charlie's flybox

Flashback Scud


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Charlie Craven and Charlie's FlyBox, Inc.
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step: 1
Pattern Description
Scuds, or freshwater shrimp, are an abundant food source in many tailwaters. Colorado's South Platte and Williams Fork Rivers both have prodigious populations and the fish feed heavily upon them. There are many ways to tie a scud. Some prefer patterns tied on curved style scud hooks, to better mimic the natural's curve, while others prefer straight shanks in the thinking that the straight posture imitates a scud that is swimming. Fish eat both patterns and I have some of my own thoughts on all this as well. The method I have devised and show here combines both schools of thought and creates a humped back scud on a straight hook. By doubling over the butts of the tailing material I am able to create a slight hump while preserving the gap of the hook. I also use a strip of flash ribbon for the shellback as I like the added attractiveness of the flash and the durability of the material. Scuds are most commonly found in shades of olive, tan, and gray when live and turn various shades of orange when dead. Feel free to substitute colors in the material selection to match your local fauna. I typically fish scuds on a dead drift with split shot and an indicator in moving water and with a small shot and twitching strip retrieve in stillwaters. Some of the most fun you can have is sight fishing a scud to a large cruising trout around weedlines in lakes. Twist up some scuds for you box and make a promise to yourself to try them this season.
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 3761 #10-20 Thread: 6/0 Orange or to match body color Antennae: Orange dyed mallard flank or to match body Rib: 5X tippet material Flashback: Orange Ribbon Flash Body: Rusty Orange Haretron Dubbing or color of choice Eyes: Black Sharpie Marker
step: 2
Begin by tying a long length of dyed mallard flank for the tail/antennae. The tips should extend past the bend about one half a shank length. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Wrap over the butt ends of the mallard toward the eye and stop about two eye lengths back from the eye. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Pull the butt ends of the mallard back toward the bend and wrap over them to the point on the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Return the thread to two eye lengths back from the eye and double the remaining butt ends back again and tie them down as shown above. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Finally, pull the butt ends back toward the bend once more and bind the thread over them to the hook point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Clip the remaining stubs and wrap the thread over the entire works to smooth out the underbody. This process creates the humped underbody that mimics that of the natural scud. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Tie in an eight-inch length of 5X monofilament on the far side of the hook. Tying it in on the far side assures that it won't pull the near edge of the shellback up when you start the rib. Wrap back over the mono to the bend of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Tie in a strip of ribbon flash (or the shellback material of your choice) that is just slightly narrower than the gap of the hook. Be sure to cup the flash around the hook so it hugs the curve of the underbody and doesn't create wrinkles when pulled over the dubbing. Wrap back over the shell back material to the bend of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Wrap over the flash to the bend of the hook, return the thread to the index point and apply the dubbing to the thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Begin wrapping the dubbing at the index point and wrap back toward the bend. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Once at the bend, wrap back again to the index point forming a football shaped taper. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Pull the shellback over the top of the body and tie it down at the index point, but DO NOT clip the excess. Be sure that the edges of the shellback don't kink when you fold them forward. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Spiral the rib forward over the body with six or seven turns. Tie off the rib and clip both the excess rib and the remaining stub of the shellback. Build a smooth thread head and whip finish. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Use a piece of Velcro (the hook side) to shag the dubbing on the underside of the hook by stroking it back and forth across the bottom of the fly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
Finished fly. You can add small dots for the eyes with a Sharpie marker if you like, and, hell, why not? Notice the arch of the back formed by the mallard underbody, the length of the legs and antennae and the spacing of the rib. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox