The Chilcotin country of west central British Columbia is a beautiful place in the fall. Poplar and Cottinwood leaves shimmer in a blaze of orange and yellow colours in the warm autumn sunshine. Many people travel to this oasis of colour in pursuit of the big game animals of the region including moose, deer and bear. However, the lakes and rivers still teem with large fish just waiting to challenge the neophyte angler and those with knowledge can reap bountiful rewards at this time of year!
In this article, we will examine another of Richard Haavik's favorite Dean River flies, the black sculpin. For all intents, it is tied the same as a wooly bugger but it is weighted and fished in the darting manner of a bottom dwelling sculpin. Last fall when I was fishing the Dean with Rich, he was landing and releasing so many large native rainbows that I asked what he was using. He handed me the black sculpin and simply advised me to fish it deep and pull it in short quick jerks. I took his advice and shortly also caught several good fish using his method. The black sculpin is a fly that you definitely should have in your tackle box!
Start by applying several turns of thin lead just back of the hook eye. Next tie in a bushy tail of black marabou. Before wrapping black chenille from the hook bend to eye, attach both a thin copper wire and a long black hackle feather tip first to the hook shank and let them project well past the hook bend. Now make the black chenille wrap to form the body, then also palmer the hackle feather from the hook bend to hook eye and tie off with perhaps an extra turn at the eye. The next step takes some care as you counter wrap the copper wire through to the hook eye being very careful not to distort the palmered hackle as you progress forward. The copper wire will also serve to hold the hackle in place to better withstand the savage strikes of large trout! A dab of cement at the hook eye and you have completed a great Dean River fly!
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