Staghorn Sculpin – The Party Goblin

Staghorn Sculpins, Party Goblin, Bull Head, Son of a… Are just a few names for this adventurous little guy.  We need to pay some respect to the “Party Goblin.”

Savage Sculpin

These little jerks ambush bait all over Puget Sound.  They prefer sandy bottoms, but we accidentally hook the larger Party Goblins over all sorts of bottom structure.  Typically, When picking up a sculpin or two, you should think about picking up the pace.  Sculpin are not slow or lazy, but their an ambush predator not a sprinter like a trout.  Sculpins are plentiful and diverse in size all over Puget Sound, making them great prey for Sea Run Cutthroat.

As far as bait goes, I believe sculpin are not Cutthroat trouts favorite. This could be because of their spiny heads, or the fact that they are hard to find in the rocks. However, in the winter, when the bait is scarce and the pickings are slim… The Party Goblin becomes a savory treat for the big Cutthroat trout that need the calories.

Britas Sculpin

Brits Baby BullHead

Tiers Tips:

  • Burry your weight behind the big fat heads
  • Show off those white bellies and big fins
  • Profile is all that matters (be creative)
  • 2″ is about all you need
  • Check out the Fly Men Fishing Company Sculpin Helmet

Bad Picture But Shows The Profile

Fish On!

The last week has been an emotional roller coaster of weather. Proving why you should never waste a beautiful day here in Western Washington.

Brita and I planned on fishing Monday and we left the day open, we woke up early to the nicest day of the year, ran the boat up to the north and got into some nice fish! We saw plenty of wildlife, with porpoise, seals, whales, and a outrageous amount of bald eagles. We do not get to fish together as often as we would like, however when we do we remember why we will never leave our home on Puget Sound.

Brita casting

Our beach guide Brita Fordice

On Tuesday the weather decided “Remember how you thought it was spring… Wrong!” and we never got out of the foggy mist that the pacific northwest fly fishing is known for. However we caught fish from the time we made our first stop till the end of the day when the wind decided to pick up. Fishing was just fantastic! That Tuesday night the rain started, and Wednesdays clients toughed it out and were rewarded with some nice fish, we didn’t catch the same numbers as Tuesday, however the fish we caught were big, and they were happy! From then on, its been back to the windy rainy spring of doom. It’s supposed to start letting up early next week and we are back on the water then!

Alderbrook Dockview

Morning Coffee at Alderbrook

The Chum fry migration has not let up a bit, we are starting to see bigger chum fry and the early bait is starting to move off the bank a bit as they become better swimmers, so we are starting to see the fish spread out down the shorelines. We are also starting to see the birds catching on to the chum fry a bit better this week and they are starting to point out the pods of bait, this means faster run and gun style fishing in the months to come!


Big North Sound Searun Bulltrout


Sea Run Cutthroat from under a bait ball of Chum Fry