Scuds

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Bead Head Pearly Scud, Olive Perfect Scud, Gray/Olive
Bead Head Pearly Scud, Pink Scud, Gray/Olive
Bead Head Pearly Scud, Tan Scud, Orange
These beautiful pen & ink illustrations of Scuds are from Guide To Aquatic Trout Foods by Dave Whitlock, one of our favorite books.
Scuds are small, even tiny, light-colored crustaceans of the amphipod group. They are translucent, free swimming, shrimp-like animals that are an important part of fish food-chain where ever they are found.  Scuds are flattened laterally, and have many legs and appendages. They are active and available nearly year round.  Different subspecies, different colors and sizes can inhabit the same habitat at the same time.  Sizes range from #18 to #8, or from 3/16" to 3/4".  Scuds are most often found in alkaline/basic lakes and streams.  In water containing Scuds,  fish grow quickly and often support dense populations of trout, pan fish and/or bass. In water where they occur, Scuds are a much sought after food source for all those species.  Scuds seem to be able to swim in nearly any position, including: right side up, up side down, side ways, back ward and forward. They most often swim on there sides and can move rapidly when startled.  They are comparatively easy to represent with sunk flies that are either dead drifted or retrieved, depending on the conditions.  Scuds come in a variety of colors but the most common are gray/olive or tan. When scuds molt or die they turn orange or pink. Often Scud flies that are tied in intensified colors will catch more fish than flies that are more realistic colors.  This is particularly true when water temperatures are cold or the water is off-color.  A floating, neutral color fly line equipped with a 10'-12' 4X leader is often the best combination for presenting scud patterns in both moving and still water.  Bead-head patterns can be advantageous in both lakes and streams.  Lake patterns are usually unweighted.  Vary the leader length with the change of depths of water encountered.  Longer leaders work best in deeper water.  Use a 9' leader for 2'-3' deep water, 12' leader for 4'-5' deep water and 15' leader for 6'-8' deep water.  Be sure that your leader is well straightened and both your fly and leader are treated with a sinking agent such as Xink.  Cast your fly and leader a short distance and observe it's sink rate.  Count slowly until your fly sinks 1'. Repeat this experiment several times until you are sure of your accuracy.  Now cast your fly to fishing range and count your fly down to fishing depth before you start to retrieve.  Remember, your task is to make the fly look as life-like as possible while leaving it in the strike-zone for the longest period of time.  The best retrieves are usually a combination of hand-twist with an occasional burst of 3-5, 3"-5" short fast twitches and the a brief rest, and then repeat the sequence.  For fishing deeper water both Intermediate and Sinking fly lines are appropriate.  Strikes are more often a slow draw than a sharp rap, but be prepared for anything.
Here are some great Scud pictures.

Bead Head Pearly Scud, Olive
A swimming Scud pattern. Can be fished in both lakes and streams.  The flashy pearlescent back allows fish to see the fly from further away.
Item Description Size Price To Top
02112-14 Bead Head Pearly Scud, Olive 14 3 for $5.85
02112-16 Bead Head Pearly Scud, Olive 16 3 for $5.85

Bead Head Pearly Scud, Pink
Try this highly visible fly when the water is off-color.  Is also effective during cold water periods.
Item Description Size Price To Top
02113-14 Bead Head Pearly Scud, Pink 14 3 for $5.85

Bead Head Pearly Scud, Tan
Seems most effective over light colored bottoms.
Item Description Size Price To Top
02121-14 Bead Head Pearly Scud, Tan 14 3 for $5.85

Perfect Scud, Gray/Olive
One of the most effective "resting" Scud imitations.  Fish fish this fly very slowly in a lake. This fly is lightweight so the sink-rate is comparatively slow.  This is not only an advantage very shallow water, but at any depth were a
very slow movement is needed. Perfect Scuds are also very effective when fished dead-drift in rivers.  During this activity, split shot might be added to the leader.  These flies look very life like.
Item Description Size Price To Top
99327-14 Perfect Scud, Gray/Olive 14 3 for $5.85
99327-16 Perfect Scud, Gray/Olive 16 3 for $5.85

Scud, Gray/Olive
This is still the most popular "Old Stand-by".  A mixture of multicolored animal hair dubbing and very sparse Mylar flash gives this fly very life-like looks and movements.  Also the sink rate is about right for many situations.  The "Scud, Gray/Olive" has been changed very little since 1984.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12300-08 Scud, Gray/Olive 8 3 for $5.85
12300-10 Scud, Gray/Olive 10 3 for $5.85
12300-12 Scud, Gray/Olive 12 3 for $5.85
12300-14 Scud, Gray/Olive 14 3 for $5.85
12300-16 Scud, Gray/Olive 16 3 for $5.85
12300-18 Scud, Gray/Olive 18 3 for $5.85

Scud, Orange
When Scuds molt or die they turn orange color.  With this pattern the color is slightly intensified and even though it looks garish, it has proven to be a consistent producer.  If it looks too bright for you, color it lightly with a brown felt marker.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12310-08 Scud, Orange 8 3 for $5.85
12310-10 Scud, Orange 10 3 for $5.85
12310-12 Scud, Orange 12 3 for $5.85

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