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How To Tie Jeremy Hunt's High Water Sculpin
White River High Water Sculpin
Recipe: Hook: TMC 7999, 1/0 or 2/0 Thread: Danville 210, color to match body Eyes: Metz Eyes Foam: 2MM tied on the bend of the hook, or hard mason mono in 30 pound- Tail: Barred Rabbit from Hareline, Olive Body: Select Marabou, Bucktail Pec Fins: Barred Marabou from Hareline Head: Wool
Copyright 2009 ,Patent Pending
The one and only ďotherĒ Sculpin- High Water
So last year as some of you know I really went gun-ho on the streamer fishing. I knew the White River was built for this. If you ask me, I wouldnít want to throw indicator rigs or dries because this river is a whole other ball game. Sure, those things work, but remember I said, built for. This river is all about big browns and there is a way to only target this species. Yes, you won't play the numbers game, but thatís not what it's about. Itís about that one fish. Big flies are what theyíre after and thatís what I think triggers the other side of their brain.
I know for a fact there are tons of sculpins in this water because Iíve seen them by the hundreds up at the dam in low water after a heavy generation. After playing around with several articulated patterns and tying with marabou by the boat load. I started thinking about a good streamer that would imitate these bigger sculpins, but still keep the movement and the profile. I also know that most bigger fish would hit the front hook instead of the back hook, which tells me they are attacking it from the head, trying to kill it.
So when coming up with this pattern I thought about all those things. You could and I have put a trailer on this pattern, but really you donít need it. You can also tie this fly keeled style and make it ride directly on the bottom, other ways to tweek the pattern. The way I tie is the way I like it and it works for what Iím trying to accomplish. Something buggy in the water and has a big profile to entice a big trout. Because we are relying on sinking heads (275-450 grain) that have 30-40 foot heads this is why we donít worry about weighting the hook as much. This is the way the industry is evolving. (A whole other subject which will be what I talk about on my newsletter article, switch rods and streamer rod).
About the pattern
A few things that make the fly, Marabou for the action and a wool head to keep the profile shape. I like the barring look and think the more you can have this in the pattern, the more you can create the mottled affect. Changing the color scheme through the fly will also help it. The major colors to think about when tying these are olives and browns. Hareline came out with several barred rabbit colors that have truly revolutionized rabbit to a whole other level. Without it we would be lost on what we can create now to really mimic baitfish patterns or anything big in the water that fish eat.
You can have a foul guard for the back so the tail doesnít twist around, but I have found foam to be a big kicker for more action in the pattern, but also serves the same purpose. Another way to look at how you tie streamer patterns. I also added a little bucktail as a wing to help keep everything in line. Have fun fishing it as I know you will!!
Cut a piece of 2mm foam to be the same width as the rabbit hide. You can make it a little wider if you want. Measure it to be a little more than half the length of the hook shank.
Tie in the tail to be twice the length as the hook shank or a little longer. It needs to be long or the marabou will over take the fly and it wonít look proportioned correctly.
Tie in the first plume of marabou. Youíll tie it in from the tip. To learn more about this step click here.
Wrap the plume up until you reach the stiff part of the stem. Cut the excess and tie back on the marabou to lay it back instead of flaring out. Youíll repeat this two more times. I also change the second plume to another olive color to create more dimension to the fly.
This olive is a little smaller then followed up with a sculpin olive color. Repeat the same step.
Last color, you should be up at the eye when doing the last wrap. Tie back on this one as well. Then we will have room for the pectoral fins and the bucktial, also the wool.
This material is from Spirit River or Hareline. Youíll use one big nice plume for each side.
Tie in some bucktail to measure about the end of the hook shank in length.
So this is where youíll need a marker to make your own barring on the top section of the wool. This will help keep the barring going all the way down. To learn more about how to in wool click here. When selecting the wool to make the markings lay it on a flat piece of paper and with the broad end just press down and repeat it on both sides. Iím using a prism color marker. I like these the best out of permanent.
You will do this step three times, two behind the eyes and one in front. You need to tie one on the top and one on the bottom before pulling one back and then the other, you canít do them at the same time. This picture came out better then the other so I know this one shows more olive (totally different fly). I just wanted you to see how messy it will look before cutting the head to shape. Itís just like stacking deer hair.
Another example ; You can also add a little ďmagic cupĒ to add more action. This would be tied on first before anything. You just slide it right over the eye and tie it down with .006 mono thread.
Finish product. Whip finish and glue it. Cutting it to shape might take a few times, but you'll get it, just think cone shape when designing it. Flat bottom with an up angle on the top. Make sure not to cut the barred wool you first tied in.