I remember the bulky fly vest, brimming with boxes of this bug and that, sagging with the weight of everything under the sun. Then I got caught up in swinging streamers and foregoing numbers of willing bug-eating trout for a few really nice ones accompanied by that unforgettable tug that most dedicated streamer swingers grow to lust after. It's a simple game, chucking a sizeable morsel of meat into the river and offering a mouthful to whoever is hungry enough to play.
I like big streamers that elicit big grabs and have cast my share of wet socks in search of the biggest predators, but I've always figured that trout and large char probably eat, or at least have access to, a lot more smaller prey fish than the truly big stuff. Some days they seem to shy away and get a bit cagey about the big flies too. Besides, let's face it, the giant double-articulated monsters aren't exactly fun to cast. I've been finding a more modest sized sculpin pattern works really well, especially in lower flows. It'll still tempt the big boys, but isn't too much for a 12" trout to take on either. Sculpin invariably dwell near the river bottom and have distinct broad heads. The Sculpin Helmet solves both pieces of this puzzle readily as it makes the fly sink rapidly and offers the correct profile. The gadwell and grizzly marabou collar pulses nicely in the water, mimicking the sculpin's prominent pectorals that splay out when at rest. Give the Sculpito Loco a go on your favorite river this summer and see who's coming to dinner!
Sculpito Loco Recipe:
Shank: #8 Gamakatsu S11S-4L2H
Trailing Hook: #6 Owner SSW with Power Pro
Thread: Dark Brown 140 Denier Ultra Thread
Tail: Natural Pine Squirrel Zonker
Body: Cream STS Trilobal and UV Tan Ice Dub mixed
Gills: Red Trilobal and Red UV Polar Chenille
Collar: Gadwall and Tan Grizzly Marabou
Head: Brown Mini Sculpin Helmet
Confluence Beer Pairing: Summer is camp time and a good camp beer is indispensable. We've been enjoying this one for a long while but might have taken it for granted amongst the hoards of great hoppy Northwest beers out there. Let's hear it for Georgetown's Lucille IPA as one of the most drinkable beers around.