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We Couldn’t stop at just flies. now carrying everything but the fish!

Scuds | Sow Bugs | Worms

Scud Fly, Sow Bug Fly & Worm Fly

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Scud Fly, Sow Bug Fly & Worm Fly Patterns

In order to understand what a scud fly is and what it is used for, you must first understand what a tailwater fishery is. Tailwater fisheries are found throughout the country, but are more popular in the Western half of the US. These manmade fisheries are the result of building a lake that has a hydraulic damn to contain the water. These lakes are usually built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. During certain times of the year, water will be released from these lakes, creating a manmade river of sorts. When this water is released, it is pumped from the bottom of the lake which stays cold all year round. Hence, the water coming out of the damn is very cold and helps to make trout grow very large. When this water is being pumped out, a variety of crustaceans, mainly scuds, sow bugs, and crayfish, get pumped out with it. The water being released will also wash worms and other insects into the water, creating a feeding frenzy for everything living in the river down below it.

A scud fly is typically tied in shades of grey, olive, orange, pink, and tan. They will also be tied on a specific scud fly hook which has a curved shanked and a semi dropped hook eye. They are often fished under an indicator with split shot bounced along the bottom. A good scud fly will also be tied with a scud back material or epoxy, making them very durable.

When water is released from these dams, it obviously causes the river down below to swell. When this water rises, it rushes against the banks of the river and causes worms to be flushed from the dirt. This is a great time to fish a worm fly as well. A worm fly pattern will be tied in shades of red, brown, purple, and pink to name a few. Some of our favorite patterns are the San Juan Worm and our Squirmy Wormy.

If you are going to fish a tailwater fishery, you will also need to have a good sow bug fly. A good sow bug fly pattern will be tied in shades of grey and olive. They will also be tied on straight shank hooks, and are usually less than a quarter of an inch long. A sow bug fly, like a scud, will be fished under an indicator with split shot added to it. This keeps it bouncing along the bottom where fish are looking to feed on them. A lot of times, they will be fished in a tandem wet fly setup, with a worm fly being the point fly, and the scud or sow bug fly tied off of the bend of the hook. This gives fish a multitude of fly offerings at once, almost forcing them to eat one.