a 20″+ fish magnet.

Tying this fly is relatively easy, however, for those who are new to the vise, working with zonker strips can seem intimidating. By working slow when penetrating the strip, you’ll make sure not to compromise your material, as well as keep your hook out of your hand.


  • Firehole 8/11 hook, size 4 (3 extra long, 2 extra gap)
  • 5/32nd Dumbell Eyes
  • UV Rust Ice Dub
  • Black Barbed Rabbit Strips Olive Variants
  • Forestrial Abyss Electric Wool Dubbing
  • White electric wool Dubbing
  • Earth and Grey dubbing
  • Head Cement/ UV finish

Now you know how to tie the Rainbow Zonker!

Video and Ingredients courtesy of Holsinger’s fly shop


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