Scudmarine-Steelhead Nymph Pattern

Everyone knows that stonefly and egg patterns catch steelhead while nymphing. Here is a secret weapon to add to your arsenal of steelhead nymphs. For the past four years I have been Euro Nymphing for steelhead and the Scudmarine has proven to be an extremely effective pattern. My father is an indicator fisherman and he has had success as well, partly due, no doubt to the heavy tungsten bead and bright colors.

Nymphing for Steelhead

I started fishing pink scuds when a friend of mine, Devin Olsen mentioned that he had done very well with them in the past. I started by tying very basic scuds, gold tungsten bead, clear scud back, pink shrimp Sow-Scud dubbing, and a mono rib. I still think this basic scud that I began with fishes right there with the my latest edition of the Scudmarine, but the flashy, stylish scud pictured below is more appealing to me as a fly tyer, and the fish seem to find it attractive as well. I now have three primary variations for steelhead. Pink remains the dominant, but the Lavendar Pink, and the Chartreuse are also found in my nymph box.

Scudmarine-Pink

Scudmarine-Lavendar Pink

Scudmarine-Chartreuse

I came up with the name “Scudmarine” because of the heavy, quick descending characteristics of this scud. The tungsten bead and lead wraps help get this fly down quick which allows for more time drifting in the zone near the bottom of the river where most fish are found.

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Pink Scud for Steelhead

Just last week while fishing the Salmon River in Idaho for Steelhead I found success, once again, with the pink Scudmarine. Conditions were tough and there were not as many fish in the system as we had hoped for. However, with persistence we found a handful of fish, and not surprisingly the picture directly above shows what I found in the lip of some. I have yet to run into very many steelhead fishermen on the river that fish pink scuds, but I highly recommend stashing a few in your box for your next trip. I would not be surprised if it is ticket to catching your next steelhead.

RECIPE

SCUDMARINE-Pink
Hook: scud hook size 8-10 (Dai-riki 135)
Bead: Anodized Pink, or Hot Pink tungsten
Thread: UTC 140 Fl. Pink
Rib: 3X Tippet
Back: Spotted Thin Skin
Flash: Magic Shrimp Foil (pink)
Legs: Micro UV Polar Chennil (UV Hot Pink)
Body: Pink Shrimp Sow-Scud Dubbing
 
SCUDMARINE-Lavendar Pink
Hook: scud hook size 8-10 (Dai-riki 135)
Bead: Anodized Pink, or Hot Pink tungsten
Thread: UTC 140 Fl. Pink
Rib: 3X Tippet
Back: Spotted Thin Skin
Flash: Magic Shrimp Foil (pink)
Legs: Micro UV Polar Chennil (UV Hot Pink)
Body: Lavendar Ice Dubbing
 
SCUDMARINE-Chartreuse
Hook: scud hook size 8-10 (Dai-riki 135)
Bead: Chartreuse tungsten
Thread: UTC 140 Fl. Chartreuse
Rib: 3X Tippet
Back: Spotted Thin Skin
Legs: Micro UV Polar Chennil (Chartreuse)
Body: Chartreuse Ice Dubbing
 

NOTE: Many of these materials can be found at the Blue Quill Angler

Steelhead Nymph-Hotspot Rubber Leg Stonefly

Two years ago while nymphing for steelhead on the Salmon River in Idaho I found myself struggling to catch fish. Like most anglers that day, luck was not in my favor. However, turned out that luck was not the contributing factor to my limited success. Fly selection on my part was probably more responsible for the lack of hookups than anything. This was made evident to me by my friend Chris Cutler who was the only one on the river that day not struggling to catch fish. The guy was killing it while the rest of us wore out our shoulders and pondered what he was doing different to aid in his success. I’m confident it was two things, one, he is a great angler with awesome skills, and two, he was throwing a Hot Spot Rubber Leg Stonefly which was found hanging from the mouth of many of his catches (check out Chris’ blog at Living Fly Legacy). The rest of us continued to pound the river with our own stonefly nymphs, and egg patterns, but the tide never changed in our favor. Needless to say I’ve since tied up dozens of these nymphs and will not be found on a steelhead river without plenty of them.
Hotspot Rubber Leg Stonefly

Traditional Rubber Leg Stonefly patterns have been catching trout like crazy for many years now. By adapting colors that are appealing to steelhead this fly becomes deadly while still being one of the easiest flies to tie around. My preferred method of nymphing is Euro Nymphing for steelhead. This tightline technique has done very well for me, and this fly pattern works very well in this setup.

Wild Idaho Steelhead

I caught this large wild male steelhead last year on none other than the fly mentioned above. It has quickly proven to be a go-to nymph, and I now started most of my days steelhead nymphing by tying one on. Simple to tie, and effective on the stream. Perfect combination!

Wyoming Fly Fishing-Adventure after Adventure

The “Cowboy” state has some of the finest river’s to fly fish in the world. This past summer I left my home in Utah several times to explore new water in a state that I hadn’t spent much time in before. In the middle of the summer my friend Derek, my Uncle Kimble, and I met up for an unforgettable trip which included fly fishing in Yellowstone, and some of the amazing tributaries of the Snake River around Jackson Hole.

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The rivers we fished had an abundance of golden stonefly exuviae laying on the surrounding rocks. There must have been a great hatch a month or so earlier, and unsurprisingly fish still keyed in on stonefly nymphs without hesitation.

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Wyoming is home to some of the most scenic rivers in the west. Looking at these images gets me excited for summer to return.

Lickety Split Fly Pattern

Once again the Lickety Split in both brown and black fished very well. For deeper holes, the Rowley Stone was also a favorite.

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Cutthroat trout are known for their willingness to rise to dry flies, but the three of us love Euro Nymphing and fished this method to the many cutthroat trout we came across. Not surprisingly, we were very successful covering the water with such an effective nymphing technique.

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Wyoming is not only home to worldclass fly fishing, but most of Yellowstone and its amazing wildlife as well. We were lucky enough to cross paths with buffalo, as well as a handful of gigantic moose (including the big bull in the video and picture above). It was truly a trip to remember.

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