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A small, soft baitfish imitation that will do a very good job standing in for a sculpin, but can be adapted to look like almost any small fish.
The Cuteling is called as it is because it's cute!
And because it's a very good imitation of a sculpin, which is called a kutling in Danish.
Now, cute doesn't cut it when it comes to imitating baitfish and catching more fish, but this fly is more than cute. It's actually also very identical to the natural.
It's a simple fly to tie, uses easily accessible materials and can be varied endlessly to look like any small fish. The tan color is a natural choice for the sculpin lookalike, but choose a combination of gray and silver to get a small pelagic fish, olive or black to get close to a darker type of fish, and white to get... well, a white fish. Rare in real life for sure, but white flies seem to work well, so a white variation may be worth having in the box.
You can of course simply make the tail one color and the body another. You can also mic dubbing of dark and bright colors in the loop to get a veriegated look.
If you want to be really artistic, your can break out your waterproof markers and start designing all kinds of color variations.
As is the case with many of Ken's other patterns, the Velcro stick is an important tool when tying the Cuteling. When you dub traditionally or use a dubbing loop like on this pattern, the result can typically become very fluffy or very tight. Some tyers can get a perfect body just dubbing, but the rest of us will have to use the Velcro to brush things in shape.
By combing the materials with Velcro while tying and after the fly is done, you get a more uniform shape and a smoother and more translucent look. And don't restrain yourself! You can be rather tough on the fly with the brush. As long as the dubbing has been applied firmly enough, the amount of material that you comb out of the fly is limited.