The Zoo Cougar: A Slick Minnow Pattern

Jake Ruthven is a talented young tier out of Colorado and has developed a creative take on the Zoo Cougar.  If you’re looking to stock up your streamer box this winter in preparation for estuary fishing for sea-run trout in the spring, be sure to give this innovative pattern a try.

Zoo Cougar Recipe:

Hook: TMC 9395

Thread: UTC Gel Spun

Tail: Marabou

Body: Flat Diamond Braid

Underwing: Faux Bucktail

Overwing: Mallard flank feather

Collar: Faux bucktail

Head: Chocklett’s body tubing

Eyes: Flymen Living Eyes

Tying Steps

  1. Start your thread and trim the tag end, then move it to the rear of the hook. Tie in a single piece of marabou as long as the shank of the hook. Trim the excess.
  2. Return the thread to the rear of the hook and tie in the flat Diamond Braid at the base of the tail. Wrap it forward in touching turns to approximately the 60% point on the shank. Tie off and trim excess.
  3. Trim a thick clump of Faux Bucktail from the package. Use a hair stacker to even the tips, and tie it in on top of the shank, directly above where the diamond braid ends. Trim the ends at a 45-degree angle to assist with building a taper.
  4. Tie in a single mallard flank feather on top of the bucktail so it extends to the end of the tail. Trim excess.
  5. Trim off a piece of Chocklett’s body tubing about an inch long. Singe the ends with a lighter. Slide one end over the eye, and secure it.
  6. Fold the free end of the material back over itself so that it covers the body of the fly.
  7. Pull it forward, and secure the other end in the same spot as the first end. This will form a small cone. Now, tie in a small clump of Faux Bucktail so it extends one-third the length of the mallard flank. Whip finish.
  8. Fold the cone rearwards to form the bullet head. Add eyes using your favourite epoxy.