I designed the Butt Scudly to swing on Western tailwaters using a scandi dry line and polyleader. From the polyleader, I typically run 2-3′ of 2x fluoro to a lightly-weighted leech (like my Ish’s Smalls which are in the 2014 catalog) and trail the Scudly with 16″ of 3x fluoro. This set up is most effective in medium to slow moving water. My best success has come in winter and spring when there’s a limited amount of food for the fish to key in on. In terms of presentation, I quarter my cast downstream and mend/highstick to achieve a slow and steady swing, adding small pulses to animate the fly when it hits slack water.
I use an identical set up on lakes during that timeframe between ice off and full-bore chironomid hatches. My presentation is similar: cast at an angle, allow the poly to sink, and retrieve with 1-3″ pulses.
Although I meant for the Scudlies to be a “swing” fly, they have actually proven more effective on a dead drift (i.e., under a Sindicator) anywhere scuds or sowbugs are a food source. I stumbled across their crossover appeal while fishing with Jason Martinez last spring. For some inexplicable reason, Jason was overcome by his inner Magnus Magnusson and, fish-be-damned, had to flip over a tractor tire that was submerged mid-run. Once the splash subsided, we could see that the underside was crawling with sowbugs–some nearly an inch long–and most nearly identical in size and color to a #12 olive/tan Scudly. Within an hour, both of us had switched our rigs to double Scudlies and ended up having one of the best days either of us had experienced. So, I guess despite spooking the top half of the run, Jason’s “feat of strength” ended up being a big win.
I was fortunate enough to fish that same river last week, rigged up double Scudlies at the put in, and never found a reason to change things up. I’ve had the best luck running these relatively short: 3′ to a BB, then 12-16″ of 4x fluoro to a #10 orange Scudly and 12-16″ of 4x fluoro to a #12 tan/olive. I will lengthen things up for deep holes but in general, fish seem willing to move up the water column to eat a scud. During this last trip, 80-90% of fish took the #12 tan/olive, but the bigger browns all eat the #10 orange (possibly as a cross-over for an egg).
Last, I no matter the presentation used, I attach all my Scudlies with a non-slip mono loop knot, which allows the fly to undulate in a more lifelike fashion.