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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Alaska, Kenai River
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Sculpin help

Hey Folks,

I'm trying to tie a new sculpin for throwing on Alaskan rivers. My goal for this Summer is no trout under 24". I would love it to have a stinger (single hook law) and be articulated if possible.

I have 30 years tying experience and a room, yes, room full of material. For some reason, I'm having difficulty getting the right design after 30 prototypes. Black and brown are the local species, up to 15" long. I would like to throw no less than 3" and up to 6-7".

Any ideas are really welcome. Wings, easy. Spun deer hair, easy. Help me out. My artistic juices have frozen up. It sub-zero, maybe that's it.

Thanks for all.

Alaskan
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 07:53 AM
Peter Finnis
 
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Hello there. Check out the Articulator Sculpin on my gallery page. If you like what you see, the dressing is as follows:

Rear Hook - 4 long shank
Tail - Olive/Brown Barred rabbit strip
Body - Olive, Brown and Black wrapped marabou blood quills

Connection - Loop of 50 to 80lb superbraid

Front Hook - 4 liong shank
Body - Olive, Brown and Black wrapped marabou blood quills interspersed with strands of copper krystalflash
Head & Collar - Black Deer Hair spun & trimmed to shape with glued on quarter inch red/black 3D eyes
Nose - Large copper cone head

In the photo on the gallery page, I've clipped of the rear hook at the bend. However, you can leave both hooks intact or clip the front one and leave the rear. This fly is a beast to cast but it swims beautifully and does catch. I've had some nice browns upto 3 or 4lbs on this fly as well as some as small as 12inches! Also, it is easy to modify the overall colour scheme to suit the local sculpins.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 09:31 AM
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Tie a Chuck's sculpin string leech style w/ magnum rabbit strips. I'm pretty sure you can find step-by-step instructions if you go to flyfisherman.com and fly tying bench. I'd post a link, but I'm pretty sure that's a no-no. The instructions are for tying on a hook, but could be easily adapted. I'm messing w/ a pseudo sculpin pattern that's basically a string leech w/ a spun deer hair head around dumbbell eyes.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 09:34 AM
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Articulated zoo cougar. Best sculpin imitation IMO.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 10:41 AM
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I am in the works on a new one so stay tuned. I used one last year that I made ,all black with rabbit for the tails. It was so good til I lost it. But I use mine for smallies and haven't tried it out on trouts but will.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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sculpin help

A stark realization; there is no one perfect sculpin pattern.

Thanks to all who made suggestions. I sat back at the table and pulled out some other material. Very dark brown racoon tail hair combed out, cinnamon brown bear hair, wolverine tail, 6 single strands of copper flash, beautiful golden cinnamon cree hackles (thin, long), collar of black marabou, and spun dark brown and black deer hair, gold/black eyes. I've got the stinger at the back.

First prototype is 6" long. Wonderful. Looks like a gang of chickens attacked a fur bearing animal on my table though. Thanks goodness for vacuums.

Have a great day all.

Alaskan
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 10:38 AM
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check out kelly galloups skulpin on youtube. Massive thing, i think it would work well for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWq95R0vv24

very nice fly, i have tied them, lets just say they work
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younggun View Post
check out kelly galloups skulpin on youtube. Massive thing, i think it would work well for you.
Yes, that's the zoo cougar I suggested above. You can also tie them articulated by using palmered marabou for the bodies and a flank feather wing. Use a straight eye #4 streamer front hook and a straight eye #6 streamer hook for the rear.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 02:17 PM
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Sink Rate

Keep in mind that Articulated Zoo cougar's wing is a flat mallard flank wing that resist sinking. The deer hair doesnot help either altho not packed heavily. Kevin Feenstra has some sculpin flies that uses possum fur and ice dubbing instead of deer hair.

Perhaps add lead wraps on shank or heavier tips if fishing deeper.

I personally like a unweighted fly that requires minimal help from the sinktips in sinking it to right depth. I find the unweighted fly to have better shimmy effect, esp. with Non slip loop knot.

Conservation is nothing more than the fight to save ourselves from ourselves, work that can only be done by ourselves.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 12:58 AM
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thats what a sinktip or sinking line is for, dont use split shot!
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 07:42 AM
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
"thats what a sinktip or sinking line is for, dont use split shot!"
I see no mention of 'split shot' anywhere in this thread.

Well recognized-published Michigan guide Kevin Feenstra has an articulated pattern 'Physco Sculpin' I like. Easy tie and effective. Nice web site, just google his name.

Rambo ties some nice stuff, no doubt.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 10:47 AM
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Zoo Cougar and depth

I once heard from Kelly Galloup that the Zoo Cougar does not need to fish deep to entice big trout. He said that he fishes this fly 3-4" below the surface, even with a full Type V sinking line. He reasons that big trout are extremely territorial, and they will strike even when a fly is shallow.

I personally experienced that once on the AuSable river when out of nowhere, a 16" came out from the bottom of a pool to inspect my muddler minnow just 2" shallow. But I froze up. If fish had fingers, its middle one would be pointing at the sky to my fly.

For those adapting for steelhead, the flat mallard flank wing will give a great profile for a fish looking up. But it is also sink resistant.

But my impression looking at Classic Salmon and Steelhead flies is a SIDE profile is more sought after, and not top profile (via Flat Wings) that is sink resistant.

Perhaps this top profile is a new avenue, but one that requires additional help sinking (Yes, split shots not mentioned so far but some might prefers this as the additional help).

Oops, forgot one more thing. This fly was created with Strip- Retrieving the sinking line. The tapered Deer hair nose helps it dive, but not much since 1) there isn't enough taper to dive it strong enough to pull the entire system down (sinking line included) 2) the deer hair head is not packed but loose for creating an impression of bulk without floating much.

Conservation is nothing more than the fight to save ourselves from ourselves, work that can only be done by ourselves.

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Last edited by sushiyummy; 01-30-2008 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Clarification
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 09:17 AM
Peter Finnis
 
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I have had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Galloup and can honestly say that you could not meet a more friendly and honest guy. His streamer patterns are very innovative and he is clearly at the forefront of modern streamer design. Personally, I prefer his Zoo Cougar in its original guise as a single hook pattern. However his amusingly named Sex Dungeon in olive/brown is an excellent articulated pattern with a very sculpin-like profile.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 02:55 PM
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Depth?

All this discussion about deer hair patterns has me wondering what depth you're fishing and what water temps. The Zoo Cougar is made for stripping, not for getting depth, and is thus at its best in warmer temps where fish will move more to the fly. Wool or some hair such as Aussie Possum are far better if you wanna get down below the top couple of feet and/or are swinging.

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