Fishing with Rod Discussion Forum

Fishing in British Columbia => Fly Fishing Cafe => Topic started by: RalphH on March 15, 2021, 11:32:14 AM

Title: Maria Sculpin and McGrath Muddler
Post by: RalphH on March 15, 2021, 11:32:14 AM
These are 2 patterns of my own I originated for fishing the backwaters of the Fraser and Valley streams.

The Maria Sculpin


Hook: #6 or #8 Wet Fly 1xl
Thread: 6/0 red
eyes: small barbell eyes
Body: crystal or plastic chenille, gold or pearl
Wing: Arctic Fox tail Black over brown over white with 4 to 6 strands of gold polar flash (FPF250)
head: Sculpin wool or egg yarn Mix Brown & black on top cream on bottom

The Maria Sculpin has become my go to pattern from late November into early spring. It was designed to fish deep with a dry line and a leader of 10+ feet. In water of 4 feet or more I can put this fly on the bottom. The fly is tied to ride point up to reduce the chance of the hook point draging on rocks etc.

While this pattern has caught me numerous cutthroat, it also caught bull trout, steelhead and coho.

Gold chenille is my favorite body material but I have been using pearl plus trying other color combinations such as a yellow body with an olive wing and head.

My favorite hook for this pattern has been TMC 700 which has been discontinued though I have a small supply I have also used the TMC 200. An ideal hook would have a straight eye with a tapered loop about 1xl or 2xl. The looped eye would provide a stable mount for the barbell eyes. I have a pack of Daiichi 2151 which have such a loop like this though the shank is shorter than I'd like. Still I intend to give this a try in future. 

The McGrath Muddler


Hook: #8 or #10 3 or 4xl streamer such as a Tiemco 5263
Thread: 6/0 red
Rib: silver wire
Body: silver tinsel
Underwing: a pinch of yellow arctic fox fur
Wing: 2 matched Grizzly hen hackles with 2 strands gold polar flash directly over the centre line of the feather wing.
Collar and Head: blacktail deer hair spun & clipped sparse

After I designed the deep presentation Maria Sculpin I wanted a pattern to fish just under the surface greased line style to rising fish. There are other well known patterns that meet this need like a Rolled Muddler but I wanted something meatier with more color. I had a beautiful Metz Grizzly Hen saddle. The feathers have bold marks and a very even shape for their length, tapering gently to the tips. To me they have a small bait fish appearance. While I don't use the McGrath as often as the Maria Scuplin, it certainly has proven effective.

Top View:

Title: Re: Maria Sculpin and McGrath Muddler
Post by: clarki on March 16, 2021, 06:10:30 PM
Nice work, Ralph.

The Grizzly Hen feather sure creates a nice baitfish imitation. Those bars are so defined and precise.

The namesake of the Maria Sculpin pattern seems apparent. How did you arrive at the name of the McGrath?

Perchance has the sculpin pattern attracted any sockeye in its namesake water? I hear there are some in there :)
Title: Re: Maria Sculpin and McGrath Muddler
Post by: RalphH on March 17, 2021, 09:30:39 AM
Yes and grizzly hen neck also makes great wings on the Adams dry fly plus on wet flies! Also super wet fly hackles. The name of both flies is derived from place names.

No sockeye caught on the Maria as yet but then I have never fished it when they are around. Maybe I should give it a try one summer day this year? Maybe it will hook a spring as well?
Title: Re: Maria Sculpin and McGrath Muddler
Post by: RalphH on March 31, 2021, 11:51:10 AM
a nice bull trout on the Maria Sculpin caught in the Fraser some years back:


you can see the fly clearly just in front of the eye