Here's a couple of different colors of a sculpin pattern I've been tying. The materials used are:
size 2 Mustad long shank streamer hook
black or gold cone head
bucktail (olive, white, yellow)
deer hair (olive, white, tan)
peacock herl (optional)
marabou (optional) (olive, white, yellow)
cross cut rabbit zonkers (white/silver,yellow, olive)
This is the first time I've ever posted detailed tying instructions or photos so comments are encouraged! I included a couple of underwater photos taken in my aquarium too. I couldn't get a good shot of what it looks like during the retrieve or in the current. Basically, the big flared rabbit collar lays much more flat, and the rest of the fly is compressed down too.
1. Slip a black or gold cone head onto a size 2 long shank streamer hook.
2. Attach the thread to the hook in the vise near the hook bend.
NOTE: The materials used in the steps below should all be the same color. The intention here is to end up with a relatively monochrome fly.
3. (optional) Tie in a small amount of marabou so it extends 1/2" past the hook bend.
4. Wrap the thread forward slightly and tie in 2 or 4 large hackle
feathers vertically (1 or 2 on each side of the hook shank). The tail ends of the hackle feathers should all end at the same spot ~2" past the hook bend. Trim the waste end of the hackle feathers.
5. Wrap forward slightly and tie in a small pinch of bucktail on top of the hook with a half dozen wraps. Do not use a hair stacker for this step. You want it to be uneven so the fly tapers towards the tail. The longest bucktail fibers should be as long as the hackle feathers. Don't wrap this in with too much thread since it will cause the next pinch of bucktail to flare.
6. Wrap forward slightly again, and tie in another small pinch of bucktail on top of the hook. At this point you should be about half of the way down the hook shank. Once again, don't use too many wraps!
7. (optional) Tie in 1-2 peacock herl fibers on each side of the hook. They should be 1/2" shorter than the hackle feathers.
8. Cut a 2" strip of cross cut rabbit zonkers and tie one end to the fly right on top of the wraps from the last pinch of bucktail.
9. Wrap the zonkers forward tightly. The skin backing should be continuously touching the previous wrap. You should end up with about 1/4" of free space behind the cone head, and you should have been able to do maybe 2.5 wraps around the hook shank.
10. Tie in the other end of the zonkers without creating too much bulk.
11. Now we're going to form the head. Take a small pinch of deer hair and lay it at 45 degrees on top of the hook shank. Take two loose wraps perpendicular to the hook shank across the top. Pull down firmly as you do the next wrap and the hair should flare around the hook shank. Do another 2-3 bunches of hair like this. The last bunch should be a tight fit to squeeze it between the previous two bunches and the cone head. Don't make the previous bunches too large or try and fit in too many. You want a very loose deer hair head.
12. Trim the head to shape with scissors or a razor blade.
Images are olive version with optional peacock herl and white/silver version with optional marabou.
My passion for catching fish is eclipsed only by the fish's passion not to be caught.