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Sculpin/Baitfish, or Xmas Fly #1

Tim A

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It just dawned on me that I will be unable to do the "12 days of Christmas flies" because I will be out of town a lot the next two weeks for various family functions. So I figured I would start my contribution now with a fly that caught me my personal best brown trout on Monday.



I've been seeing a lot of new fly patterns lately that I've been envious of, and these are mainly big streamers aimed at big brown trout and other salmonids of the Lake Michigan basin. They typically have highly-mobile lengthy tails--either articulated or zonker, a lot of marabou, and bulky dubbed heads. Googling around, I came across the "Senyo Sculpin" by fanatical Steelheader and guide Greg Senyo and Steelhead Alley Outfitters. It fit the bill and I had all the materials, so I tied a few up. Of course, I can't settle for just taking someone's pattern. So I played around with different size heads, eyes, amounts of marabou, types of flash, etc. Below is what I came up with. The olive one is the one that caught me two big browns on Monday.



Hook: Long-shank streamer hook such as TMC-202SP or 700SP, size 2

Tail: Zonker strips

Flash: Flashabou

Dubbing: Ice Dub

Collar/Wing: Marabou

Head: Ice Dub (tied in large clumps then trimmed)

Eyes: 3D molded eyes, 5mm or 8mm, adhered w/ Goop





If you let the head get too big you might have issues with the fly not keeling properly, but I can report no problems so far when using a non-slip mono loop to attach the fly.


Happy Holidays!

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Thanks, guys. I appreciate the feedback.


Andy, yes, the zonker is tied fur-down (hide-up), with flash tied over top of it. I also love barred materials on flies. Fortunately, I found I had some barred root beer marabou and barred brown zonker to incorporate on that fly.


Regardless of direction tied, the zonker will foul every so often, so on some of them I've used a length of mono tied straight off the back of the hook and puncturing the zonker about half-way back. This works okay but kills some of the "wiggly" action. The fur still dances nicely, as does the section without mono. Another solution is a mono loop under the zonker, which I use on other flies but haven't put on this pattern yet.


Oooh, almost forgot: I listed "dubbing" because the shank is dubbed between the tail and the marabou. This helps ensure you don't make the head too long. I think Senyo calls for 1/4" of hookshank before tying in the marabou. I left about 1/2".

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