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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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The fly of the month for August is the first we’ve had featuring Fish Skull products, Blake writes, “I’ve caught a few reds that had gobies in their belly, so I figured that I would give one a shot using the sculpin helmets that I bought. I ended up with the SS (Simple Sculpin) Goby.”

 Materials:

  1. Your favorite jig hook (The Mustad 34011 will also work, just bend it into a jig hook)
  2. Magnum and crosscut zonker strips
  3. Flash
  4. Thread
  5. Sculpin head

Step 1. Puncture a hole in the zonker hides using a bodkin and push the hook point through from the skin side to the hair side. Mount the hook in the vise.

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Step 2. Start thread and lay down a good base along the hook shank.

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Step 3. Tie in flash on either side of the shank.

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Step 4. Tie in the crosscut zonker skin side up with the fibers pointing away from you. This will ensure that the fibers will lay back toward the bend when palmered up the shank.

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Step 5. Palmer the zonker down the shank in overlapping turns. I lay down a layer of super glue on the shank to help things stay in place. Tie in the strip leaving enough room behind the eye to fit the sculpin head. I like to slide the head on now and make sure that I have enough room.

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Step 6. Bring zonker strip over and tie in at the same spot.

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Step 7. Tie in a clump of rabbit hair on either side of the fly at the same spot that everything else is tied in. The tie-in area doesn’t need to be neat and tidy as the helmet will cover everything up. Just make sure that the tie-in area is not too bulky as to inhibit the head from fitting snug to the materials. Tie off the thread.

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Step 8. Coat the tie in with superglue. I also like to put some superglue in the inside of the sculpin helmet. Push the helmet on to the fly making sure to butt it up nicely against all the rabbit hair.

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Step 9. Start thread in front of the helmet and wrap a thread dam to keep the head in place.

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Step 10. Add a small amount of super glue in each eye socket and place the eyes in their spots. Coat the thread wraps with some SHAN and the fly is ready to go. Finished Fly

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