Skutes was something that developed after a crash course in fly fishing shallow water harbour flats for snapper with the Fly Guy. After watching water bring some hair, tinsel and feathers to life and then watching the very shy snapper aggressively take a fly in what is thought to be impossible snapper catching conditions, I now believed the fly to be the most visually pleasing lure known to man and fish.
That single day on the water changed my view on lures and lure fishing forever. If this fly could fool a spooky snapper into striking in that scenario, then it would be deadly in everything and anything snapper related!
I managed to keep the very fly that I'd watched that day for future experiment. It was soon evident that as cool as the fly was, there would be a challenge ahead in delivering it to deeper water. After toying with a few fishing styles including a downrigger ball and a dropper rig kinda of thingy, along with other Nathan hair brained ideas, I was looking at a good old softbait jig head, thinking:
"why not just tie a fly to a jig head?"
Softbait fishing was awesome fun and very productive. A lot of time had already been invested into learning how to catch fish with only softbaits onboard. The jig head was the perfect delivery system for a softbait, so why not a fly? A small hook vice and cotton bobbin was claimed along with a very limited amount of materials to create my first ever homemade lure.
The photo above is literally the first fly I ever tied. Extremely simple! 5 or so of these were made right before New Year's Eve at which time my very good friend JoeFish and I were to spend a few days fishing the Mercury Island group onboard Lelani 2, Joe's 44 foot launch.
There was plenty of room on the bow for a kayak, which was the perfect vessel for trying out the new invention. After only the second cast, a quality snapper had tried to eat some tinsel on a hook and I felt like some sort of manly, pioneering, discoverer of Planet Earth.
This new-found fishing success lead to hours of watching YouTube to learn better/different tying techniques. Perfectly good flies were obtained, then carefully dissected to see how they were created. More time was devoted online sourcing better and more visually pleasing materials.
It got to the point where it was just as much fun making lures as it was catching fish on them. Big snapper were consistently falling victim to a slow sinking piece of tinsel on a hook. There was even talk of them making an appearance on Big Angry Fish! But, Before that, they needed a name?!
Milan and I sat down in front of his lap top with a few random names and started google searching not just names but also flies on jig heads and everything and anything fishing related including other lures and their names as to call them something original.
In doing so we found the word scute. After some time we had the understanding that a scute was the halfway point in the evolution from a scale to a feather. Fish came out of the water and started walking on land, creating reptiles. Reptiles had scutes, then reptiles evolved to birds making a scute, previously a scale, into a feather.
Considering that my favourite homemade lure involved feathers and it was used to catch something with scales, there couldn't be a more fitting name! The C in the word Scute was changed to a K for a little more originality.
These Skutes that were developed in the shed are now a big part of the fun on Big Angry Fish.
Skutes - Midway between a Scale and a Feather.