How To Fish Stillwaters

July 12th, 2004

Stillwaters, lakes, ponds and reservoirs are the most underutilized fisheries in the North America. Why? Because the average fly fisher doesn't know how to fish them, or where to start. Stay tuned, you too can master stillwaters! ~ LadyFisher

Thoughts on Scud Design

By Philip Rowley

Scud patterns are simple, but there are a few points to consider. The most important point is that when scuds swim, they do so with their body extended. Only the telson at the rear of the scud hangs down. Patterns with pronounced curves are not effective in stillwaters. Scuds hold their bodies in a curved fashion when they are dead, resting, feeding or falling through the water column. For hooks I use either the Tiemco 2457 scud hook or the 3769 standard wet-fly hook. For a weighted pattern, use the 3769, a weighted curved or hump shank hook will ride upside down due to the "keel" effect of the non-toxic lead wire. One of my favorite methods is to fish a weighted scud pattern with a dry line and a long leader of 15 feet or more. Popular sizes range from a number 8 down to a size 16. My favorite size would probably be a number 12.

Use fine wire or monofilament to simulate the scud's segmented body. To imitate the shellback of the natural I use raffia, plastic, marabou or pearlescent sheet material. Keep in mind that the back of the scud is darker than the under- side. Dubbing mixes are best suited to imitate the translucent scud. Use either natural furs or blended synthetics. My personal favorite is seal fur but this is not always available or legal. Be sure to brush or pick out the lower portions of your dubbed bodies. This simulates the legs and antennae of the naturals. Sparkle chenille or glass beads also create a life-like body. ~ PR

More from Phil Rowley's excellent book, Fly Patterns for Stillwaters next time.

Credits: Excerpt from Fly Patterns for Stillwaters By Philip Rowley, published by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use permission.

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