Traditionally scuds and sowbugs are given a heavy lead underbody for weight and shape. But with our high water season, we are using plenty of weight on the leader to sink the fly.
But it seemed to make sense that with these rigs, an unweighted or better yet lightly floating fly would stay up above the grass beds and gravel bottoms and be easier for the trout to find. The next step was to find a way of shaping the foam, which was delivered by another mate and fellow guide John Wilson, who showed me the flattened wire rib technique.
Originally I used everyday closed cell “hopper foam” but wasn’t happy with the results. Then in the bottom of a drawer was some translucent grey Wapsi Razor Foam which has a lovely shellback sheen. Using two layers was helful in providing more flotation.
It seems to work pretty well so far, if its a little fragile, 7-8 fish and its done way less than most of my patterns as I’m too lazy to tie a lot
Hook: Nymph hook 1 or 2x long 14-18
Rib: Ultra Wire small Copper.
Abdomen: Blend of Whitlock’s SLF Sowbug Gray and Tan Prism Dub.
Shellback: Wapsi Razor Foam.