Good winter streamers are usually meant to be fished slowly, since the fish can be pretty sluggish, so sculpin patterns are particularly useful. Here’s a great pattern from New Jersey fly tier John Collins that is articulated and runs hook-upward. This means that there’s plenty of action even at slow speeds, and you don’t have to worry about snagging bottom as much. As the the photos at the end of this video demonstrate, big trout love this thing. I also think it looks a lot like Winter Warlock, don’t you?
In the weekly fly-tying video from Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, Collins walks you through the process of creating the Snowflake Sculpin, which is more like a fairly simple arts-and-crafts project than a streamer. This is a great fly to tie in batches, and it’s a fine addition to your winter fly box.
Head: Fish-Skull Sculpin Helmet, size mini, painted with white primer.
Eyes: 3D prismatic eyes.
Coating: Clear vinyl finish.
Rear Hook: Daiichi #2546 saltwater hook, sizes 6.
Rear Thread: White, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Rear Tail/body: White Crosscut Rabbit Strip.
Articulated shank: Fish-Skull Articulated Shank or similar.
Front Thread: White, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Front Tail: White Crosscut Rabbit Strips.
Fins: 1/4-inch segments of Crosscut Rabbit Strip.
Tools: Needle-nose pliers, bodkin, sharp scissors.