From the Bench: Sculpins & Crayfish

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Rebarchak’s Chowtime Sculpin

The theme at my tying bench lately has been sculpins and crayfish. Over the past few months I’ve been experimenting with some different patterns of these species, and having some fun doing it.

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Believe it or not, there is an organizational system in place.

One of the patterns to emerge from all of it is a sculpin pattern that just got named today: the Chowtime Sculpin. It’s a pattern that I’ve been trying out since the fall and have been really pleased with. I can’t say it’s completely original, since there are components from other patterns incorporated into it. Gunnar Brammer says it best in his video for his Skinny Dipper streamer: “I don’t have a lot of original ideas… almost all of my bugs in general… are original compositions… different materials, different ways to build bulk, different silhouettes. It uses unique techniques or features or materials to make it different… it’s all from the people who came before me… I just take things that I like, things that I know to be successful, and then I base a composition that hasn’t been done kind of around that.”

The Chowtime Sculpin has fished well for me over the past few months, over the fall and through the winter. I wanted to have an articulated streamer that was 3 inches or less, so I used a Fish Spine 25mm shank in the front with a Gamakatsu B10s #4 stinger hook in the back. It rides with the hook point up, so you can fish it right along the bottom. The marabou tail moves nicely in the water and really slims down to give it a good sculpin profile. The head is a blend of Arizona Mega Simi-Seal dubbing with Senyo’s Shaggy Dub, tied on in a dubbing loop and brushed out.

The name comes from one of the best hour-long streamer sessions that I’ve had, back in January on Spring Creek. I had three fish landed, one more long-distance release, and two chases in a 50-yard stretch. Two of the three fish came on back-to-back casts, and one of them hit so hard that it hooked itself. Chowtime. I’ll be selling them for $6 each – fill out a contact request form if you’re interested!

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The profile when wet.

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Chomp chomp.

Another thing I’ve been playing with are some crayfish patterns that are based on a combo of Schultzy’s Single Fly Cray and Davis’ Redfish Ritalin. The ones pictured below use Harelin Dubbin’s Micro Pulsator rabbit strips for the claws and an EP Senyo’s Chromatic Brush for the body (ones I tied in the fall used a .5-inch EP Tarantula Brush for a body). I’m still fooling around with specifics, but I’m pleased with the overall look of the fly.

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Some crayfish.

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