Archive for April 10th, 2010


Fly Tying: Scuds Ambivilancy

Years ago, as I explored Central Oregon streams, I followed the advice of those in the know (blind leading the blind) and used an orange scud. As many do in the beginning stages of fly fishing, I followed the advice without knowing why, only that is offered a supposed higher odds catching a trout….good enough. As I read more, I realized that stillwaters reportedly harbored large concentrations of scuds.

As the years have progressed, I have seldom relied on scuds on rivers or lakes. I read about them. They seem to be a sure fire provocateur of the bite. So, why do I not fish them? I have tied up gray, dark olive, tan and, of course, orange ones. Yet, there they sit in my fly box….untouched. I vow to actually use scuds (this is in addition to my already issued vow of discerning a spinner fall, having spinner patterns and using them).

An intermediate clear line or floating line with long leader (10-15′) seems to be the ticket.  Scuds have two venues (streams & stillwaters) and each requires a different presentation. Scuds in the stream are best fished like any nymph, tumbled along as in drift mode. In stillwaters a more manipulated retrieve is used. Scuds will move about in several inch bursts with a pause in between. So, a strip retrieve & pause or finger roll retrieve would work. Focus on the location of weed beds (over the top, around the edges or through them if you’re patient) or lily pads.

My scattered, hodge podge of patterns displays my lack of clarity for the go to scud pattern.


Sitka, Alaska (A Walk Into the Wild)

Sitka, Alaska (Harbor Mtn.) ~ SwittersB

Wild. I have trekked, backpacked, fished all in what is designated wilderness. It was, indeed, wilderness. Whether alone or with another, I knew I was in a wild place. Yet, a short boat ride out of Sitka is a small bay, Katlian Bay. I recall a quick look see excursion up Katlian Bay to see what was shaking in the inlet streams. I was motored in close and cautioned that the tide would be going out soon…so don’t dawdle, or reaching the boat will not be easy.

T.Muncy (Katlian Bay)

I ventured up the edge of the stream, which was choked with  a black mass of fish. Chest high grass waved in the strong breeze. I carried a high powered rife, slung over my shoulder, and a rod. My son walked behind me. Maybe he was aware, at 15 y/o, of the possibilities, maybe he was not. Large bear paw prints in the muck near the water’s edge told me we were in a different element than our previous environs.

We moved up into the heavy timber and followed the stream up to just see. The stream narrowed. Not fishing water. We were just looking about. We were a hundred yards from the bay, but it might as well have been a mile. The ‘wild’ was real. It was like a weight of reality. Balls of salmon swirled and moved about in a way I had never seen and never have sense. The colors of the water, even in shadows, positively glowed.

We paused and looked about and softly muttered, let’s head back down. Back toward the ‘safety’ of the tall grass, bear paw prints and available salmon. We were in the open, in view of the whaler and we found water less stacked with fish. We swung hot pink marabou enticements and took many pinks that chased. The tide made the call, we made our way back to the whaler.

That short boat ride from Stargaven, up into Katlian Bay, provided me with a wonderful memory of ‘wild’.

Sitka, Alaska (Harbor Mtn.) ~ SwittersB

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