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.
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.
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.
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.