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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dual Threat Sculpin

Add Some Meat to Your Dead Drift Game


I really like sculpins - We're talking about how much Curtis likes computers, so it's kind of a big deal.  It's true that they are the bottom dwelling slimy creatures that scour the bottoms of most western trout streams, but big trout love to eat them.  I have played with a lot of different sculpin variations through the years, and there are two things that I have decided I like in a sculpin - they need to ride close to the bottom, and they need to have a fat head with a skinny body, tapering of course .  This being said, an inverted hook, and proper material selection are critical to achieve maximum bottom hugging and tapered slithering ability.  My best sculpins have been the El Sculpito and the Belly Scratcher Sculpin because they both have these characteristics of having good taper and riding low in the water column.  I usually fish those flies with a slight cast upstream, dead drift for a little bit, and then start to strip once it's directly across to slightly downstream from me.  Swinging them has been really good as well.  After fishing these for years, I realized that I'd love a bug that looked more natural in the water on the dead drift part of my presentation.  OR...  Maybe make a bug that I could dead drift all the time and have it ride horizontally.  Even more, I had thoughts of fishing a big nasty sculpin on the bottom of a tight line nymph rig with 2x tippet and hanging a pink squirmy wormy about 20" above it.  THAT - is the definition of a filthy nymph rig.  I went through lots of hooks and styles before it hit me like a ton of bricks on day while I was tying balanced damsels for high mountain lakes.  I needed to tie it "balanced" style.  As I searched for the proper extension pin, I realized that I could just cut a shank, lash it on there really tight, and then I'd still be able to fish it non-balanced style as well.  Kind of a dual threat! If you are thoroughly confused what all this "balanced" stuff means, the video below will clear all that up.

Tips for tying - This bug really isn't super complicated at all, just a bit time consuming.  Make sure to pay attention on the part of the video where the hook is lashed to the shank.  If it's not done properly the shank will pull off of the hook.  Also with the zonker strip, I feel that tapering the magnum strip is critical to this fly because if you don't, you will be missing out on taper and movement in the back section of the fly.  Also, there have been some minor changes to the pattern that I prefer.  I have been using black and orange double pupil eyes instead of yellow, and I officially upgraded to a size 2 hook for this one to increase the hook gap.  The overall length of the fly is the same, just bigger gap.  

Lastly...  I had been battling a cold, so please forgive all the coughing in the video;)

Happy drifting with the dirty bird rig.

~ Cheech



Dual Threat Sculpin - Olive

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Hook: TMC S506H Specialty Jig Hook - 2     
Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread - 140 Denier - Olive     
Shank: Articulated Fish Spines - 25mm Shanks (24 pack)     
Eyes: Double Pupil Lead Eyes - Large - Black w/ Fl. Orange & Black     
Body: Cactus Chenille - Pearl - Medium     
Gills 1: Polar Reflector Flash Chenille - Olive     
Gills 2: Polar Reflector Flash Chenille - Blood Red     
Tail: Magnum Rabbit Strips - Olive Variant     
Fins: Kiley's Fish Finz - Mottled Olive - Large     
Head 2: Bruiser Blend Junior Dubbing - Brown Olive     
Head 2: Bruiser Blend Junior Dubbing - Pale Lemon     
Marker 1: Chartpak Fly Tying Markers - Black     
Marker 2: Chartpak Fly Tying Markers - Delta Brown (Dark Brown)     
Resin: Loon UV Clear Fly Finish - Thick (1/2 oz)     


Dual Threat Sculpin - Tan

Add to Cart   View in store


Hook: TMC S506H Specialty Jig Hook - 2     
Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread - 140 Denier - Tan     
Shank: Articulated Fish Spines - 25mm Shanks (24 pack)     
Eyes: Double Pupil Lead Eyes - Large - Black w/ Fl. Orange & Black     
Body: Cactus Chenille - Pearl - Medium     
Gills 1: Polar Reflector Flash Chenille - Tan     
Gills 2: Polar Reflector Flash Chenille - Blood Red     
Tail: Magnum Rabbit Strips - Gold Variant     
Fins: Kiley's Fish Finz - Mottled Brown - Large     
Head 2: Bruiser Blend Junior Dubbing - Alpha Wolf     
Head 2: Bruiser Blend Junior Dubbing - Cream     
Marker 1: Chartpak Fly Tying Markers - Black     
Marker 2: Chartpak Fly Tying Markers - Delta Brown (Dark Brown)     
Resin: Loon UV Clear Fly Finish - Thick (1/2 oz)     



Other tools from the tutorial:
Tiemco Deer Hair Scissors - Fine     
Loon Ergo Bobbin     
Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool     
Loon UV Mega Light     
Fly Tyer's Z-Ment     

2 comments:

  1. This fly is sick and just what the dr ordered. I was just having this conversation about the 'dead drift' appearance of a streamer and what you have here is a great solution. Have you been able to actually observe it? Will it drift like a wounded baitfish? I'm asking, does it actually work?

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure that it will be tweaked like we do with all of our flies... That being said, it does all that I wanted it to in the water. If you dead drift sculpins, you won't be disappointed with how this one fishes;)

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