Sculpin Header

This is a good time of year to fish large streamers and bait fish imitations. With higher water levels and colder water temps fish aren’t nearly as active as they are the rest of the year. Fish that often will not move very far to take a smaller fly will still sometimes chase a large streamer or baitfish imitation in an effort to maximize the food value for the amount of effort.. Although you can fish them on a floating line I like to fish them on a sinking or sink tip line with a short 4 or 5 foot leader made from a single piece of 0X- 2X  tippet material.  Cast the fly and allow it to sink for a couple of seconds depending on the type of line you are fishing it with and then vary your retrieve until you find a pace the fish like. Sometimes that is short fast strips, other times it is longer slower strips with some motion added by a slight jerking motion imparted on the rod with the wrist. You can not strip the fly fast enough to keep a fish from catching it that really wants the fly!

Hook: Mustad 79580 sz 6
Thread: UTC 210- Rusty Brown
Body: Lion’s brand wool- Winter White wool yarn over 18-20 wraps of .020 lead wire
Rib: Brown Ultra wire Brassie sz
Tail and Dorsal Fin: Brown Squirrel Strip
Fins: Pheasant body feathers
Head: Sculpin Wool – Sculpin Olive
Eyes: 3-D Molded eyes- Red 2.5


Photo Step 1  

Step 1- Secure the hook in the vise. Wrap 18-20 wraps of .020 lead wire and cover with thread. Cover thread and wire with head cement to hold wire in place.


Photo Step 2

Step 2– Tie in the rib at the front of the lead wraps and wrap the thread backwards towards the hook bend almost to the rear of the lead wraps.

Photo Step 3

Step 3- Tie in yarn at the front of the lead wraps and wrap thread back over the yarn and lead wraps towards the hook bend.


Photo Step 4

Step 4- Wrap the yarn forward. Make sure to make your first wrap of yarn behind the wire that is going to be used for the rib. Leave plenty of bare hook to spin the wool head on.


Photo Step 5

Step 5- Tie in a Squirrel strip at the front of the yarn with the hair pointing backwards towards the hook bend.


Photo Step 6

Step 6- Wrap the wire rib over the Squirrel strip between the hairs. Wetting the hair a little bit will make wrapping the rib easier.


Photo Step 7

Step 7- Size and tie in a Pheasant body feather on each side of the hook. Sculpins have large pectoral fins. Tie in the feathers slightly downwards and back.


Photo Step 8

Step 8- Comb out a clump of wool and spin on the bare hook shank. Push the first clump back as far as you can, then tie in and spin another clump on the bare shank. Wool spins and acts a lot like deer hair. I like it because it soaks up water better than deer hair.


Photo Step 9  

Step 9- Trim the wool a little at the time being careful not to cut  anything else. Trim the head almost flat on the top and bottom. Sculpins have large wide flat heads. Taking the hook out of the vise to do the trimming may make it easier for you.


Finished Fly


Step 10- You could stop at step 9, but I just love eyes on bait fish patterns. I trim out a small area just a little larger than the eye and apply a small drop of super glue to the back of the eye. I place the eyes one at a time and then pinch both of the eyes together to set them.





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