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).


How to Match a Sculpin

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.

Size 2-8 Muddler, Morrish Sculpin. Browns, olives
Lakes; rivers over gravel and cobble, undercut banks: count-down-and-retrieve, slow retrieve, wind drift, deep swing


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.