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Fly Tying

skullet

What do Hulk Hogan, Benjamin Franklin, William Shakespeare and David Crosby all have in common?  They all rocked a skullet at some point in their lives.  With the rate that my hair is receding I could sport a mean skullet myself pretty soon, perhaps elevating my awesomeness to the caliber of those skullet-bearers before me!  Blake’s latest pattern pays tribute to those brave men before us via fish skull and zonker strip.  Use this fly whenever you want to catch the most baddest ass fish in the pond/river/lake you’re fishing.

Materials:

  • Hook to match the size of baitfish you are trying to imitate
  • Fish skull
  • Mono
  • Bucktail
  • Rabbit zonker
  • Trilobal fiber
  • EP Fox brush
  • Krystal flash

1. Put the fish skull over the hook eye to make sure that it will fit. Start the thread and put down a base. I like to stop the base where the fish skull will end. It acts as a reference point so I don’t overcrowd the eye.

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2. Tie in a mono loop at the bend of the hook. This helps to support the zonker so that it doesn’t foul as much.

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3. Tie in some bucktail on the under side of the hook. This fills in a bit of the body and also gives a tad bit more support for the zonker.

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4. Tie in the zonker. Pull the tag in back and out of the way for the next steps.

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5. Tie in the trilobal wrap and palmer.

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6. Tie in the EP brush and palmer a few wraps. This material is what is going to give you the profile. The more wraps you do, the bigger the profile. I was going for the finger mullet look, so I went with three. Pick out the fibers after wrapping.

Unpicked:

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Picked:

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7. Separate the brush fibers on the top of the fly, bring over the zonker, tie in, clip excess, and tidy up behind the eye.

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8. Tie in red krystal flash on the bottom for gills. Whip finish.

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9. Coat the head with glue and push on the skull. I normally like to make a few wraps between the skull and the eye with thread, but I didn’t have room here. The glue will hold it on just fine though.

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10. Add the eyes that come with the skulls using some glue and the fly is ready to go. I like to run these flies under hot water and let them dry by hanging them from the hook eyes. It sets them in a nice, bait fish shape. Enjoy!

Before bath:

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Completed fly after bath and dry:

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RLBHGRHE, that’s a mouthful.  It is also July’s fly of the month.  It’s a play on the lazy acronyms fly tiers throw around to describe their flies.  It stands for Rubber Leg Bead Head Gold Ribbed Hares Ear.  It just as easily could have been the BHRLGRHE, or perhaps the GRBHRLHE, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that this fly, loaded with the accessories that make up it’s name, catches fish.  Not just trout, but bream too and even the stray bass.  I once caught a redfish on a woolly bugger and I’d bet money you could fool a redfish with this fly as well – though you may have to size up and use a saltwater hook.

Materials:

  • Hook – I prefer a 2x long shank if I’m using a bead and a 1x long if not
  • Bead to fit hook size
  • Round rubber legs
  • Gold tinsel ribbing
  • Hares ear dubbing
  • Pheasant tail
  • Flashabou

1. Thread bead on hook and mount in vise. Wrap lead wire around the shank where the abdomen will be. This helps to stabilize the bead and also add weight to get the fly down to where the fish are. Cover lead with thread to lock everything in place.

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2. Tie in the round rubber for the tail. I like to tie it in right behind the lead and wrap it all the way back to the tail. This helps create neat, smooth underbody to build the rest of the fly on. Cut these equal to a shank length.

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3. Tie in tinsel on the far side of the hook.

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4. Dub a fairly skinny thorax

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5. Rib with the tinsel

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6. Tie in two pieces of flashabou

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7. Tie in a pheasant tail slip for the wing case.

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8. Tie in a round rubber leg on either side

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9. Dub the abdomen. I like to make this area a bit more bulky.

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10. Pull over the pheasant and tie in with a few wraps. Then do the same with the flashabou. Whip finish

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11. This last step is optional. Coat shell back and flashabou with your favorite UV cure goo or epoxy. This helps to protect the shell back and really makes the flashabou stand out (even though you can’t see that in the pics.) Finished fly. Enjoy.

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