how to fish scuds

i need some advice on how to do this for stillwater, should i use a strike indicator or just pull the fly along near the bottom? ill be heading to rocky ford this next weekend so i figure i can practice there. by the way, am i correct in my assumption that just about anywhere i can get to the water on rocky ford there should be fish?
You can fish them either way, but they need to be down near the weeds. They do scoot along a bit more than say, chironomids, which just float to the surface. At RF, you can throw out you scud and let it sink until a fish comes around and then give it short tugs, or you can target a fish you see and try to watch him take it on the drift, or you can fish it under an indicator.

At RF, you will see the fish and there are lots of them. Just don't necessarily expect to catch a lot as they are educateded.....

I tie micro leeches in olive. I weight them and retrieve them slowly when fishing Rocky Ford. I believe they represent a scud. It's been very effective for me. I have also seen some fellows using a small pheasant tail with a strike indicator that worked well. I have also caught lots on size 8 and 6 leech patterns retrieved very slowly. I've had 10 - 20 fish days on Rocky Ford, I've also been skunked a few times. They can be fickle at Rocky Ford. They don't hit hard, the take is quite subtle, often times I've raised the tip of the rod and found out there was a fish on. Some of the trout there will go over seven lbs.
Have fun.

Just make sure you get them down near the bottom when at Rocky Ford.
Question: Rocky Ford is a Spring Creek with moving water, how did it get posted here on the Stillwater site?



Keepin' It Reel
Not to change the thread topic here but I've also heard that a mouse or lemming pattern works there as well. Can anyone confirm this for me?

[Been there lately :rofl:] Wiseguy!:D

Fishing the full moon can be quite productive. I have fished large leech patterns on the surface at twilight and in full moon. The fish really slam into them. Never tried a mouse pattern but since they are hitting anything fairly large moving on the surface I would guess it is true.
Some guy told me to use a white wooly bugger and I tried it the last time I was there. I use a small white wooly bugger and it produce quite well.

next time your in a scuddy lake wade around in the weeds and stir em up and observe how they swim.

they swim like i dance. the humpty dance.

i fish them on intermediates with twitchy finger twist type retrieves. but honestly i hardly fish them unless i find a situation where fish are goin ninja on em (not the best for covering water). last spring on a flat on dusty lake i was sight fishing to a bunch of feeders. at first i thought they were smashing damsel nymphs but i noticed they would speed up and dart and change directions nabbing said mystery food item.

i let my marabou damsel damn near hit the deck and started with the crunked gilbert grape retrieve and one of those feeders darted and SMASHED my fly. puked up olive scuds and solved the mystery.

observe them to see what im talking about. they swim kinda fast (relative to most of your fly box) and erratic as all hell.
I used to wade fish lakes in southern Wyoming that were thick with scuds. Getting out of the lake my waders had a solid layer of them, especially in my boots where they would remain and grow fragrant if I didn't do a good job of rinsing off when I got home.

I tried several different patterns and retrieves but found the best way was to hang 'em under an indicator on windy days and let the waves do the work. I'd move to a spot on the windy side of the lake and cast across and into the wind and watch my indi as it pushed back towards the shoreline with my scud hanging just at the top of the weeds. Sometimes the fish were right up in 2' of water. Had some GREAT days doing this. I tie scuds on traditional scud hooks and 2xl straight-shank nymph hooks and both work. Olive, grey, and amber are my best colors

These days I don't fish 'em much but i have had experiences similar to Sean's on eastern WA lakes.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
I completely understand the 'match the hatch' advice here about trying to mimic real scuds' motion. But sometimes it can be quite productive to try a fast, jerky retrieve with long, quick pulls followed by a second or two between. I think that lake fish who spend a lot of time dining on the real thing (not just scuds, but damsels, chironomids, etc) can get really picky if they sense something isn't just right about your fly. Introducing a quick or unexpected motion to your fly can fool them into reacting instead of just looking.



Active Member
For me, I've had days where color of the scud can really help at RF; try one most closelly matching the bottom/weeds where you're fishing. Sometimes when they're real picky, I'll let them settle right into the bottom, then small strip them out.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
For me, I've had days where color of the scud can really help at RF; . . .
One of the best scud colors I've used at both RF and Lenice is what a friend calls 'trailer trash' - the sort of dirty pink shade that you might find on the thighs of a pair of stretch pants worn by a fat woman at WalMart. Don't laugh, it works!