- The Striped Bass fishing information resource. Message board with expert advice from Frank Daignault. Fishing articles covering tactics, knots, baits, tackle, tide charts, kayaks, fly fishing, moon phase and web cams.
 Home  Contents  Forums  Striped Bass  Trophy Rigs  


Bonito Bunny Fly Pattern
by Ed Zaun

The Bonito Bunny is a pattern I like to fish. It can be tied in any variety of colors and looks great in the water. I usually tie this one in White, Yellow, Olive and Black, but the choice is yours. The tail and collar add that suggestion of life whch is the hallmark of all good flies. Although originally designed to seduce Bonito, it will take Blues and Stripers. Work this pattern is a strip-pause-strip retrieve until you get a hit. If the fish misses the hook ( notice how I didn't say "If you miss the strike"... Diplomacy is important), strip like a wildman, as if the fly were running away from an attacker, and hold on!

Photo Copyright  1998 E.Zaun & Tom Mann
Stuff you'll need...
  • Hook: Mustad 34007 or equivalent. 
  • Tail Guard: 20# or 30# monofilament. This time, you need it. 
  • Tail and Collar: Zonker Strips of whatever color ( or combination ) you desire. Cross cut Rabbit is easier to work with for the collar, but Zonker Strips are what I usually have in my kit soooooo... 
  • Wing: Something flashy, like Crystal Flash, Flashabou, or even Ultra Hair, if you want to be more subdued. Again, the choice of colors is yours. 
  • Nope, that's all. 


Tie it up...
  1. Place the hook in the vise and attach the tying thread. 
  2. Tie in a tail guard.
  3. Cut about a 2-1/2" or 3" section of Zonker strip and remove about 1/8" of fur from one end. 
  4. Lay the strip on the shank, with the fur side down and the stripped end about halfway up the shank. Tie it in. 
  5. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down. 
  6. Tie in your choice of the Flashy Stuff so that the ends are just short of the end of the tail. 
  7. Strip the fur from the last 1/8" of the Zonker strip and attach to the hook at the point where the Flashy Stuff is tied in. You need to do this a little differently than normal. Place the strip on the hook so that the strip is on the far side of the hook, with the fur facing up and the strip aligned out and back at about a 45 degree angle. 
  8. Run the tying thread forward to the hook eye, and wrap the Zonker Strip under the hook and around, taking care to ensure that the fur points towards the tail. Make one complete wrap covering about half of the wrap already on the hook. 
  9. Wrap the strip forward, palmering it so that the wrap going on just covers the leading edge of the previous one, all the while pulling or blowing the fur toward the back of the fly. That's why crosscut rabbit is easier. The strips are cut across the grain so the fur already points backwards if you attached the strip correctly...... ( What am I saying, of course you wouldn't do anything as silly as tie the strip in with the fur facing forward... Like I have done more than once... ) 
  10. When you get to the hook eye, tie off the strip and cut. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down. 
  11. Apply a whip finish, and cut the tying thread. 
  12. Apply stick-on eyes, if desired. 
  13. Apply nail polish or your favorite head cement. 
Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Ed Zaun, All Rights Reserved
Trophy Rigs