Throughout our season, one of the most consistent ways to target our big Alaskan rainbow trout is with sculpin patterns. While tossing mice or drifting flesh and egg patterns certainly have their place during parts of our season, a good sclupin imitation is usually a safe bet no matter what time of year. Our trout love gorging on sculpins, and in no way are we complaining about that.
However, a good sculpin imitation can be pretty time consuming to tie, and for a fly that is best fished near the bottom or around snaggy structure, breaking off such flies can be a bit frustrating.
Therefore, over the last few years we’ve grown really fond of Fish Skull Sculpin Helmets. They’ve allowed us to tie quick sculpin flies that look great, get deep, and fish well (for example, like this). They can be tied on a shank (they’re keeled to ride true with the hook point up to avoid snagging bottom), or on a small diameter tube (such as HMH’s Small Poly Tubes). They’ve certainly made our life easier and we think they might do the same for you too.
They’re not only useful in Alaska however.. Sculpins are one of the most abundant forage fish for trout in the world, and are likely to work well on your home waters too! Available in three sizes (large, small, and mini) and three different colors (olive, brown, and silver), there’s plenty of options to tailor your sculpin flies to the fishery at hand.