The coldest I ever got in July occurred several years ago.  We were floating the Little Red River when a thunderstorm came up.  We got wet, and the temperature fell.

While waiting out the storm, I left my fly in the water at the edge of the river.  I wasn’t actually fishing; the fly was just laying in the shallows.  As I watched, a fish came up to the fly and turned on its side, inhaling the fly.  I was able to see the “white wink” as he took the fly.  I caught a nice 14-inch rainbow on a size 12 scud pattern.

Scud, also known as Gammarus, are very common anywhere there is vegetation in streams and lakes.  They are 5 mm to 20 mm long and come in many different colors.  Scuds are important fish food, and several fly patterns have been developed to imitate scud.

Here is an easy pattern I have had good luck with over the years.

  • Hook–Lightning Strike SE5 size 12
  • Thread — 8-0 black
  • Rib –fine copper wire
  • Shell Back — a piece of plastic from a plastic bag
  • Body — wool yarn of the desired color

Place the hook in the vise and attach the tying thread.  Wrap a piece of fine copper wire to the bend of the hook.

Take a 1/4 inch wide piece of plastic from a plastic bag and cut one end into a point.

Tie the plastic in by the point.

Next, attach the piece of yarn.

Wind the yarn forward and tie off.

Bring the piece of plastic over the back of the fly and tie off. Rib with 4-5 turns of the copper wire and tie off.

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Use a dubbing brush and pull yarn fibers from the bottom of the abdomen.  Don’t be shy, rub hard.

I made my dubbing brush from a small-bore gun cleaner.  Here is the final fly.

This fly can be fished under a strike indicator or on a tight line.  You can add weight while tying or add a split shot 8-12 inches above the fly.

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