Steffan Jones: Sculpin

As the dog days of summer befalls, the river trout angler sport can often be confined to first and last light - especially so on the warmer, sunnier days in low, crystal clear water. The fish, however, are still very much present, more often than not sulking in the depths.

A bit like humans the fish won’t usually want a long, drawn out three course meal under such circumstances but run the offer of an ice-cream and soon they are tempted. Much the same can be applied to the trout; give them an offer they cannot refuse. This can often be a time to try a fly and tactic overlooked by most and shunned by others; the sculpin!

Trout love sculpins, it’s as easy as that. It’s a part of their diet, as much as sedges, stoneflies and olives would be. It’s a large food item that cannot be turned down as it will sustain them for a long time compared to nymphs that may be constantly drifting over them. It can also be a way of waking fish up and also getting some of the larger, cannibalistic trout to have a feed.

Water that can almost never be fished with other tactics can be attempted with the sculpin too, adding to its appeal in your armoury. Try them for sea trout too – they will often tempt sea trout in water, dropping back after a spate.

They are very easy to tie with the main components being the Sculpin Helmets, zonker strips and my preferred hook for this pattern; the Partridge bomber hook.

- Steffan (Partridge PRO-team)