Rich Strolis: “I have always liked the effectiveness of the Zonker streamer — it is a time-tested baitfish imitation that catches loads of fish year in and year out. But being a bit of an obsessive/compulsive fly tier, I always had issue with the size of the thread head, as it didn’t truly represent to scale the size or profile of the baitfish it was imitating. I was never a huge fan of the lead underbody either, as it could cause a serious drop effect when paused on a retrieve.
Enter the Fish Skull. I was very reluctant to use the new heads as I thought for sure they would be inevitably too heavy. Boy was I wrong. Think of this fly as my tribute to the zonker, only spruced up a bit. This fly has been doing damage since its inception and is really making a name for itself on not only freshwater fish but in the salt as well.
I also tie this in an articulated version (see that in a later video). I consider this a crossover streamer as it can be fished a bunch of different ways: stripped quickly broad-side in the current on an integrated sinking line, retrieved and paused on a floating line, creating a jigging like motion, or dead-drifted and swung traditionally. All of these methods have produced, and the sky is the limit for color combinations.”
Hook: Daiichi 2461
Thread: UTC 140
Foul Guard: 50-lb. Mono Loop
Wing: Bar Dyed Rabbit strip
Body: Dubbing Brush of Ice Dub and Micro Rubber Legs (GX Wiggly’s, Senyo Shaggy Dub, EP Sparkle Brush)
Collar: Senyo Laser Yarn
Head: Fish Skull
Thorax: Hare Tron Dubbing
Rich Strolis started fishing at an early age in western Massachusetts. By the age of 11 he was introduced to fly fishing and fly tying and never looked back. Rich has been guiding for nine seasons now as well as professionally tying and selling some of his unique fly patterns, which have appeared in several fly fishing publications. To see more of Rich’s work visit his Web site at www.catching-shadows.com.