Tying the Baby-On-Board scud.
Fishing a local tailwater is an excellent way to spend a winter day. The fish are hunkered down, schooled up, and looking for easy meals—typically scuds and sowbugs in nearby tailwaters and spring creeks. The Baby-On-Board is a great suggestive imitation for a scud, sowbug, or even an egg that a trout would be looking to eat in the cooler months of the year. With the translucent, reflective, and iridescent UV resin back, buggy dubbing, and bright tungsten bead, it has all sorts of elements that attract trout.
Hook: Ahrex FW541 or TMC 2457 #12
Bead: 2.5mm hot-orange tungsten
Thread: 18/0 Semperfli Nano Silk, brick beige
Rib: small, silver Ultra Wire
Body: Sow-Scud Dub, molting orange
Shell: 2mm Sow-Scud Back, dead orange
Shell casing: medium-viscosity Solarez UV Resin
1. Place the tungsten bead on the hook. Start the thread at the 50% point of the hook shank, create a thread base, and return the thread to the starting point.
2. Tie a six-inch section of silver wire down on the hook shank, stopping slightly down into the bend of the hook. Then, take a three-inch length of Scud Back and tie it down to where the wire ends. Remember, the bead on this pattern is the middle of the hook shank, so make sure to be posterior of the 50% point when tying in the wire and Scud Back.
3. Slide the bead down to the 50% point, and use x-wraps of thread over the top to hold it in place.
4. Return the thread to the bend of the hook and create a short, loose dubbing noodle using the Sow-Scud Dub. Wrap the noodle to behind the bead. Do a whip finish and cut the tying thread free.
5. Restart the thread directly behind the eye of the hook and make a thread underbody ending directly in front of the tungsten bead. Then, create and wrap another short, loose, and slightly tapered dubbing noodle to make the front of the fly.
6. Fold the Scud Back over the top, slightly stretching it to conform to the curve of the hook shank. Tie it down behind the eye of the hook and trim the excess. Do a two-turn whip finish to hold the thread in place (the Nano Silk thread is slippery).
7. Using open spiral wraps, wrap the wire forward to put a ribbing into the scud back. Tie the wire off directly behind the eye and helicopter the wire free. Clean up the head with extra thread wraps, then whip finish and trim the thread free.
8. Apply a small drop of UV resin on top of the Scud Back, and distribute it to cover the entire back of the fly. Once happy with the shape and volume of resin, torch it with a UV light to create the hard, translucent scud back.
Drew Daniels is a sales associate at Bozeman Fly Supply.