Before king salmon start dropping eggs this summer and after the inevitable fall flood flushes their rotting carcasses into the Susitna River, trout will be on the hunt for baitfish. Baitfish are any fish they can swallow, like a salmon fry or sculpin. I usually fish fry patterns near schools holding in the slow current and pools, but I’ll fish a sculpin pattern anywhere in the river system – swung, dead-drifted, and stripped.
One of my favorite sculpin patterns is John Barr’s Slumpbuster. It’s simple, easy to tie, and is a proven fish catcher. The original olive Slumpbuster calls for a peacock (green) sparkle braid body. I choose to tie the body with white sparkle braid or Lagartun French Mini Flat Braid, to better represent the sculpin’s white underbelly.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my friends.
Hook: Tiemco 5263, size 8
Thread: Veevus 8/0, black
Cone: medium, gold
Rib: Olive Ultra Wire, small
Body: Lagartun French Mini Flat Braid
Wing/Tail: Olive pine squirrel
Collar: Olive pine squirrel