Matuka Sculpin |
By Jason Akl
Sculpins and trout have been at war for decades with no clear winner coming out on top. On one hand you have the sculpin, a bottom dwelling predatory fish that makes its living raiding redds for eggs and capturing small trout fry hiding along the rocky bottom. On the other hand trout we have trout that have a ferocious appetite for anything that swims.
Sculpins usually range anywhere from 1 ½ to 4 inches in length and come in a wide variety of color combinations of browns, tans and greens to coincide with the river bottom they inhabit. A key characteristic of sculpins is a particularly large flat head with close set eyes and rounded fins.
To fish sculpin patterns the real trick is to get the fly down near bottom. Sculpins are not considered great swimmers by any means, so most of their lives are spent near or on the bottom forging for food. Therefore, it makes clear and common sense that imitating this behavior will be most effective for anglers. When fishing sculpin patterns stripping the fly line and allowing the fly to dart along the bottom back and forth will get that large, aggressive trout to bite. What happens after that is up to you.