by Jason Akl
If you have not already found the
usefulness of fishing small freshwater crustacean patterns, then you have been missing
out. Tiny freshwater crustaceans are a very important food source for trout; and most of
the quality trout streams found across the U.S. are often loaded with scuds. Although
there are many different types of these freshwater critters the general characteristics of
scuds can be noted as grayish to brown coloration, less than a centimeter in length, and a
hard shellback with lots of little legs underneath.
Due to the scuds great adaptability they
can be found in many different hiding places along the stream reach. Scuds can be readily
located among the many different types of submerged weeds, wood and waterlogged debris
that takes up residence in our favorite waters. In faster moving streams that are riddled
with rocks, simply turning over a stone or two will uncover these discreet bottom
Fishing scud patterns is done in the
exact same method that you would any other weighted nymph pattern. An across and upward
stream cast is used to get the fly where it needs to be and then simply allowing the fly
to drift drag-free downstream is the key to getting fish to take notice. If the fish do
not seem to be taking the fly actively then adding a few timely strips to the fly line as
it drifts downstream should do the trick and get the fish to bite.
A good idea is to use a bright yarn or
foam indicator with these types of scud patterns. Fish will often take these flies very
gently so one must be able to detect even the slightest of movement with his or her line.
Next time you venture out with you fly rod in hand be sure to bring along a few scud
patterns it might just be the pattern you have been waiting for.
Materials Used In the Sili-Skin Scud
Hook: Mustad Scud Hook
Thread: Gray Uni-Thread 8/0
Shellback: Oil Slick Sili-Skin
Body: Gray Synthetic Dubbing
Weight: Lead Free Weight
1. Start this fly by
securing the hook into your vice tightly and attaching the thread behind the hook eye.
2. On the hook shank
make several wrap of lead free weight to provide as weight as you need to fish this fly on
or near bottom. After you have the weight in place wrap the ends and the middle down with
thread so that it can not rotate around the hook shank freely. A drop or two of head
cement on this added weight will help to hold things a little better.
3. Cut a thin strip of
sili-skin and attach it to the hook shank. Wrap the sili-skin down with thread until you
have come to the bottom of the hook bend.
4. Dub the thread and
start building a thick body of dubbing. After every eighth inch or so of dubbing you lay
down pull the sili-skin shellback forward and wrap down with thread. After the shellback
has been bound down tightly pull it to the rear of the fly and resume dubbing the body.
5. Keep this process of
dubbing and pulling the shellback forward until you have reached the back of the hook eye.
Tie off the sili-skin shellback and cut off the excess.
6. Whip finish and
cement the head of the fly. Get out your dubbing comb or bodkin and proceed to tease out
the underside of the body you just created to simulate the numerous little legs found on
Tight lines and Smooth threads