My River your River Bows and what you really need to know "just sayen"
Been receiving a lot of PM's asking specifics about Scupzilla's and Lamprey patterns etc.. from a number of people figured I wold just post this and see if it helps. Mind you this is my personal observation over 37 years of long sticking, reading and working in and or around river systems.
First thing I always try and explain is nothing is better than reading a great book mind you this is not an all inclusive list there are many out there these just happen to be the ones that apply to this post.
Bob Linsenman - anything he writes about stream fishing is well worth the time of day to review and read.
Jim Teeny - Learn about where sinking lines come from and the system Jim created. Jim is very approachable visit his Web site and call him.
Al Troth as a fly-tier and inventor is outstanding the Troth Scuplin still work today as well as yesteryear may he rest in piece.
John Barr - and Jon Barr's weighted nymph and stream fishing good read. Barr Flies how to tie and fish Copper John etc.
Larry Tullis - Larry put a book out years back I believe it was called Fishing Alaska Rainbows great concise book which also covers Lamprey
Tony Weaver - If you can catch him off the water Tony is always willing to chat about fishing deep and dirty.
So to the principle aspects of this post:
Scuplins and Lamprey do not have swim bladders simply put you have to fish deep in the water column in order to have the most productive fishing when your not pounding flesh and or beads. Patterns such as the weighted Troth Sculpin, weighted dark large Teeny Nymphs, and Dolly Lama's i.e. Lamprey fished on the bottom with a dead drift even during pre Spawn, Spawn and post Spawn work and work well.
Sure the Fish are locking in on eggs etc during spawn... however you have to remember the other 9-10 months of the year the fish can and will feed on the largest and most caloric food source available which just happens to be Scuplins and Stream Lamprey well and smolt out and it just so happens you can modify your sculpin patterns to fish the Parr.
I fish beads when the timing and tactics call for it however I have found that to be less and less of a need over the years in most of the watersheds I utilized tossing "Candy Bars" when I can.
So there you have it and again please keep in mind this is My Opinion and we all have them.
Last note I promise if you want to have a very interesting read find a book called Fly Fishing is Spoken Here by Stephen Sloan it has been out of print for some time and is not cheap however well worth owning and reading. It is a collection of stories and interviews from our generation of fly fishing greats. There are some very valuable Lessons in the book.
Sorry for being a rambling fool again. Also Big Props to our Friends at Alaska Fly Fishing Goods who through their good graces I order my Sculpziilas! Yep I am getting lazy in my old age and hate tying stinger flies with cone heads and bunny fur.
Best Wishes and Tight Lines
Richard "Moose" Mousseau
Blue Moose Rafting
Add Mike Valla's Founding Flies, The: 43 American Masters, Their Patterns, and Influences to your book list. It's coming out the end of the month. I got a review copy, and it's probably the best thing ever written about fly fishing and fly tying. Just an unbelievable book. Bet you can't read it just once!