The Zoo Cougar is designed by Kelly Galloup, and for a streamer that’s really all you need to know. The fly is a sculpin imitation but can be tied in other colors to imitate other baitfish, or just as an attractor. The fly is weighted and meant to be fished using a sink tip or full sinking line. A Zoo Cougar can be fished on the swing or any speed stripping retrieve, but was designed to be retrieved using the jerk strip method. This is where the movement of the fly is caused by a jerk of the rod tip back towards you and the slack line is taken up with a strip. The jerk strip gives this pattern and any other streamer a deadly quick jolt and pausing action. The Zoo Cougar is a great proven streamer that should have a spot in everyone’s big fly box.
- Hook: Daiichi 1750
- Thread: Danville’s 3/0
- Tail: Marabou
- Body: Pearl Diamond Braid
- Wing 1: Calf Tail
- Wing 2: Mallard Flank
- Collar and Head: Deer Hair
Start by securing the hook in your vice and begin your thread base leaving the first third of the shank bare.
Next tie in one plume of marabou in at the tail and tie the stem in up to the start of the thread base to give the fly some extra bulk. Then bring your thread back to the point where you tied in the marabou.
Tie in a piece of diamond braid and advance your thread to the start of your thread base. Wrap the diamond braid up to the thread then secure it with a few thread wraps and cut off the excess.
Now tie in a clump of calf tail where you tied off the diamond braid. Clip the butt ends as short as you can, and don’t be afraid to use a little glue if things start slipping on you.
Take one or two mallard flank feathers and tie them in on top of the calf tail wing. The tips of the mallard feather and the tips of the marabou should be even when the feathers are pinched together. Also make sure that your mallard feather(s) are straight and symmetrical to give the fly the proper appearance and action.
Cut a large clump of deer hair and stack it in a stacker to make the tips even. Take the stacked hair and spin it forming the collar and start of the head. You can also tie in the collar separately and to see how that is done check out the Twin Tail Madonna step by step.
Continue spinning deer hair until the rest of the shank is covered. Then whip fiinsh and cut your thread. The hair for the rest of the head does not have to be stacked just cut it off the hide and spin it on.
Finally trim the head to shape using a razor, scissors, or a combination of both and your ready to hit the water.