What You’ll Need


Lightning Strike, Hopper, size 6-10


Uni-thread 6/0, olive or color to match body


Grizzly marabou, olive


Painted lead eyes, gold, size small or med.


Sparkle braid, peacock green


Davy’s bug dub, olive


SLF, red


Grizzly marabou


Hen saddle, natural

Step 1

Start the thread at the front and secure the eyes. I talk more detail on this step on the Taneycomo sculpin. After securing the eyes, wrap back to the bend of the hook.

Step 2

Tie one strand of grizzly marabou. We are making the tail sparse since sculpins taper at the back. Trim the excess off.

Step 3

Kind of messed up on this step. First you’ll want to tie in the sparkle braid for the rib before adding dubbing. You can notice on the next step the rib is tied before the dubbing. The whole body will be dubbed to shape.

Step 4

Wind up to you almost get to the eye. A few steps will be tied right behind the lead eyes so leave enough room.

Step 5

Now ribbed up with the sparkle braid. Keeps the wraps evenly spaced. Counting the wraps will make every fly turn out the same. I’m a big fan of the count program. Trim the excess off.

Step 6

Make a few turns to create the gills.

Step 7

Rotate the vise or turn the fly upside down. Since the fly will ride hook point up we will tie in the marabou on top to make the dorsal fin.

Step 8

When selecting the right feather make sure you don’t have a stem in the center of the marabou. If so pluck it out. Usually out of a bag you’ll find some good ones that don’t have a stem. Tie one strand and trim the excess off. Note: It needs to be even with the marabou tail when proportion of the fly.

Step 9

Grab a fairly long hen saddle. You can find bigger ones in the back of the saddle. I like finding the ones that have a webby look to it. Tie it in and wind it in the same area as you wrap in front of each wrap. You will not tie it in at the tip.

Step 10

Usually you will end up using the whole feather to get the right look for creating the pectoral fins. Since sculpins are barred looking the mixture of grizzly and brown hen saddle will create the mottled look.

Step 11

The rest of the fly will be dubbing again. I like to make a few wraps back on the collar to push it back a little before I start filling in the eyes.

Step 12

Fill in the eyes with figure eight wraps on the top and the underside. Whip finish and glue the thread.

Step 13

Brush out the dubbing around the head, gills and it’s a finish product.

Step 14

Step 15

Step 16

Step 17