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Al's Catch All Sculpin
Hook:Any streamer hook, size 14 to 5/0.
Thread:Tan, 3/0 monocord.
Body:6 mixed feathers from a pheasant saddle. (Other similar feathers can be used or mixed in to create the body color and contrast desired.)
Tail:None. (Crystal Flash or some other flashy material can be added to the sides to increase visibility.)
Head:Deer hair, elk hair, or caribou hair. Trim flat on top and bottom, trim the sides wide, forming a wide head like the head of a sculpin.
'Nowadays fly fishing in general, and for browns in particular, always seems to focus on exacting imitations, presentation and technique. Streamer fishing, in most all cases, successfully ignores most of t his and tends to get right to the heart of the matter. Brown trout eat small fish and when available they will also eat crayfish, sculpin, stonefly nymphs and anything else that looks like it could provide a substantial meal. — Chris J. Francis, excerpt from Brown Trout.
Select three pairs of feathers from the saddle of a Ringneck Pheasant. The first pair should be long, greenish/brown feathers from the the area immediately in front of the tail. The second pair should be shorter and from further to the front of the saddle. The last pair should be shorter yet and highly figured feathers from the front of the saddle.
Trim the feathers so that no fuzz is left on the bottom, them form two piles of feathers; longest feather on the bottom and shortest on the top.
Even the shafts of the first pile of feathers, then tie them as a group on the far side of the hook, curvature facing in. Repeat the process on the near side of the hook, turn the feathers on the hook to make them upright if neede d. Apply a drop of cement.
Spin a large deer hair head, about twice as large as you would use on a muddler minnow. You can stack or alternate with dyed hair clumps to create a mottled appearance like a real sculpin has.
Trim the hair flat on the top and bottom and wide on the sides to create the triangle shape that is common to sculpin heads.
Cement liberally with Flexament to prevent unraveling from toothy fish like pike.
If you add a large brass bead, it will swim like a jig. This is a favorite fly for walleyes.
'Whoever first decided to use spun and clipped deer hair for the heads of streamers, kind of missed the boat. It works well and is durable enough, but deer hair floats and streamers are supposed to sink. A quick way to alleviate this problem is to carry a small bottle of biodegrabable dish soap with you. Soak the deer hair heads with the soap immediately after tying them on. This helps water saturate the hair faster and improves the sinking qualities of this material. The smel l of this does not bother the fish.' — Chris J. Francis, excerpt from Brown Trout.
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