Sunday, February 12, 2012

Scuds Are Everywhere

As part of the order Amphipoda, the physical composition of scuds offer a substantial food requirement for trout and land locked salmon.

They tend to thrive in an alkaline environment and are rich in calcium.  The other great feature is that they are available all year long.  They live world wide with over 700 different varieties.

The life of these macro-invertebrates starts as an egg that hatches aquatically.  There is no metamorphosis as in the mayfly and caddis insects we might be more familiar with.   The scud grows in size over it's one year life span through a molting process as in other Crustaceans.

There are a few distinct characteristics that are most important to us as anglers.  The first is the color range.  The most abundant family of scud is in the Gammarus genus.  They range from white, tan, brown, olive and when dead will be a pale orange.  Their size range can be as large as a size 8 and as small as a 22.  You will find scuds primarily in dead water lakes and ponds and small streams.  They hide on bright days and are most active when cloudy.

Scuds should be tied on straight hooks as well as the more common curved.  This is because, when active, they dart around and extend their bodies to swim.  The features that should be included in our creations will incorporate two pair of antennae, two eyes, thirteen individual body segments from the head and eight pairs of appendages that are spread to the end of the body.  There is no tail as they are not true shrimp.

I fish Scuds as part of my regular routine.  There is nothing like a white Scud to get a big brown trouts interest.  In waters where this rich food form is present, they should be part of your daily routine.


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