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You gotta admit, the old Buckskin is a good one...but i gotta say the orange or amber scud is my favorite...a size 16 is my "go-to" fly....followed of course by the San Juan worm, the Black Beauty, the Barr Emerger, the Miracle Nymph, the Pheasant Tail, ect ect ect ect......
 

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Ok Rottal I get the picture its's one go to box...well I can agree with you there. but if you had to pick one fly what would it be?

TH
 

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Well ok, since you got me on the spot...i gotta stick with the amber scud. Ive caught alot of fish on that pattern, and even when i fish midges it is usually the lead fly on my rig. Its a toss up between that one and the old San Juan worm....but if i had to take one pattern it would be the scud.
 
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depends on the water...but i would say size 22-24 sparkle wing rs-2. it can be a mayfly or midge.
 

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It's ironic that I tie all kinds of patterns for variety or challenge, and the only things I've caught fish on are the ones mentioned above. Especially the miracle nymph and the San Juan worm that I detest so much. I hate the thing because it's so simple and it's a worm, not a fly. On the other hand, I catch more fish with that piece of yarn than any "fly", I'm embarrased to admit.
 

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I like all your flies and I will probably toss both the scud and the rs2 as my first two flies in the tandum, but my final droper will almost always be a size 20-22 black beauty.  Here's a little secret of the black beauty that I've experimented with that has proven very productive. Instead of building the head with nymph dubbing or thread, I use peacock hurl. It give the midge jsut a little more glimmor.  I absolutely swear by this and have fished right beside guys throwing the standard black dubbed midge and I will always out fish them....visa versa if Im using a standard BB and the other guy is using the BB with the peacock hurl head....so give it a shot if you'd like!
 

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That's interesting, because my brother, who has practically been a guide on the Blue tailwater, swears by a variation of the black beauty that has some similar properties. He told me that mysis shrimp have not worked well for him there for almost a decade, and what has worked is a black beauty with a clear/silver beadhead and tiny sparkle wings to give it a little more flash-kinda stands out from the rest of the hatch. I'm going to convert most of my black beauties to this configuration and give it a try.
 

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I have had similar experience. The black beauty is my number one go to fly for winter and the rest of the year. It works great for all tailwaters. Never fished it with a bead head though. I have had minimal success with mysis patterns but a black beauty dropped off a small copper john kills any where. I know there is alot of resentment towards cutt anglers on this site but they have the best black beauties I have ever fished. Just my humble misguided opinion.
 

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The Black Beauty is a great fly..especially on the Blue River. Im not sure if the Mysis numbers on the Blue are what they used to be either, which might explain the reduction of larger fish that seemed used to be more common on the Silverthorne stetch...but i dont know if thats due to whirling disease or other reasons. In the past i havnt really had luck with the Mysis either....

My all around wintertime favorite, north south, east or west though.....its still the SCUD! ;)
 

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Every one keeps saying scud this and scud that. But honestly I don't know if I know what one is. I think I have some, do they look like little fuzzy shrimp? In all my years fly fishing I have never used one. I better give it a try!
 

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The scud is an awsome year round fly found in a lot of tailwaters. Its a crustacean and a large sized abundant meal for trout. I guess you could say it has a bit of a shrimp look to it. I love scuds in orange, amber and variations of such. When scuds die they turn a bright orange and they stick out like a sore thumb to feeding trout. At the very least, its a great attractor to run as a point fly.
 

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Hatchmaster said:
Every one keeps saying scud this and scud that. But honestly I don't know if I know what one is. I think I have some, do they look like little fuzzy shrimp? In all my years fly fishing I have never used one. I better give it a try!
Scuds are tiny crustraceans that live in lakes and rivers in this region...they kind of resemble shrimp, and vary in size.  ive seen some pretty big ones in rivers, up to what looks like a size 12, and some downright tiny ones in lakes....like a size 24.  they are usually grey or olive in color, and as stated turn orange, amber, or pinkish when they die...they are a good chunk of food available to fish year around, and i find them fairly consistant producers on just about any colorado tailwater.  They are my  favorite fly on rivers like Wyoming's North Platte.

Heres some scuds on my workbench...


heres a pic of a live one...olive in color


they swim in short, spurt-like busts of about 8 or 10 inches...and like weeds and rocks.
the patterns vary, but usually all work.  for rivers i like soft fluffy ones (the fish hold on to them longer in a dead drift, i think) and for lakes i prefer the more anatomically correct ones...of soft-tex or epoxy...if the fish take a good look at them they should look real.  these are just my personnal opinions, the fish might not be that picky when it comes to scuds ---- ive caught some nice fish on some pretty terrible looking scud patterns in the past.
 

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Mine look a little like those, but not as good. Do you fish them as the lead or the dropper? North Platte you say? What size do you use up there and how do you fish them?
 

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i fish them in lakes with a short strip retrieve, or in rivers like the Grey Reef or the Miracle Mile as a tandem rig with plenty of lead to get them near the bottom. usually a size 14 or 16, but sometimes even a 12. i like amber in rivers as a dead imitation, and olive in lakes to represent a live scud. in lakes i fish the weed beds, just above in anywhere from 3 to 8 ft of water...in rivers i dead drift them in just about any hole. in tailwaters i fish a slightly smaller pattern, usually as the lead fly in a tandem rig with a midge...the closer to the bottom, the better.
 

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Went up to Deckers today, thinking I would confirm my go-to-winter fly as a #22 gray midge/nymph, but found out that a tan scud hooked as many as the small gray midge/nymph did. Had the scud as the lead and the small midge/nymph as the dropper and caught 18. In addition, had a number of hits that I couldn't hook. Not certain anymore which is the best, but I suspect that the small gray midge/nymph has the edge right now.
 
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