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Scientific Name: Order Amphipoda. Most are family Gammaridae, genus Gammarus; and family Talitridae, genus Hyalella

cuds are shrimp-like, freshwater crustaceans. They can occur in huge numbers in lakes and in slackwater sections of rivers. When present, they offer trout a delicious morsel that is hard to resist.
They favor weedy areas, but can be found other places as well. Because scuds are sensitive to light, the best times to fish an imitation are on overcast days and near dawn and dusk. Trout are fond of them, and a healthy scud population results in large trout with deep bellies.
Scuds swim in spurts. Each spurt is 6-12 inches, and there is a pause between each. So on a lake or slackwater, use a sinking or intermediate line and retrieve the fly with short strips, pausing between each strip.
On rivers, scuds may be found either drifting or swimming. Drifting a pattern just over the top of a weed bed can be very productive. A swimming scud will straighten its body, whereas a drifting scud will curve itself; choose a pattern that matches your presentation.
Scud eggs are orange and are carried by the females under their belly. Pregant scuds are favored by trout, so an orange-tinted pattern can be deadly during the breeding season (water temps in mid-sixties).
For more information and tactics, see the article Scuds

flyMatchHow to match each stage of this insect

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Scud (Photo © Dave Hughes)