A Native Northern Californian with 45 years of hands on fly fishing for trout, Jon Baiocchi carries on the tradition of sharing the knowledge and the passion passed down from his father; a fly fishing hall of famer, and a legendary voice for saving California fisheries. Jon’s home is the rich flora and fauna of the foothills to the Northern Sierra. Fishing, guiding, public speaking, tying, writing, and teaching. The legacy continues.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Tying The Freshwater Shrimp
Gammarus lacstris or known to fly anglers as scuds are a semi translucent Crustacean that Eagle Lake trout prefer to dine on. They can be quite large ranging in sizes 10-16. Their habitat is amongst the rock piles in shallow water, the lava rocks of Eagle Lake offer even better habitat with the tiny pockets of recessed holes. They mate several times a year and offspring are hatched from eggs and are a micro sized form of the adults. They range in colors that match their surroundings for camouflage since they have no natural defense mechanisms. At Eagle Lake they can be found in these primary colors; light brown, olive, and when molting grayish blue. Orange scuds are not dead scuds but pregnant females, the eggs color shows through the translucent body. The trout can really key in on these orange scuds so always have a few of them in your box. Being scavengers they comb their surroundings eating plant and animal materials that have settled on the bottom. The experts say they have a negative reaction to light but I have seen first hand that these little critters can be active during bright conditions. Analysis provided by the Chico State field lab have determined that the scuds make up 40% of the Eagle lake rainbow's diet and provide a high value of protein that makes these fish grow big and fast.
It's habitat like these rock piles above that draw in the Eagle lake rainbow. The observant angler can spot smaller rocks in the shallows that have been flipped over by the fish while they vacuum up scuds. The best way to present these flies is to cast into the shallows and retrieve the fly with short semi fast strips of line with plenty of pauses. Scuds swim backwards like a cray fish, keep this in mind when tying your imitation. You can also hang a scud pattern under an indicator and present them over the rock piles while anchored or free floating.
Hook: Tiemco 2457 #10-16. Thread: 6/0 Uni thread color to match. Tail / Antennae & Legs: Jay Fair Schlappen hackle tips . Body: Buggy dubbing mixed with some Antron fibers, color to match. Note: Pick out the underside of the fly with a bodkin.