I disagree about some things not being worth the effort. But I'm not disagreeing in a mean sort of way . I observe naturals in order to develop patterns and when it comes to scuds I tie in a "tail", or should I say trailing antennae/legs. Probably just personal preference, but I catch a lot of fish on my scud patterns, and the tail hardly takes any extra time to tie in anyway. I suppose if I was a commercial tyer then the repetition could start to add up to too much time, but for now I'll stick with what I've observed and what works for me. I use the same material for the tail as I dub the body with so they blend together much like the natural.
Here is a natural pic (note the fuzzy appendages at both ends), followed by my spring creek scud pattern:
That's the beauty about fly tying - we all can do it just how we please and no one person is more correct than the other. Several years ago I asked a noted stillwater expert his opinion about one of his well-known damselfly patterns and why he didn't include eyes on it as they seemed to be a prominent feature on the natural insect. He responded a bit rudely by asking if I thought the fish took the time to inspect the bug that closely. At the time he made me feel a bit stupid and I walked away. Afterward I realized that what he said was not true. We are presenting imitation bugs right there in the fish's own dining room, and the fish have all the time in the world to inspect the offering. In fact, when we take the time to think about selective trout during a hatch and how they key on the naturals it becomes painfully apparent that if we do not have almost the exact matching fly that we will be frustrated beyond measure because of refusals. So, yes, the fish do take the time to look at what they are eating, and I think they look at it very closely. On the other hand, there are also times when the presence of a streamer or attractor stimulate the fish to strike (a whole different discussion...), but I think for the most part they are very observant in their own world.
Oh, as a side note, I just noticed that the certain stillwater expert I referenced above is now tying eyes on his damsel imitations...
I'm in both camps on this one. Sometimes I think that "some things are just not worth the effort" if you count worth in number of fish caught. There's always the giant hook and eye that are not going to be like the natural. And the old addage goes "80% of what a trout eats is 1/2 an inch long and fuzzy", so fancy detail doesn't REALLY equal more fish. I do not think they are that discerning or that particular. If they were, the hook bend, barbs, and eyes would do us all in from the get go! I would think that if you get refused because you don't have trailing tails; you'll get refused first because it has a hook, eye, and knot on its head!
On the other hand, I don't like to do the bare minimum so I put little tails on my scuds, little legs on my beetles (sometimes, though sometimes I just pull out a little dubbing for more generic legs). You can go to both extremes; fish with ugly little lint-ball flies and still catch plenty of fish, or you could paint eyes, count leg joints, etc.
For some people it is about catching the most fish, for some it is about catching fish with the least effort, and for some it is about making showcase flies! Do what you wish, "IT IS A ART"
Only if the pattern calls for them. After seeing KG's picture of the real scud it's going to be scud hooks from now on. Probably tails and antennae too. The last scuds that I tied had wood duck tails (actually antennae since swim backwards).
Ok, the more pressured the fish are in a particular water, the more "the details" seem to matter.
The thing many patterns miss, is that scuds swim backwards to escape. They swim forwards only to feed/move around.
In my opinion, (for what that's worth) the tail should overhang the eye of the hook.
I love to fish these guys, and find that the littlest white ones (#20) work really well.
Put a small dash of red in the middle for egg simulation too.
A friend showed me a trick. Slide a silver tungsten bead half way along the shank, it causes it to swim in a more life like way, and gets it down there as well..
I also tye a very-heavy larger attractor version (any color, but green is good), as my help-get-the-little-one down-there fly.
That way, you don't have to possibly compromise your leader with a bunch of split shot.
We have only one little stream here that has them. When I do an "undisturbed" Seine for clients, they are interested, but unimpressed.
Then I do a "disturbed" Seine, and the net "comes alive"! It always gets their attention!!
Well if you follow the make to the T, most will tell you to add some sort of feather on the back to give a dark tail. Scuds really dont have tails that are easily seen. Also the antenna are so small I really dont think a fish could see them or even care they have antenna. If you want, simply wrapp a strand of peacock tail to form a dark area for a head.