Hot Spots and Space Helmets: Evolution of the MW Scud



A story today from the front lines of flyfishing research, deep in the heart of the Driftless. Here, amidst a dizzying maze of perfect trout streams, a new bug is born. Mat Wagner of the Driftless Angler in Viroqua, Wisconsin explains the origins of the MW Scud:

“I was tired of the ‘space helmet’ look of commercially tied scuds,” Mat says. “They always seemed a little off to me.” He makes a gesture to indicate a scud wearing a space helmet, trying to swim around. His point is made.

At the same time, Mat was paying close attention to Czech-style nymphs that were dominating competitive flyfishing circuits. In particular, he was drawn to the “hot spot” concept of Czech nymph design.

“So I was looking at the nymphs these competitive guys were using, how they all have a bright spot of color somewhere in the body, and I had been thinking about ways to integrate a tungsten bead into the fly, and the light went on.”

Mat located a source for florescent painted tungsten “Bomb Beads,” and built them into the center of a scud. They kicked SERIOUS ass.

“The MW Scud kinda serves double duty,” Matt says. “It’s a nice heavy scud, but it could also be an egg. Our trout eat a lot of drifting roe depending on the season, and that’s a strong urge.”

And so another great Idylwilde fly is born, all thanks to a thinking man, who’s also a “doing” man. It’s guys like Mat that help the rest of us look like rock stars. Thanks, Mat!

3 Responses to “Hot Spots and Space Helmets: Evolution of the MW Scud”

  1. It’s all about the contrast. Having that break in color can drive the fish nuts. Pink beads/dark fly in the earlier season and when the water is off color, then bright fly with the black bead when the water is lower and more clear.
    By the way, we are out of these again, send more ASAP!

  2. Rob says:

    That break in color is huge. Can’t agree more.

  3. Alot of the basic flies used in competition fishing are combinations of scud patterns, caddis worms and bead head nymphs. The most of the materials are items you are usually familar with and I have selected items that you can use together with some old favorities. Generally, the flies have some sort of hot spots , hot wire or hot thread.

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