The Orange Scud is one of the most effective all-season flies in southeast Minnesota and is a great, basic tie for a beginner. It doesn’t need to be pretty. Used in a dual-nymph rig is good insurance for a catch no matter what’s hatching as the scuds are in most streams year-round thanks to the (over?)abundance of in-stream vegetation.
Hook: TMC 2488 size 14-16 (or whatever scud hook you like) or even a size 12. It may be true there aren’t any scuds in our small streams bigger than size 14, but I’ve caught a lot of fish on a really big, ugly, crappy size 12 scud.
Thread: Red (or orange, or whatever, really, but if you try blue it’ll just look superbly crappy)
Weight: Lead (or lead substitute, don’t lecture me)
Ribbing: Copper wire (I use brassie for just about everything because I don’t like to search my table for the other rolls of ultra wire)
Body: Orange nymph dubbing…real buggy-like
Back: I still have Gudebrod Metallic Braid that I use, but they may have stopped making that. Pearlescent Krystal Flash works fine too…find something that works.
Here’s how I tie my orange scud:
Pull backing forward, secure it down with a couple wraps of thread. Wrap wire up to just behind the eye, and wrap that down with a few wraps of thread, too. Then find something sharp and picky to pull the dubbing out from under the bottom side of the hook to give it that buggy, “hey I’m a shrimp and I’ve got legs” look. Oh yeah, I forgot that you’ll want to make a few finishing knots, either whip finish or whatever method you use. YouTube has bunch of great examples if you’re uncertain.