How to Work a Scud on Your Fishing Line

How to Work a Scud on Your Fishing Line
Scuds are members of the Class Crustacea and are similar in appearance to a tiny dwarf shrimp. Scuds are a favorite bait among anglers when flyfishing because of their effectiveness and inexpensive price tag. Work your scud across the current using a relatively simple cast-and-retrieval pattern. Watch as your scud pattern drifts along the surface of the water. When fishing a scud, presentation is very important, so work the line according to water conditions.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Cast the scud upstream of your standing position. Keep the tip of the rod raised in the air to minimize the amount of line floating on the surface of the water. Raising the tip will also ensure that the scud works its way back to you without becoming tangled or swept away in a choppy current.
Step 2
Maintain control of the fly and how it drifts along the current. Raise and lower the tip of the rod as necessary to adjust the fly's drag fly float. Raise the tip to reduce drag and pull the fly away from the current. Lower the rip to increase the drag and allow the fly to float in a more natural way.
Step 3
Watch the scud as it works its way back you. Gently lower the rod tip as it draws closer, which will increase its floating action until it completely drifts past you.
Step 4
Wait for a strike, which can occur at any point while the fly line drifts downstream. Set the hook if you notice line movement. If you do not, move to a new location or once again cast the fly line upstream from your standing position. Several cast-and-retrieval patterns may be necessary before a strike occurs.

Tips & Warnings

It's easier to fish scuds in slow-running water.
It is not necessary to fish scuds in their natural habitat.
Make your scud appear lifelike by twitching the rod tip as you raise and lower it. Twitches along your line will create the movement necessary to fool predatory fish into believing the scud is alive.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.