This year I have been playing around with a "fly" that I have only used on lakes before. I started to really think about winter insects like bwo's and winter stone flies, and then it dawned on me. Not everything has to hatch. That's what got me thinking about scuds. For those of you that think I'm talking about my time in Iraq not to worry. I'm talking about a small species of fresh water shrimp. These small crustaceans live in almost all bodies of water including caves and water twice as salty as the sea. Because they are pretty much defenceless they tend to hide in vegetation and are mostly nocturnal. Also because they are semitransparent scuds take on the color of their surroundings. Paying attention to the colors in the water will tell you what colors are best to run although olive and tans are most common. In some lakes scuds are one of the most abundant food sources for trout making up to half of a trouts diet. Although scuds can reproduce a few times a year they do not "hatch" thus making them a viable fly to fish year round. Because scuds don't venture from cover often they are best fished near to or bouncing along the bottom. Next time your on the river and can't seem to find anything they want, try a scud, you may be on to something.
See you on the trail,