Your favorite sculpin pattern

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by ganglyangler, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. ganglyangler

    ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

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    I love to fish sculpins in both fresh and saltwater. Curious to know what you all like to throw. I am a fan of sculpzillas and sheilas. What other ones do you tie on with confidence?
     
  2. Phil Fravel

    Phil Fravel Friendly

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    I caught 3 Sculpin on a Clouser minnow today after pinks. But I don't think that is what you meant.
     
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  3. Paul Huston

    Paul Huston Swinger

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    This works for me. 996835_10200176106987906_964882613_n.jpg

    996835_10200176106987906_964882613_n.jpg
     
  4. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

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    Guess I'm just hung up on old stuff but the rolled muddler has been such a good producer that I continue to use it. The only modification I make is to sometimes add a bead head. It has produced many SRCs, coho, rainbows, browns, even steelhead. However, Paul's patterns look pretty sexy!
     
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  5. lando

    lando Member

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  6. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I use this:

    404446587.jpg
     
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  7. Jamie Wilson

    Jamie Wilson Active Member

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    Gene - how does that cast with a 5 wt
     
  8. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Jamie, the head is hollow so it doesn't weigh as much as you'd think. The body/tail is made with craft fur and that is lightweight material. Thus, it casts fine.
     
  9. constructeur

    constructeur Active Member

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    The vid is long, but there's a good amount of what/why intel in there if you're willing to listen.

     
  10. Eyejuggler

    Eyejuggler Beech Nut

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    My saltwater tube Sculpins, one with a weighted head and ones with weight hidden along the tube. Simple and fast ties.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

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    Recipe?
     
  12. Eyejuggler

    Eyejuggler Beech Nut

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    I use the pro tubes setup and built this on a pro nano-tube medium
    - 1cm weight sleeve
    - Brown Veevus 10/0
    - Barred brown Marabou
    - Pseudo Peacock Dubbing "Bronze"
    - Med Red wire
    - Grizzly Schlappen Brown

    Hope that give you some ideas!
     
  13. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I raised a couple of sculpins in my aquarium to study how they looked and moved.

    They are really quite interesting fish... probably the most interesting fish I've ever studied in the aquarium.

    They were also the quickest.

    The problem was, they would only eat live prey. I couldn't find anything they'd eat other than guppies.

    Unlike the small bass and trout I studied, they did not swim around looking for something to eat. Instead, they laid on the sandy bottom of the aquarium and waited. Once in awhile they'd suddenly move to another spot but most of the time, they'd stay flat on the sand.

    I'd dump in some poor guppies I bought at the pet store and you could see the sculpins watch the tiny fish swimming around. Suddenly, they'd move and the guppy they were watching was gone. I mean, this all happened so quickly it took a matter of seconds. Then they'd go back to waiting on the bottom until a guppy swam into their striking range. Again, in a flash, they'd suddenly be located elsewhere and the guppy was gone.

    Without a doubt, they were the fasted moving fish I've ever watched.

    Now, how on earth do you imitate that movement with fly gear? Somehow, you'd need to let your pattern sink to the bottom then suddenly move it and let it rest back to the bottom. I'm not exactly sure how predatory fish find and eat the sculpins in the wild. The coloring of the sculpins was perfect camouflage so when they were laying on the bottom, they blended in perfectly.

    I'm not so sure our sculpin patterns actually represent a real sculpin but perhaps look like some other bait fish to the fish we are targeting. Because the sculpins don't swim around looking for food, I'm not sure how available they are as prey to larger fish. They are also so danged quick, I don't know how another fish can catch them.

    Fascinating little dudes.

    I finally had to release them back into the wild because the cost of buying guppies for them to eat was becoming insane. Plus, I didn't like the idea of buying live fish just to feed other fish.

    So, I only tie one style of sculpin pattern because like I said, I seriously doubt that the fish I'm trying to catch really see the pattern as a genuine sculpin but most likely something else. I'm sure fish do somehow find and eat sculpins from time to time but I don't believe they are readily available to larger fish as are other smaller prey.

    One of my fish biologist friends (he brought me the small sculpins I raised) studied sculpins in the Willamette River and the sculpins there grow upwards to 8-inches in size. So they can grow quite large but I still have no idea how you would mimic their movements with a fly.
     
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  14. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

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    Very interesting observations. In the salt, I can see maybe some getting swept away? I don't know. My theory on general fish eating habits are that if it looks edible and it's within their range they'll eat it. Some attractor patterns we fish hardly look like anything they'd eat in their day to day, yet they still do attack them. I fish color patterns in the salt here in WA knowing that there probably aren't any bait fish looking like that anywhere in the PS (Mickey Finn) and yet the SRC love them. And the one that did it for me was this one time I was dry fly fishing in Cheeseman Canyon. CO where it is said that the fishing is rather technical and the fish are very selective, I watch a Trout slam a cigarette butt that came floating down stream...perfect drift ;)

    I generally think that perfect action and perfect drifts combined with something fishy out weighs perfect food/hatch match - I only say this from personal experience.
     
  15. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Alexander, I agree. We're not trying to catch rocket scientists... Attractor patterns are a perfect example of fish trying to eat something that doesn't look anything like any living aquatic creature.

    And what the spin guys use certainly doesn't look like anything you'd find in a fishery... I have yet to see a live creature in the water that looks like Power Bait.:)
     
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  16. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    Or a plug for that matter. That's what I like about the fish sculls. Drop one in the water, it swims down to the bottom then you just twitch it up fast. Works on those browns in Pass and the big Bows. in the Yakima canyon.
     
  17. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    That is a technique that will most likely represent the movement of the real critter. The fly needs to be presented close to the bottom than rapidly moved around. And I mean rapidly. The sculpins I watched moved as quickly as The Flash ... but for only short distances.
     
  18. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    Fast or not, fish eat alot of sculpin. I think most of the ones they get are disoriented or sick/wounded. I love observing nature, and one memorable moment was watching 5-6# lahontans beach themselves chasing sculpins. I think the waves were dislodging the sculpins from the bottom, leaving them disoriented and confused. Surprisingly, most of the time the cutts got their meal. I'm surprised because it seems like lahontans have poor aim, often swiping at prey several times before connecting.
     
  19. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

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    There is a difference between a sculpin moving around an aquarium and one in the river. Sculpins move in short bursts their huge pec fins are great at getting up to speed but they can't sustain it very long especially upstream. When a hunting trout flushes one out of the rocks they can catch it. No problem. When sculpin start scrambling around popping up out of the rocks to feed they enter the food chain and get whacked. If they get reckless and stray up a couple feet say good night. Trout that have developed a taste for sculpins rarely say no when opportunity arises.
     
  20. McNasty

    McNasty Canyon Lurker

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    i can't think of a species of trout/char around where i live that hasn't coughed up a sculpin or had one in its mouth when caught. i like your observations Gene but i think Sean nailed it. hell ive even found big sculpin choked to death on smaller sculpin still in their mouth.
     

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