Ron McKusick - Sculpin Patterns Feature - Global FlyFisher

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Ron McKusick - Sculpin Patterns Feature


By Doug Saball

Cone Head Sculpin, Cone Head Wooly Bugger Sculpin, Near 'Nuff Dumbbell Sculpin, Dumbbell Wooly Bugger Sculpin
Originated and Submitted By Ron McKusick


[Cone Head Sculpin] [Cone Head Wooly Bugger Sculpin] [Near 'Nuff Dumbbell Sculpin] [Dumbbell Wooly Bugger Sculpin]


Doug Saball is doing a sculpin feature on the streamer list. So I thought we should tie a few. The nice thing about being a fly tyer is that if you don't like what is available, you can make up your own styles. So this is what I have done.

Cone Head Sculpin
Materials List
  • Hook: TMC 300 size 6
  • Large gold plated brass cone head
  • Decal stick on eyes size 1/8 inch
  • Brown grizzly marabou
  • Brown grizzly body feathers
  • Brown grizzly webby hackles
  • Red dubbing fur
  • Brown 6/0 thread
  • Loon Hardhead clear cement

Ron's Tying Instructions


  1. Take a hook and squeeze the barb down. Then take a cone head and put the hook point through the small whole. Slide it to the eye of the hook and put the hook in the vice.
  2. Start the thread behind the cone head and dub some red fur behind the cone head. Then run the thread to the hook bend and back to the eye, then back to the middle of the hook. Run a bead of thick cement along the thread windings.
  3. Pick 2 brown grizzly marabou plumes and size them to the hook. They should be as long as the hook shank. Take one and place it on the far side of the hook, you will tie down the thick quill end to the hook shank. Do the same to the near side of the hook. You now have 2 brown grizzly maraboy as a tail. Cement the wings with a thin coat of thick cement.
  4. Pick 2 more grizzly marabou and the tips of these should extend half the length of the first. Repeat step 3 with this shorter marabou.
  5. Pick a long brown grizzly body hackle or a wide webby brown grizzly saddle or neck hackle and tie this in by it's tip.
  6. Run the thread to the cone head and tie in a 6-inch length of brown chenille, run the thread over the chenille down to the tail and then back to the cone head. Cement the wings.
  7. Wind the chenille close together to the red gills and tie off.
  8. Wind the brown grizzly hackle to the red gills and tie off.
  9. Choose two round tipped body hackles, these will be the pectoral fins. These should be ½ the length of the body and kind of slanted down.
  10. If you are not satisfied with the amount of red dubbing that represents the gills, now is the time to add more. Whip finish the thread and cut it off.
  11. Put a coat of thick cement over the eye and cone head allowing it to seep into the red gills. Make sure that the eye of the hook is clear of cement.

Near 'Nuff Dumbbell Sculpin #1
Near 'Nuff Dumbbell Sculpin #2
Three of the flies use a brass dumbbell eye as weight. One uses fake fur for the tail and body. Just tie it down with thread and tie in another bunch. Then comb it back with an old tooth brush. All the sculpins use red dubbing near the head and eye to represent gills. These are to be fished on or near the bottom where natural sculpins live.
Dumbbell Wooly Bugger Sculpin
The other fly is tied like a wooly bugger for the tail and body and near the eyes, I added a pair of fins made of grizzly body feathers dyed brown. Then at the head I tie in a chunk of brown polly fur and combed it back then trimmed it.
Cone Head Wooly Bugger Sculpin
The last fly I used a brass cone head for the head and weight. I added the decal eyes latter and coated the eyes with cement. These are tied like wooly buggers with pectoral fins made of brown grizzly body feather tips and red dubbing for the gills. These are the easiest to tie.



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