Doug Saball - Sculpin Patterns Feature

By Doug Saball

Various Sculpin Patterns
Submitted By Doug Saball

[Emerald Muddler][Trout Fin Muddler] [Woohead Matuka Sculpin][Salty Black Muddler]
[Hornberg Muddler][Al Troth's Bullhead] [Jan Hansen's Yellow Muddler][White(Missoulin Spook) Muddler]

Emerald Muddler
Trout Fin Muddler
  • Thread: Green Uni-thread
  • Hook: Mustad 9672
  • Body: Silver tinsel
  • Tail: Florescent lime green squirrel tail
  • Wing: Florescent lime green squirrel tail
  • Collar: Bright green deer hair
  • Head: Bright green deer hair, spun and trimmed.
  • Comment: This pattern was given to me by Gayland Hachey of Veazie Maine in 1997.  At that time it was productive in the Eustis Maine area.  I've used this pattern in central Maine with some good fish caught.  I think that this pattern resembles a dragonfly nymph more than any bait fish, but since this series is about muddler minnows, I have decided to include the Emerald Muddler as well.
  • Thread: Black Mono-cord
  • Hook: Mustad 9672
  • Body: Silver tinsel
  • Wing: Orange marabou, then black marabou, topped with white marabou, extended to hook bend
  • Collar: Natural deer hair
  • Head: Natural deer hair spun and trimmed
Wool Head Matuka Sculpin
Salty Black Muddler
  • Thread: Brown Mono-cord
  • Hook: Mustad 9672
  • Body: Brown Uni-streach or floss
  • Ribbing: Gold tinsel five wraps
  • Tail/Wing: Body feather from a Buttercup hen
  • Cheeks: Body feather from a Buttercup hen,turned out
  • Head: Spun natural brown wool.
  • Tying Instructions
  • Thread: Black Mono-cord
  • Hook: Mustad, Salmon
  • Tail: Black Marabou, same length as hook shank
  • Body: Black Chenille
  • Ribbing: Silver tinsel
  • Collar: Olive deer hair
  • Head: Olive deer hair spun and trimmed
  • Tying Instructions
Hornburg Muddler Streamer
Al Troth's Bullhead
  • Thread: Black Mono-cord
  • Hook: Mustad 9672
  • Body: Silver tinsel
  • Underwing: Golden Pheasant crest feather, pointing down & extended past hook bend to form a tail
  • Wing: Two Silver Pheasant body feathers
  • Collar:Natural deer hair
  • Head: Natural deer hair spun and trimmed
  • Comment: This is a combination of the hornberg body and the muddler head with common streamer material. Although it can be tied with the standard hornburg materials or teal flank feathers. Since this is a streamer fly I decided to use some of the common streamer feathers.
  • Thread: Black nylon
  • Hook: Mustad, Salmon #36890 sizes 10 through 3/0.
  • Tail: Mixed black & white skunk guard hairs for light appearance
  • Body: Cream Chenille (angora wool in original).
  • Back: Black ostrich herl tied in at collar and tail over body and extending to tails length
  • Collar: Natural deer hair trimmed thin on top and bottom
  • Head: Natural deer hair spun and trimmed wide and very large.
  • Tying Instructions
Jan Hansen's Yellow Muddler
White (Missoulin Spook) Muddler
  • Thread: Brown Mono-cord
  • Hook: Mustad, salmon
  • Body: Yellow floss
  • Wing: Yellow Kiptail (bucktail in original)extended past the hook bend
  • Collar:Natural deer hair
  • Head: Natural deer hair spun and trimmed
  • Thread: White Mono-cord
  • Hook: Mustad 9672 or TDE 3XL, sizes 10 through 1/0.
  • Tail: Very light section of speckled turkey wing quill (I used silver pheasant wing quill section).
  • Tag: Red Chenille
  • Body: White rabbit dubbing (I used cream Chenille)
  • Ribbing: Flat Silver tinsel
  • Underwing: White Kiptail hair under a few sections of barred mallard flank feathers (Teal in original).
  • Wing: Matched pair of very light speckled turkey wing quills.
  • Collar:Natural deer hair spun and flared in front of the body with hair tips extending to hook point.
  • Head: White deer hair spun and trimmed.
  • Comment: According to McClane's "New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia" this pattern is a Dan Bailey variation of the muddler minnow. It originates in the Threeforks area of Montana's Missouri River. It is effective on big fall-run brown trout.

Woolhead Matuka Sculpin Tying instructions:

  1. Attach the Uni-strech about ¼ of the hook shank behind the hook eye.
  2. Wrap a layer of Uni-strech to the hook bend.
  3. Select two body feathers with feather material (no fluffy under fuzz)that extend one hook gape past the bend.
  4. Hold the feathers facing out with one hand and measure the tail/body area.
  5. Cut the lower section of the feather to create a tail, keeping the quill intact, with bottom of feather to fit around the bend of the hook.
  6. Attach the feather at the hook bend (where the "x" is in the above).
  7. Attach the tinsel at the bend of the hook.
  8. Wrap the Uni-streach toward the hook eye while holding the tail/wing quill above the hook.  (I have found that a "gallows rig for tying parachute dry flies to work great for this.)
  9. Carefully wrap the tinsel toward the hook eye and secure with the Uni-streach.  In traditional Atlantic Salmon fly technique, I like to make five wraps of the tinsel.
  10. Secure the front of the wing.  This is the easy Matuka wing. The more traditional one requires the feather to be attached near the hook eye with the body and ribbing material woven through the wing. I have found that his technique distorts the coloration of the Buttercup feathers.
  11. Select two curved feathers for the pectoral fins and strip the excess so that a tippet that is approximately the same size as the tail is left.
  12. Place the pectoral fin feathers in the area where a cheek should go. Tie with the under side of the feather faceing out.  This will cup the feather away from the hook shank.  Position them so that they have a slight downward slant.  Secure the quill, and tie off the uni-streach.  There should be approximately ¼ of the hook shank visible before the eye.
  13. Attach the brown thread
  14. Put a small portion of natural brown wool next to the hook shank.  Wrap the thread several times.  Repeat with small portions of wool until the hook shank is covered from the feathers to the eye.
  15. Trim so that a laterally compressed head is formed.  (Optional eyes can be affixed with cement.)

    Comments;  The desire of a trout fisherman is to closely resemble the food of pray.  In my opinion this pattern is the closest to an actual Sculpin. I have found that different wing material can be used to achieve different coloration.  Examples of other feather sources are; ruffled grouse in brown and gray, ring neck pheasants males and females, Reeves pheasants, and brown mottled turkey.  Enjoy.

Salty Black Muddler Tying instructions:

  1. Tie this pattern the same as a regular muddler minnow.

    Comments:  This pattern is most productive near rock shores and jetties or breakwaters.  It is a proven fly for sea-run trout, stripers and bluefish. When casting this fly keep it close to the rocks.  Sculpin usually stay close to these areas and seldom venture out in open water.

Al Troth's Bullhead Tying Instructions:

  1. Start the tying thread at the eye and wrap the hook shank to the tail.
  2. Select some skunk fur and comb out the under fur so that you have a small clump of mixed white and black guard hairs.  (I save the under fur for dubbing other flies.)
  3. Attach the tail at the bend so it is the width of the hook gape.
  4. Attach the black Ostrich herl so the tips are even with the tip of the tail and can extend past the hook eye, but don't cut off the excess yet.You can hold this portion above the hook shank with a gallows jig used for tying parachute dry flies.
  5. Attach the Cream Chenille and wrap toward the hook eye leaving enough room to tie in the remaining material.
  6. Pull the remaining ostrich hurl over the back of the cream Chenille and attach it near the hook eye to create a "shell back."
  7. Spin the deer hair collar and head.  Trim so that the collar is light on top and bottom and the head is wide and very large.

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