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Rainy's Bead Back Scud
By Joe J. Warren

Scuds are also known as freshwater shrimp and are a part of the hard shell group of organisms called crustaceans. Scuds tend to be very prolific in many habitates, ranging from streams to lakes, that typically hold trout. Their abundance, combined with a high protein content, greatly contribute to a trout's rapid growth.

The Bead Back Scud was originated in 1994 by Rainy Riding of Logan, Utah. Rainy is a "vision" fly tier, that is to say, her personal patterns evolve while she sleeps. While it is still freash in her mind, she wakes and heads for the tying table. Rainy claims that the Bead Back Scud came about during a 3 a.m. excursion. I'm guessing that her nightstand is adequately equipped and ready to go.

As you can see from the scud picture above, the beads resemble their thin transparent shell. The legs on the Bead Back Scud are an additional feature that contribute to the uniqueness of this pattern which does not open up large gaps between the beads. The coloration of scuds varies from region to region as the color is often a reflection of the scud's diet. Their colors range from shakes of olive to tan or gray.

Materials List:

    Hook: Dai-Riki 135, Daiichi 1150 or 1250, sizes 12-16.

    Thread: Color to match beads, 8/0.

    Body: Five or six beads, small, color to suit.

    Legs: Rainy's Sparkle Dub, color to match beads.

Instructions - Rainy's Bead Back Scud:

1. Thread 4 or 5 beads onto the hook and place it in the vise at a slight angle. Push the beads forward to the eye. Tie in the thread at the bend of the hook at least one bead width behind the beads and create a thread butt large enough to keep the beads from slipping off the hook, whip finish the thread and trim.

2. Push one bead back to the thread butt and tie in the thread. For the legs, collect a small amount of dubbing and form a noodle-shaped body by rolling the material between your thumb and index finger (dubbing should be in inch long and half the diameter of a bead).

3. Rotate the hook so it is upside down. Tie in the dubbing strand by its center and secure with figure-eight wraps. tie a couple of half hitches with the thread and trim. Do not overwrap the thread, this causes too much bulk which prevents the beads from closing tighly together.

4. Push the next bead tightly against the dubbing and tie in the thread again. Form another dubbing strand and secure into place as described above. Repeat this step until you have completed the legs in between the beads. Tie in the thread between the front bead and the eye to finish the head with wraps and whip finish.

5. After the legs are completed, rotate the fly back into the upright position. Use a fine-bristled brush and comb the dubbing fibers down to form the legs. Trim the tips of the dubbing fibers to the width of hook's gape.

Publisher's Note: If using glass beads on flies is new to you and you are hesitant to stock up with yet more fly-tying supplies, Rainy Riding has this fly as "Bug in a Box" on her website. The 'box' comes with a sample fly and enough materials to make several.

How to Fish the Rainy's Bead Back Scud

Scuds are primarily bottom dwellers, but can tumble downstream in fast currents. Add a little split shot on your leader to get it down if necessary. ~ JLW

Credits: This fly is one of hundreds of innovation flies included in the book, Tying Glass Bead Flies by Joe J. Warren, published by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use permission!

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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