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I'm no pro at tying -- and zonkers like the one above can be somewhat difficult patterns -- but I've found a neat way to re-purpose strands from excess Mylar tubing. Yes, a rather green tip, you might say.

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I'm no pro at tying -- and zonkers like the one above can be somewhat difficult patterns -- but I've found a neat way to re-purpose strands from excess Mylar tubing. Yes, a rather green tip, you might say.

Zonkers like this imitate baitfish of various sizes, a healthy minnow in this case. Basically, you wrap a body on a long streamer hook, cover it with Mylar tubing and tie a strip of rabbit fur on top to give it sweet, lifelike movement. I've found that to get a good wrap I'm wasting a lot of Mylar, which frays when you slide it on.

Instead of tossing this stuff in the trash, I've started to use it as legs on small panfish-size terrestrials, like the green beetle below. The strands are flashy and easy to add. Because of their curve and bouncy action, they should imitate the legs of a scared insect struggling on the surface.

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Joe Cornwall, over at Fly Fish Ohio, mentioned another tip for the zonker: Put a small loop of 20-pound of monofilament fishing line just off the back of the hook, which helps the rabbit tail from fouling the hook.

If you've got any fly-tying tips or other outdoor advice, give me a shout here. I'll publish every wise thing I come across.