Many of you know I love fishing Sculpin Patterns. I have been playing around with a new series of Sculpin flies by Rich Strolis. The Headbanger series consists of 3 flies the Headbanger; a 5" articulated beast, the Roadie; a more subtle 3" version, and the Groupie; a 1.5" micro version of this great fly. I have a few of them floating around the shop and everybody that looks at them always seem intrigued. I have landed a ton of Smallmouth on this fly and have recently been fishing the micro version on some trout rivers having success on both stocked and wild fish. I am not real big on step-by-step posts, but several people have asked so here you go. Thanks to all that have admired the flies I have tied, it is truly a humbling experience for me, and a big thanks to Rich for coming up with a great series of flies.
This next series of pictures show how the pectoral fins are tied in. Here I used Senyo's laser yarn in Sculpin Olive. Tease a small clump out and tie it in, in the middle on side of the shank. Repeat this on the other side. Once both sides are tied in fold the front half back and tie down. At this point you can trim them to length if necessary.
These next pictures show the Sculpin Helmet after it has been installed. Zap-A-Gap works great here. Just be sure to test fit before you put glue on the fly. A drop on the top and bottom of the fly will do it.
There you have it. A simple yet VERY effective tie. I like the olive color, but rusty brown looks great and fishes great as well. Read about the rusty brown pattern here. Stop by and pick up the materials to tie up a few of these. I will bet you have most of them at home already. Swim these babies in and around rocks and ledges on your favorite trout river this fall, you will be glad you did!
We would like to thank everybody that came out in support of the Marblehead Spey Clave. The day was full of casting, tying and fun. This was the first dual spot event we have done. Mary Ann, Frank and myself were up in the shop answering questions, coordinating the shuttle and running the "sales" part of the event. Frank was tying some awesome flies (a few of which he donated to me, thanks buddy) and he kept everyone at his table interested in the great Salmon and Steelhead patterns he was tying.
Down on the river Terry and Andrew ,with help from Rick, spent the day giving instruction and casting demos. With all of our manufactures represented people had a great time casting all of the rods from Sage, Loomis, Redington, and Ross. The one rod that seemed to get the most attention was the 7126-4 Sage Method. "That rod is awesome" "it is the smoothest casting spey I have felt" "I love it" and the ever popular "my wife is gonna divorce me" were some of the comments I heard as people returned from the river. The Redington Prospector rods got some favorable reviews as did the new Loomis Pro4-X rods.
All in all it was a big success! We would like to thank all of the people that helped this event come together. Our sales reps for making their demo rods available for the event. Frank for tying some great flies and helping our customers better understand the construction of Salmon and Steelhead flies. Ed and Pat for running the shuttle cars all day. Ed for taking all of the great pictures. Andrew for instructing on the river all day.Last but certainly not least you, our loyal customers, without you there would be no events like this.
Here is a slideshow of the rest of the great pictures Ed took of the event.
All of the rods, lines, reels and other equipment we used on the river are in stock now at the shop. Please feel free to stop in and check out what is new in the world of Spey and Light spey fishing. To read how you can put this type of casting to use in our local waters like the Brandywine, White Clay, and many others click here.
Our last post focused on fall fishing and the fact that this may be the best time to throw streamers for Trout. A few Sundays ago I found myself heading to one of my favorite rivers. All of my buddies were ether up in Martha's Vineyard chasing Albies, working or had previous plans so I was flying solo. I have some new patterns I have been working with and I had decided to fish a new streamer pattern all day. The "Headbanger" series of flies evolved from great mind of Rich Strolis. These Sculpin based series of flies are highly effective, easy to tie and can be tied in a verity of sizes and colors. Using all three sizes of Fish Skull Sculpin Helmets this pattern can be tied as small as 2 inches or you can articulate it and tie a 6 inch fly suitable for an 8 weight. Brown / Rust and Black / Olive seem to be the two most popular color choices.
Articulated and about 6 inches long an 8 or 9 weight is in order here. This is the original Headbanger.
The "Roadie" is about 3 inches long, uses the medium Helmet and throws nicely on a 7 wt.
The "Groupie" is about 1.5 inches long, uses the mini Helmet and can be cast with a 5 or 6 weight rod.
After arriving at my spot, I rigged up the six weight Pro-4X and the Lamson GURU with a 6' Rio Versa leader with a 3.6ips sink rate and a simple leader of three feet of 3X fluorocarbon. I debated between the two colors and settled on the Brown / Rust pattern
Knowing I wanted to fish down stream I started the hike up stream to the spot where I wanted to start fishing. After about a 45 minute walk I was at the starting point and got in the zone...cast, swing, strip. Moving down 3 steps each time and repeating the process. I will admit I was a little surprised the amount of water I covered before I got my first take, which I promptly missed. I didn't have to wait long as on the next cast I was rewarded with a bit of a surprise.
I will NEVER complain about landing a Smallmouth, even a little guy like this one. This is just not what I expected. I didn't have to wait long until I got the one I was looking for. This little guy absolutely smashed my Sculpin. It is hard to believe a fish no longer than 12 inches can fight the way these wild Browns do.
I continued working my way downstream swimming the little Sculpin around and under every rock I could see. I am not sure if it is because the hook point is up or if the design of the head has anything to do with it, but the fly really didn't seem to hang up much at all. Even when I put it in places I probably shouldn't have. A couple more Browns came to hand then I got a real treat. I was sure I had a better than average Brown on. He was shaking his head like crazy and went straight to the bottom. He actually earned his way to the reel and after a short battle this beautiful Smallmouth came to the net.
All in all 3 Smallmouth and several wild Browns were landed that day all on the same brown / rust Strolis "Groupie" Sculpin. I actually fished the same fly all day. Here are a few more pictures from the day.
I really do enjoy fishing Streamers in the fall, and now is the perfect time to do it. Rich has come up with an exceptional pattern here. I am sure this will be a staple pattern in my Streamer box before long. If you are looking for A change from the norm grab your six weight, a sink tip and some big "meat and potato" flies and go have a ball. If this streamer thing is as exciting to you as it is to me you may be interested in our "Articulated" fly tying class. This class will start on October 23 and run four consecutive weeks. Cost is $75.00 and we have 3 seats left. Please give us a call if you are interested.
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