Sculpin

Other Common Names: Bullhead
Scientific Names: genus Cottus

Sculpins live in rivers and lakes, as well as in saltwater. They favor rocky areas, and I've often come up with sculpins when seining the river for nymphs. Although they can live in lakes, they do well in fast currents if they can stay near the bottom.

Most sculpins are three to six inches long, so they are a choice meal for a large fish. Fishing a sculpin imitation is a good way to hook that trophy trout you've been looking for. That's why fly tyers have spent a lot of time developing good patterns. You can present the fly with a retrieve or with a wet-fly swing (in a river).

Characteristics

SIZE: typically 3 to 6 inches

COLOR: Brown, olive-brown; mottled

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS: Large head and pectoral fins; flattened appearance; species for both freshwater and saltwater.

 

Click on the fly name to see the pattern. Click on the presentation to learn how to do it.

STAGE PATTERN SIZE/
COLOR
PRESENTATION WHERE
Adult Muddler 2-8
Browns, olives
count-down-and-retrieve, slow retrieve, wind drift, deep swing Lakes; rivers over gravel and cobble, undercut banks
Morrish Sculpin 2-8
Browns, olives
count-down-and-retrieve, slow retrieve, wind drift, deep swing Lakes; rivers over gravel and cobble, undercut banks