If you are a fly angler seeking to catch big fish, such as Steelhead, trout (especially trophy, football size rainbow and brown trout), salmon and Smallmouth Bass, then the Hise’s “Sumpin Ugly” series of articulated streamer patterns are shrewd preferences to add to your arsenal of probable options. If you enjoy casting upstream and letting a streamer dead drift, swing completely through its arc, the zone most strikes occur, then you should be tying one of these deadly fly patterns on your tippet. It is also equally effective stripped in or dead drifted under a sink-tip line that has a heavy grain weight tip, in order to plunge it toward the bottom. You can vary the length of your tippet depending on the rivers depth.
It comes in olive sculpin and black leech, available in sizes #4, so you can mimic a succulent sculpin during the spring and fall months, or tie on a juicy leech during the spring, summer and fall months of the year. Tying them on a floating line with a shorter tippet is another productive method of fishing these patterns. Cast them at an oblique angle upstream, as close to the bank as possible, throwing a mend in your line, allowing the streamer to drift right along the edge and under any overhangs, where dominant browns like to hide and brood on bright sunny days. When the strikes transpire, they will be ferocious; there is something about the life like movements created from the articulated action, the twitches and flutters, which drives the big ones wild, they do not want to let these flies get away.
The “Sumpin Ugly” Sculpin articulated streamer by Dave Hise!
These patterns are productive from the rivers in the southern parts of this country, all the way to the northern reaches of Canada where the monstrous Brook trout reside and the east coast, to the west coast and points in between. They are especially productive on rivers that have limited insect hatches, to those glacier rivers devoid of insect life. If you plan to fish abroad, these patterns would be extremely effective throughout Europe, Patagonia, and those points down-under. Dave Hise is the creator of these fly patterns; he has been a contract fly designer with Orvis for 15-years and won the “Orvis Fly-Tier of the Year Award” in 2005, with 40-plus fly patterns being accepted and put into production by Orvis. Dave owns Casters Fly shop in Hickory, North Carolina, besides being a brilliant fly designer, fly-tier, and fly-shop owner; he is also a top-shelf fly-fishing guide that will get you into numerous rainbows, with the possibility of some extremely large trophies, if you listen to what he tells you to do! Dave also has trips available for other species of fish.
Dave was kind enough to send the video links, so you can set back, crack a cold one, get comfortable, and watch these flies as they are tied, http://www.castersflyshop.com/Video%20Footage/SumpinUglySculpin.wmv and http://www.castersflyshop.com/Video%20Footage/SumpinUglyleech.wmv. The recipes are listed at the end of the videos, for those who would like to tie this pattern; all material can be purchased online from his website, www.castersflyshop.com/onlineflyshop, if you do not have the time to tie your own flies, you can purchase the flies through this same website or his other website, www.castersflyshop.com. You can call Dave to book and for additional information on his guided fly-fishing trips at #828.304.2400.
Photo Credit: Dave Hise Casters Fly Shop; Hickory, NC