Fish Skull Sculpin Helmets by Flymen Fishing Company are easy to use and are an excellent way to improve upon any sculpin pattern you could want to tie. The sculpin helmet is designed in a way to naturally keel itself. Because it is heavier on the bottom it allows your fly to swim true to its design and not flip sideways.
The newest line of Sculpin Helmets to come from Flymen Fishing Company incorporates a hole in the top for a weed guard. This will help keep your fly from becoming snagged on the bottom, or picking up aquatic vegetation during your retrieve. This is especially ideal for smallmouth bass, trout and steelhead anglers. It also gives an excellent realistic profile to the front of your fly. This is key in faster water where a fish can only get a quick look at the outline. A trout’s feeding is heavily reliant on recognizing outlines as prey items, or floating detritus. A trout that expends energy to travel a distance to grab a stick with no nutritional value quickly learns exactly what is food, and what is not. The profile of a fly can be the difference between a fish chasing down the fly hell bent on killing it, or continuing to hold his position in the current.
We have been experimenting with sculpin flies on the Deschutes recently with tremendous success. These Fish Skull Sculpin helmets are, in our opinion, one of the best additions you can make to a sculpin pattern. Many materials used in the heads of today’s sculpin flies are not very dense. Because of this, they take on water quite easily. Materials that trap lots of water do two things. They hinder the sink rate of your fly, and are difficult to cast. Spun deer hair and wool make up the heads on many commercially tied sculpin patterns. Although these types of flies look quite fishy, they float high in the water column. This is very unnatural behavior for a sculpin. Sculpins do not have air bladders. Any and all movement a sculpin makes up into the water column for a food item is a quick burst upward, and a drop back down. Your fly is really just an actor trying to convince a fish he is indeed the prey item the fish suspects he is. Why not get your aquatic actors to not only look the part, but act it as well? So the next time you sit down at your vice to crank out a dozen of your favorite sculpin patterns, throw a Sculpin Helmet on the front of a few. You won’t regret it.
Even if Sculpin Helmet flies weren't such effective fish catchers, you would want some in your box because they are just plain cute!