Tying Video – Carter Nelson’s SEM Sculpin

One of the first videos I published here at Dressed Irons was on one of my all time favorite fishing flies; The Rubber Legged Dragon (RLD) by Carter Nelson.  I delineate between “fishing flies” and “tying flies” because some flies are more fun at the vise than on the water and vise versa.  The Rubber Legged Dragon is a simple fly to tie and nothing too exceptional in regards to tying but it has proven a very effective pattern and consistently a proven pattern.  That’s a fancy way of saying it seems to always catch fish.  I remained un-skunked many days because I had some RLD flies with me.  The video I published has been well received and it seems many people have enjoyed it.  I was a little surprised that one of those people was Carter Nelson!  He even took the time to leave me some positive comments and a suggestion of another of his patterns I should try.  That pattern is the SEM Sculpin, which is the subject of today’s tying video.   I had not heard of this fly and certainly had not tied it before but committed to doing just that.  I am glad I did.  So far it has proven to be a great sculpin pattern that stays on the bottom and is very durable.  It is also very easy to tie and in no time you can have half a dozen for your next outing.

As I mentioned, the fly is not difficult to tie.  It is actually a lot like the Black Gnat that I published a few weeks back but with dumbbell eyes attached to it.  The materials are easy to acquire and you can easily substitute Marabou for the tail, dubbing for the body and a basic grizzly soft hen hackle if that is what you have.  Keep in mind that sculpin live on the bottom of rivers, they do not posses a swim bladder so you will not see them more than a few inches off the bottom, their colors are going to match the bottom that they live on.  Thus, you can easily change up the colors to brown, golden olive, olive or any combination to have some sculpin patterns that work on your waters.  They are also a very rugged fly.  You can coat the painted dumbbell eyes with epoxy prior to tying in to make them last longer but I have found that even with the eyes all banged up and most of the paint missing they still produce.  Whether you are fishing for warmwater or coldwater species does not matter.  If you find yourself in need of a good sculpin imitation, give the SEM Sculpin a try.  You’ll be glad you did!

Hook:Mustad 3906B #6 – #10
Thread:Veevus 6/0, Black
Tail:Rabbit Fur, Black
Body:Large Rayon Chenille, Black
Flash:Krystal Flash or Flash Accent, Black
Hackle:Whiting Grizzly Hen Saddle
Dubbing:Rabbit Fur, Black
Eyes/Weight:Small/Medium Red/Black Painted Dumbbell Eyes

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If you would like to purchase some SEM Sculpin flies instead, there are a few for sale here at Dressed Irons, while supplies last.

As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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