Harder Scub

Harder Scub

- By Bob Sheedy, from Bob Sheedy's Top 50 Fly Pattern book

I first met Ty Harder at William Lake, back in the early eighties. Ty and his wife Nancy often took time out between major construction jobs to spend some time wetting feathers in different locales, but our paths crossed often. He always referred to Travis Parker and myself as “that riffraff from Lake William.” I think he meant “Trout-bums”.

We all knew each other, since we were few in number back in those days.

I named this fly after Ty, who shared a few of his samples with me on Silver Beach Lake, scant months before the summerkill that ended what was probably the greatest landlocked rainbow and brown trout fishery the continent will ever see. We’d been fishing with a number of others, who had caught nothing and when it started to rain, deserted us entirely. Ty had parked on the other side of the lake and decided to head over toward where I’d chosen to fish scuds in about seven feet of water, along the outer periphery of the Bay of Pigs. As he approached I hooked and lost another very healthy bow and he yelled to find my secret.

“I’m hand twisting olive scuds,” said I.

He had some. Indeed, he had many and quickly supplied me, but I didn’t fish with them. Instead, I stuck them into my hat, as per usual, for control samples, a custom that has raised the ire of many over the years.

Ty contacted Lou Gehrig’s disease later that year and deteriorated quickly, but I’ll always remember that morning. I still have the video of him fighting those fish. Every time I watch it or tie on a scud, I think of Ty and the times we shared over many years on the water. Those two scud patterns are still on my wall and will always remain there...like the happy memories you carry forever. I’ve tied many of them since, and found them to be killing if one hand twists a few strokes, and then lets it settle. I added a little of my usual piece of lead under the front of the hook shank to let it spiral down as did that of Ty’s.

There is nothing special in tying the pattern. Rather, it has to do with shape, sizes and coloration. And movement. It spirals down when allowed to rest, especially when fished with a long leader and a floating, or sink-tip line. Remember to add a little lead under the front of the hook shank. That’s the secret that makes it cook.


Type Notes


Olive 3/0 Monocord or Equivalent


Sparse Clump of Dyed Pintail Fibers - usually Golden-Olive


Olive Scub Shellback (Commercial)


Medium Olive Dubbing


Fine Gold Wire


Few Dyed Pintail Fibers


Type Notes


Tie a piece of fuse wire lead under the hook shank at the front, leaving enough room for a head and extending backward about 1/3 of the hook shank.


Tie in tail fibers so the natural curve or the feathers is upward.


Tie on the ribbing wire and stretch behind, out of the way.


Tie in the scud shellback strip.


Dub on the body to the shape as per photo.


Stretch the shell back ahead so it forms a “backbone” and rests evenly over the dubbing.


Wind the gold wire ahead evenly to form the segmentation found on the back of all scuds.


Tie off head.