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Tying Video – Dave Whitlock’s Near Nuff Sculpin

If you do any streamer fishing for trout or Bass at some point you will come across a Sculpin pattern and find out just how productive they can be.  There are many Sculpin patterns being tied these days and I am certain even more are coming in the future.  Today’s video is all about an old standby called the Near Nuff Sculpin.  This pattern was created by Dave Whitlock who also created the Near Nuff Crayfish.  At the heart of the pattern is a simple basic fly.  However, I chose to demonstrate tying the fly in the manner that Dave Whitlock did in his very popular DVD on Whitlock Originals.  The reason for this is that he incorporates a number of steps that are not commonly done or taught these days.  One of the goals here with Dressed Irons it to help preserve fly tying techniques and practices.  Often as quality of materials change, new materials emerge and some materials you just can not get anymore, fly tiers will change their common practices concerning techniques used to create flies.  That is not to say they evolve so therefore are “better” than what “old timers” used to do but rather they are just different.  I think it is important to remember techniques once used in creating flies because I think most of them are actually timeless.  Maybe that is simply my need for some sort of consistency in the universe or maybe the need to think as I get older the techniques I use are “timeless” (and therefore I am timeless) I do not know.  I do know that many things come around in life and what we sometimes see as novel was actually done a long time ago.  Philosophical wanderings aside, Mr. Whitlock incorporates a number of things in the tying of the Near Nuff Sculpin that I thought would be interesting to share since I assume everyone has not see his DVD.

Each of the techniques is discussed in the video but I will give a rundown on them here,  The first has to do with filing off the lacquer coating on the hook before laying down a base layer of thread.  I have seen and read older text where this was once a common practice.  I think because the older hooks did not have as high quality a lacquer on them and thus would break away and the fly would then rotate around the shank of the hook while fished.  Nothing worse than having your deer hair frog pattern swim belly up.  No respectable fish would bite that.  I do not know how much of an issue it is today with modern hooks.  I have on rare occasions had this happen with flies but it could have been more the fault of the tier.  Whatever the case, by filing off the lacquer you are then presenting a rougher surface for the thread to grip and thus bind the materials in better.  The second technique is one you don’t see often and is also something specific to the pattern you are tying.  Because Sculpin are a bottom dwelling fish and have a broader body profile Mr. Whitlock ties in some materials to widen out the hook for the fly.  In this case he uses some monofilament tied in on each side of the shank.  I have seen Bob Clouser do this as well as Olive Edwards with some of his nymph patterns.  It is a quick easy way to make you fly more horizontal, or vertical, if that is what you need.  Lastly, he applies the dubbing for the Near Nuff Sculpin using a technique I was first introduced as “speed dubbing”.  Basically, you are not twisting the dubbing on the thread and then applying the dubbing but rather you are twisting the thread and dubbing onto the body at the same time.  Not something that can be done with all dubbings by the way.  Again, not a dubbing method that is taught much or even demonstrated.  That is why I thought it would be nice to include it in this video.  Not to mention… the Near Nuff Sculpin is a great fly to fish.  Fished low and slow it can catch all sort so warmwater and coldwater species.  Even if you skip a few steps to speed the fly tying up it is well worth having in your fly box.

Hook:Tiemco 5263, #4 – #10
Thread:Wapsi UTC 210 and Uni-Thread 8/0, Brown
Body Foundation:.022 Hard Mason
Tail:Grizzly Hen, Golden Brown
Body:Whitlock’s SLF, Nearnuff Sculpin Golden Brown
Flash:Krystal Flash or Flash Accent, Copper or Brown
Hackle:Grizzly Hen, Golden Brown
Dubbing:Whitlock’s SLF, Nearnuff Sculpin Golden Brown
Eyes/Weight:Small/Medium Dumbbell Eyes, painted black/white/yellow and coated with epoxy.

If you have not watched the DVD by Dave Whitlock on the Near Nuff Sculpin and Near Nuff Crayfish I highly recommend you do.  He shares a lot of other information about baitfish, sculpin and crawdads and even shows you how to fish them on the DVD.  A nice DVD to have in your library!

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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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