Join Bennett-Watt and learn how to make the GR Scud fishing fly.
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Wayne: Now we’re going to tie the Glen River scud. These are some of my favorite patterns to fish, probably my number one sub-surface pattern I have in my box as you can see in my box here. Scuds are crustaceans found all over the place from everywhere we go. This is one of the flies I would not be without. Today we’re going to tie the scud on a grub scud hook by Gaelic Supreme. This happens to be a size 10, anywhere from an eighth all the way down into a 16/18 size.
Male: Well you want to introduce the materials? I’ll take just a moment to walk you through the materials that Wayne is going to use. We’re going to use Schloppin for the tail. The dubbing that Wayne is going to use is Arizona scud blend and as you can see, it comes in all the different colors of the different color scuds that you might want to tie. If you prefer a pull that is flashing your scud, which Wayne is going to show you how to do, we’ll use a material that’s called Ron Lucas’ Flash Pack and for the shell back, we’re going to use Stretch Flex, also called Scud Back. Wayne?
Wayne: Okay a little material preparation, I've cut some lead, you don’t want it real wide and then I’d precut my flash back so we can get through this pattern. So this is sticky back lead before we even attach our thread I'm going to come in here, separate the backing material and I'm going to weight this fly from front to back with a couple different layers. Just catch it on the hook and throw off the excess and now I’ll weight the fly.
Male: Scuds tend to be fairly light sensitive and you'll find them if the water varies in depth, so you usually find them near the bottom, near the vegetation, so weighting your fly is critically important for fishing the fly deep and also for shaping your fly wing, I’ll show you that in the later stages.
Wayne: So that’s our hook, let it out. On with the—and just secure that lead, that’s not going to go anywhere and that sticky back lead pretty much stays where you stick it. I'm just going to smooth it out a bit and the first material I'm going to put in is the tail. I like to use Schloppin because I can get quite a few flies out of one feather. I'm just looking for a nice, soft feather, pull off the small clamp, tail length I'm going to shoot for just about gap width. I'm going to attach this right to the top of the hook, down about a third of the way down the bend and then just secure that material right to the top. So that’s our tail tied in. Now we’re going to tie in our rib and for our rib I'm just going to use a clear amount of filament. You could use—material. This happens to be a spooled mono film.
Now this is a pretty slippery material. We got a real slippery thread so to kind of alleviate the problem of this falling out, I just chew on the end of it and that gives the thread a place to catch on that smooth material. I'm going to tie this all the way to the base of the tails and make sure that’s secured in. You don’t want that to fall out when we finish the fly. Now we've got two materials come through for our shell back. This is going to be our scud back, our stretch flex. I'm going to tie this right to the top of the hook.
Male: What size do you see yourself using most, Wayne?
Wayne: This is the A patch, this is going to be the material I use more often.
Male: And would you change the color of the scud back or would you usually go with something as clear or a light smoke color like you have there?
Wayne: They do have different colors and I will use the olives, the earth tones from time to time but I like the clear most generally. So there’s my scud back tied in nice and flat off the back of the hook. Now this step is optional. If you don’t want to put flash in it, and sometimes I do, oftentimes I don’t. I will show you how to do that, I cut a piece that’s just narrower in my A10 scud back. I'm going to tie this in the same way, a little bit right up on top of the hook, keep it flat coming off the back and tie that to the base of the tails.
So everything is tied in right to the base of the tail. The coat should come right off at the same point. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to dub the fly. I'll grab my Arizona dubbing. Keep this loose, you don’t want this super tight. We’re going to come in here with some Velcro when we finish the fly and pull out some legs so you don’t want this as tight as you would if you're tying a dry fly, nice, loose spindle. Slide this up and I'm going to dub from the rear to the front of the hook.
Male: Scuds have a number of legs. I believe it’s seven or eight pairs, the front pair is being used to control what they're eating and the rest of the legs they're used to power the little creature. They're actually very good swimmers and when they swim, they swim straight. The only time you usually see them in this curved feature is when they're at rest or if they're dead.
Wayne: I've got it dubbed all the way in front of the hook. What I like to do now is put a half inch in, we got a down eye facing down. Everything is going to want to fall off the front of the hook. The first thing to come over is going to be our flash material. We’ll pull that flat on top of the hook. This is going to want to slide all over, you want to keep it just centralized on the top of the hook,—that down, two or three good turns and put another half inch in and trim off the excess.
Now we’re ready for the scud back to come forward, as well as our rib and what I found is when you try to wind this rib onto the top of this slippery scud back, it slides off. So a little trick is to take one turn, just underneath the tails and pull that up and pull it up into the body. Now I'm right into the middle of the body and that first turn is not going to want to slide off the back. So, a little tricky here, going to pull the—extend back to the front and bring my ribbon forward.
Male: So you're not tying down the scud back, you’re tying down the flash back.
Wayne: No and the reason I do that is because the torque from the mono filament wants to take it to the other side so after every turn, I can reposition that towards me.
Male: Keep it right up on top.
Wayne: To keep it flat right on top of the hook. This will give it a nice, segmented buggy look. I'm just going to wind to the front, open turns. You can see in that soft dubbing it bears right down in there. a little trick here, now we’re on to the front. My next turn is going to be the last. What I like to do is I like to bury this mono filament—let me take one last turn—I like to bury this mono filament underneath this head so I have one more turn to go. I'm going to pull this like I would in a hood of the car, going to the rear, get it out of my way. I'm going to tie off in here. Now remember, slippery thread, slippery mono filament, cut this a little bit shorter.
So we’re going to put a good dozen or so wraps in there just to secure that mono filament, you don’t want that coming out when we fish the fly or when we finish it. Trim off our mono filament. Now we can bring this over, I want it right behind the eye and essentially we buried that last knot, that last wrap underneath that material, if you don’t see it. Two or three good—pull this to the rear or right back to the shoulder of the eye. Our whip moves right in that slot.
Male: Who would you say has influenced your scud pattern the most?
Wayne: Tie off and trim. A lot of the construction on this is ideas from Oliver Edwards, especially down their body which we’re going to get to next. Now I'm going to just trim this off, stretch this a bit.
Okay now what we need to do is pull some legs out. What I got here is just some male Velcro and I've cut it to a little bit narrower strip and I'm going to come in here. I run this back. This is a lot better than using a dubbing needle on the fly. You don’t want to get in there and disturb that rib. You can see now we've got some nice legs sticking out. We have a few of these real long ones in here, just pluck them out or trim them up.
Okay now the last thing I'm going to do is I'm going to flatten it and this thing is flat side to side compared to a pressed bug that’s flat top to bottom. I'm going to come in here, remember we built that underbody, smooth pair of jaws. I'm just going to come in here and flatten them. So now while I'm flattening it, it takes a nice shape of the scud. As you can see on my box I carried many different colors.
Male: You’ll notice in the box that your scuds have all different colors, especially orange. Make sure you tie some of the orange with the orange hotspot and completely orange. The orange hotspot is believed to be an impregnated scud, it’s the group pouch and the all orange scud is believed to be dead. The overexposure to sunlight causes them to produce carotene which turns them yellow. Often out west you have tail waters where they regulate the water flow and these scuds will be in what they consider deeper water and as the water drops aggressively, they’ll become trapped and they will die.