Sculpin Use...

SARG950

Active Member
I'm getting stoked about the upcoming spring and getting after bass again. I've been doing a lot of tying, mainly streamers but am asking you hardcore bassers how often you employ sculpin patterns, specifically those tied using those "sculpin helmets..." They obviously are fished a specific way and aren't going to make a lot of noise or draw strikes 'cause they're flashy. If you have some input, I'm especially interested in colors that you find most effective. Thanks!
 
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Johnathon Quarrell

Active Member
Last summer was my intro to bass on the fly. I live in trout country for sure. But I think about bass fishing everyday. I cannot wait to paddle out for some bass action this spring.
 

Jack Devlin

Active Member
I fished the helmet head sculpins quite a few times this past year in the salt, in small rivers, and in a lake. I generally don't fish sculpin patterns but I just had to try the helmets. They make for a great sculpin and get the fly down where it belongs. They do, however, make a bit of a splash which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I looked at two ways to tie the helmet pattern; The manufacturers method and Davy McPhail's. After trying both, I though Davy's style worked better ie less fouling. One thing to keep in mind is that you must use a hook large enough to provide hooking clearance. The helmets are thick. As far as colors go, that can very from water to water. In one river I fish, the sculpins are gray. In a lake I fish, the sculpins are olive brown with hints of gold.

I would think they would be great for bass. I might add a bit of flash.

The only downside to the helmet I can think of is the cost. Every time I lose one its a buck plus. :)

PS You can get the silver/uncolored helmets and easily make them any color you want by using a marker.
Jack
IMG_5166.jpg
 
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SARG950

Active Member
Thanks for your input. I also chose to employ McPhail's method but tie mine with a weedguard out of 30# clear mono. I'm looking forward to dunking some in the Yakima River later this spring/summer.
 

JS

Active Member
I fish sculpin patterns a ton for bass, especially when smolt aren't heading downstream in the summer months. I cant remember where, but I read somewhere that once a bass gets over a certain size in the Snake/Col system they switch from crawdads and big aquatic creatures such as leeches, to almost exclusively sculpin.

If you’re fishing the Columbia or Snake, dont be afraid to go BIG. Some of the sculpin I have seen come out of big bass are from 2-3.5” long and fat.
 

JS

Active Member
I fish sculpin patterns a ton for bass, especially when smolt aren't heading downstream in the summer months. I cant remember where, but I read somewhere that once a bass gets over a certain size in the Snake/Col system they switch from crawdads and big aquatic creatures such as leeches, to almost exclusively sculpin.

If you’re fishing the Columbia or Snake, dont be afraid to go BIG. Some of the sculpin I have seen come out of big bass are from 2-3.5” long and fat.
Also, check out fly fish foods Mohawk Sculpin. It uses the helmet and is a damn effective fly for everything that will eat a sculpin. Its a winner for the Yak, both up high and down low, let me tell you.
 

Jack Devlin

Active Member
Thanks for your input. I also chose to employ McPhail's method but tie mine with a weedguard out of 30# clear mono. I'm looking forward to dunking some in the Yakima River later this spring/summer.
Yeah, weed guard, good idea.
 

freestonebound

If it swims I'm interested.
Sculpins would be good. I have never fished one for smallmouth. I love to fish poppers(frogs and gartside gurglers) streamers (Barrs meatwhistle) one of a kinds (zimmermans geezus lizard) and helgrammites and crayfish never fail.
 

chattmr

has never caught a steelhead... (its sad, I know)
I fish them for spotted bass here in the south. I love the smallest size (I fish some really small waters) of helmets in brown. Pine squirrel strips for the tail. After the eyes are in place, I put a thin coat of UV resin over them to prevent the eyes popping out. I always use a marker to put stripes on the pine squirrel.

I love to fish them down and across at the tail-out of pools.

(this also works well for me in the Smokey Mountains for trout...)
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
BTW, I know I might be wandering a bit from Warm Water towards Fly Tying BUT.... if you're not aware of this item, check out Orvis Mangum's Variegated Mini Dragon Tail. I've got some on order, as it looks pretty interesting on a wide gap, weighted with a small maribou head?
Those look pretty sweet in the water. They're not terrible to cast (unlike the largest size) either...
 

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