Pattern Scuds

Sometimes sitting here at the computer, I get flashes of insight and/or insanity, and I can not figure out which. Today, I was watching a U tube presentation on tying a scud. Pretty easy and straight forward fly. But the artist decided to tie it in olive. Now to me, olive is a good fish color in most subsurface flies and a natural color. But I had been led to believe that most scuds are gray in appearance, and some are orange or red depending on conditions.

I have to admit I have never fished the scud to any degree, so I am going on instinct here. Aside from the straight hook, curved hook discussion, what is the best color for a scud pattern in underwater vegetation?

Troutbum 1975

Who you gonna believe me or your own eyes?
I fish 3 colors Grey,Tan and olive i tie 3 hook sizes 14,16 and 18 on a Dai-Riki #135 curved scud hook.Scuds are my go to fly in tough times hope this helps.


Active Member
Pick up a rock in the shallows of the body of water you want to fish scuds in. Match the color of the scuds hiding under the rock.

I see grey and olive most commonly. Also brown, rust, and amber/orange. In lakes I like my scuds on straight hooks and typically use Rickards patterns because they cross over as scuds when tied with the appropriate colors. I fish scuds in moving water as well, usually tied on Dai-Riki #135's in #10-18.
Thanks for the information. I guess I will have to do some research over the winter and put it in practice next summer. Maybe a new float tube is in order.
Scuds on Rocky Ford should be in the 10 and 12 size area. They seem a tad bigger. Though I have caught them on size 16 at Rocky Ford.
Also, scud colors, olive, brown, grey, and when they are breeding they are pink. Try tying some pink scuds they work.
So if I got this correct, Olive gray body on a straight hook for moving scuds.
For resting scuds same pattern on a curved hook. a spot of red for color?
Rocky Ford fast food for trout?
For years I always tied them on curved hooks, and they caught trout. Lately I've been tying them on straight(er) hooks. They too catch trout. At a place like rocky, you could encounter a scenario to both drift them and strip them. And a curve hook can end up with a fairly straight fly, depending on how far down the bend you tie (though that changes the length of the fly too).

I like mixing colors and using more natural materials that have some variation in them. Wapsi's Whitlocks SLF dubbing is great. And mixing kinds of dubbing so there us variation/veriegation in the final fly, not just a uniform blob of color. Olive, gray, tan/golden/amber, etc. But I would start with olive and work from there. I've seen people catch fish on size 8 dark brown and size 8 or 10 white scuds too, so go figure. (They looked more like grubs out of my garden than anything I've seen in the water.) I don't know if the colored dot in the back matters. Some people swear it does. The only times I've seen it in the real thing it's pretty subtle in color. It's noticeable, but it's not neon.

You might also consider weighted vs unweighted. I usually go unweighted to make sure I stay out of the weeds. But if you're trying to drift them, you do have to get quite a bit of lead time to get them sunk down to the level of the fish by the time your rig arrives. You can also use a heavier hook shank. You can add a layer of wire underneath the dubbing to get a little weight w/o it being overwhelming or as bulky as lead. (Bulk being a bigger factor in small sizes, not so much for large sizes.)

I use plastic bag for the shell-back. I like to rib with tippet/mono instead of wire. I think it's more natural looking, and many times when you're fishing these bugs the fish have plenty of time to check the fly out. I like using a dubbing loop if I have the time (to maximize spikiness). Using a wire brush or other very stiff dubbing brush also helps get the dubbing out on the bottom side of the fly. Good luck.


Stripping burns welcome!
Try my Beadhead Disco Scud at Rocky Ford. Use a #14 Scud 2x hook, 1/8 tungston gold bead, three strands of peacock crystal flash, 140 black ultra thread. Place the bead on the hook, tie a short tail of the three strands of crystal flash, take the remaining flash and wrap the body with it building upward to the bead. Finish with three strands down toward the hook from the head for legs. It is dynamite at the ford. Also the same thing in red works great at Dry Falls Lake.