Scuds are a popular and important trout fly. Most tailwater fisheries have plentiful scuds and sowbugs and nymphing with patterns that imitate these bugs is a hugely productive way to catch fish. Small freshwater shrimp are also included in the ‘scud family’ and the Mysis Shrimp is another well-known tailwater bug. This is a fly category for the avid tailwater trout angler who uses nymphing techniques to target finicky trout feeding on scuds and shrimp. Whether you’re fishing the historic Missouri River in Montana or the Dream Stream in Colorado, these classic tailwater patterns are a must-have in every tailwater angling scenario.
One of the popular patterns we carry is the Jurassic Scud Fly. This scud pattern is tied on a heavy-duty hook for durable performance on the largest fish. While the fly only comes in one size, it does come in three different colors: Olive, Tan, and Grey for match-the-hatch fishing regardless of a scud’s color. These flies are efficient attractor scuds and can be used to prospect a tailwater fishery when you don’t know what the fish are eating. This generic scud pattern is a classic and a popular fly among serious tailwater anglers.
Another popular tailwater fly is the sowbug. Unlike the Jurassic Scud, This fly comes in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors. If you’re an angler who prefers nymphing with split shots and lighter weighted flies, the regular Sow Bug Fly is a great option and imitates a grey scud well. These flies are tied with a rubber back for improved durability and a realistic appearance in the water. If you prefer a heavier fly, the Tungsten Tailwater Sowbug features a tungsten bead to drop your fly into the feeding zone quickly and keep it there longer. If you’d rather have a selection of colors, check out the Tailwater Sowbug Fly for a selection of sizes and colors.
Another classic scud pattern we carry is the Hunchback Scud. This fly offers a lifelike profile and comes in a wide variety of colors including Bighorn Orange, Gray, Olive, Rainbow, UV Olive/Orange, and UV Tan/Pink. These flies work well as point flies on a double nymph rig and imitate a multitude of scuds.
The Ray Charles is another classic scud pattern. These flies are wire-ribbed for extra durability and a more lifelike profile in the water. They come in three different colors and two different sizes for all of your tailwater needs. Another solid tailwater pattern is Charlie’s Mysis Fly. This is great for situations where a river runs under or over a dam and Mysis Shrimp flow out of the lake into the river. Trout typically line up just below the dam to feed on these freshwater shrimp and can be easily fooled with the Charlie’s Mysis fly. If you’re fishing a western tailwater, bring some of these with you for scenarios when you’re fishing below a dam.
Tailwater angling can be quite productive. Tailwaters typically see relatively constant flows and fish that feed year-round so they can be a great place to fish in the winter months, too. If you’re planning on fishing a tailwater this season, build a good selection of scud and shrimp patterns by buying your flies from us.