How To Tie: The Olive Sculpin

In this weeks How To Tie video, Davie McPhail teaches us how to tie an imitation of the most popular baitfish that can be found just about anywhere: The Olive Sculpin.

Learn About This Fly

The sculpin is a fish that can be found just about anywhere, but is largely regarded as one of the most important elements of a trout’s diet; mainly due to their abundance and nutritional value. These little baitfish can be often found hiding under rocks, waiting for an unsuspicious meal to wander by (such as anything from an aquatic insect to another sculpin). Because of their ability to hunker down in strong currents and riffles, these fish are a primary target for hungry trout, oftentimes being hunted by large rainbows knocking over rocks.

Depending on what your fishing for, the sculpin fly can be a great way to bump up your streamer size from a normal wooly bugger. In saltwater, sculpin can grow up to 2 feet! However, this specific tie is for those targeting freshwater sculpin which usually range from 6-7 inches long. This fly is a great weighted fly to fish on the bottom of rocky streams, underneath medium-strong currents and ripples.

Note: While there are hundreds of sculpin variations existing in the world of fly tying, this particular imitation demonstrates the usage of the sculpin helmet; which is a plastic additive that closely mirrors the unique head shape of a sculpin fish.


  • Tiemco TMC811S size 6 hook
  • 6/0 olive tying thread
  • Barred olive rabbit strip
  • Wound barred olive rabbit strip
  • Dyed-olive grey partridge feathers
  • sculpin helmet (olive)

Now you know how to tie the Olive sculpin

Video courtesy of Davie McPhail 

Article written by Flylords Team member Wills Donaldson 

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