Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Zuddy's Flash Blend Sculpin

Last fall was honestly one of the hardest I've had swinging for Steelhead. Although the quality of the steelhead was fantastic, the numbers were dismal compared to most years and to make matters worse, we were plagued with high water much of the fall. High water is an enemy to swinging flies for steelhead and getting the fly to swing slow and deep enough proved a difficult task for much of the fall. The good news is that when the fishing is tough my motivation for trying new fly patterns increases (Pressure makes the creative edge sharper!)
The pattern below is one I worked on all fall and it accounted for the majority of Steelhead we hooked. Like many of my flies, it's a pretty simple tie. I hope you find it as useful as I did.

Note: I mostly tie steelhead flies on needle tubes nowadays, but if you tie this one on a hook, tie in the lead eyes on top of the hook then place the hook upside down in your vise, tying everything else in assuming the fly will ride hook up. If you're tying on a hook I would recommend a Daiichi 2461 in size 2 to 4.

Step 1: Place your tube in the tube fly adapter (Hareline item HMH3) and tie in size small, medium (shown) or large lead eyes about 1/4" behind the front of the tube (size of eyes depends on water flow). Then tie in a Grizzly Marabou Feather (Hareline item GRIZM) as the tail (olive is my favorite color for this fly).

Step 2: Tie in the tip of a Flash Blend Baitfish Brush (Hareline item FBB22-1) in Peacock (shown) or Olive and palmer forward 3 turns. Tie off and clip the remnant for later use. I recommend teasing the brush at this point as well... fluff it up!

Step 3: Tie in the tip of a large Mallard Flank in the color of your choice (I like Natural or Tan for this fly), then dub some red Ice Dub (Hareline item ICE300) up to the back of the lead eyes.

Step 4: Palmer the Mallard Flank forward through the dubbing and tie off right behind the lead eyes.

Step 5: Tie in a wing of Riple Ice Fiber (Hareline item RIP) in Peacock (shown) or Olive.

Step 6: Tie in a second wing of 3 to 4 Barred Crazy Legs in Olive/Green Flake (Hareline item CLB263) and also 1 to 2 of Senyo's Fusion Foil Legs in Barred Copper/Red Foil (Hareline item SFF4).

Step 7: Tie in the remnant of the Flash Blend Brush and wind 2 wraps behind the lead eyes and another 2 wraps in front of the eyes. Whip finish, Tease the Brush again and go swing it with confidence.

Note: My favorite hook to use with this fly and most of my tube flies is the Owner SSW in size 2 or 4.
Also, in regard to size, my finished fly is about 2 3/4" to 3" long.