How to Tie: The Simple Scud

In this week’s How to Tie video feature, Tim Flagler from Tightline Video is here to show us how to tie the simple scud.

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Novice

The simple scud, better known as the “Freshwater Shrimp”, is a tiny freshwater crustacean that can be found in any healthy stream, or more commonly, in the belly of a trout. These little buggers can vary from an eighth of an inch to just over an inch long, and serve as an important element of a freshwater fish’s diet.

These scud patterns rose to popularity amongst Czech and Polish anglers for competition fishing back in the ’80s. Oftentimes made up of just some yarn and an old piece of sponge, these flies quickly rosed to stardom due to their astounding effectiveness. Soon, the fly became commonly associated with the Czech style of Nymphing and was soon adopted by anglers worldwide. Today, the simple scud, or the freshwater shrimp, can be found in almost any nymph box, as you’d have to be a fool to fish US tailwaters without a few of these in your arsenal.

With only a few ingredients, this fly can be tied in a multitude of colors and styles. Tim recommends diversifying your collection by tying some scuds in green, tan, grey, or any other color that may represent these little stream-dwelling crustaceans. Also, in order to add some longevity, as well as extra bulk, feel free to coat your Thin Skin with some UV resin to really give off that shell-like presentation!


  • Dai-Riki #125 Size .16 – .20 Emerger Hook
  • UTC 70 Denier Light Olive
  • Sow Scud Antron Possum Blend Dubbing (in this video: Smokey Olive)
  • UTC Gold Ultra Wire Small
  • Wapsi Thin Skin (black fly spec)
  • (Optional) UV Resin
  • (Optional) Dubbing Brush

Now you know how to tie the simple Scud!


Video and Ingredients courtesy of Tightline Video

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