Feature Fly “Super Scud” by Mike Beachy

This August, while working on the river during one of our clean up work sessions, I discovered some rather large scuds. The scuds were light gray to transparent in color and were abundant in number. I made the comment to the other workers that after seeing the size and color of these scuds I was going to try using a scud fly imitation that same afternoon. I had never used a scud in the Little Elkhart before and to my surprise did very well on them.

The only scuds I had were from a Colorado trip I had taken last summer. They were tied with a bead head to give them sinking ability however I did not like the bead since a real scud had no “head” and the bead looked unnatural. In this version of a scud I eliminated the bead head and replaced it with a strap of lead across the top of the hook for sinking ability. The lead also gives the fly bulk from the belly to the back without making the fly wider side to side just like a real scud profile. This fly has been a super performer in the late summer fishing season. I have used it as a dropper off of a floating grasshopper or in a standard nymph rig and have taken both rainbow and brown trout with regularity.

The scud back material can be substituted with clear plastic like a sandwich baggie cut into a thin strip. Scud back material is made of latex and stretches over the back in a form-fitting manner and is slightly easier to work with. Any dubbing will work but I prefer Sow Scud Dubbing due to the length of the fibers. It picks out well to form the legs in the last step of fabrication. This is an easy quick fly to tie once you get on to it and the best part is it works!

Beachy’s Super Scud

Hook: Scud hook #14

Lead: .030 dia.

Thread: 6/0 tan or gray

Fibers: Grizzle Hackle

Back: Scud back 1/8″

Rib: Small gold wire

Body: Light gray scud dub

Attach the thread to a size 14 scud hook. Lay a single piece of .030 lead wire over the back and tie down. Coat with “fishin’ glue” to fuse.
Adjust hook in vise for access. Wrap on grizzle hackle fibers for tail. Attach small gold wire for ribbing and overlay 1/8 inch wide clear scud back
Readjust hook in vise. Wrap head fibers of grizzle hackle under hook eye. Using waxed thread/rolled dubbing technique dub the body with light gray sow bug/scud dubbing.
Do not over dub the head or it will cover hook eye when you tie off. Use a half hitch tool to tie knot between eye and head fibers
Pull scud back stretching it across the middle of the back and tie it with half hitch tool and trim excess
Wrap ribbing wire in even spaced wraps pulling downward to make divisions in scud back

Tie off wire and trim excess. Glue knots and trim thread. Pick out dubbing to form the legs on the finished fly.