I remember a trip earlier this summer to Quartz lake when the rainbows were trying to spawn on the sandy beach of the lake. I was up at 5:00 in the morning, at the beach alone and the fish were spawning in very shallow water with dorsal fins cutting the surface. Eagles were wading around in the shallow water catching and eating fish. I threw every fly I had at the rainbows with no luck. I tried my own patterns and standard patterns. I tried dry flies and wet flies, they would bite at nothing. I didn't have any egg patterns with me. The evening before, the fish were not visible but they were there, off shore, staging for the spawn. People were having some success fishing from shore with salmon row.
The Development of the Egg Butt Scud and cousins
The memory that morning at Quartz lake stays in my mind. I thought if I'd had a wet fly egg pattern I might have been able to get some rainbows to bite. There is a very popular Alaska dry fly pattern called the Salcha Pink, its very good for grayling on the surface. In my mind, I needed to put eggs under the water. There is also the very popular egg sucking leach, it's very effective for many species of Alaskan Salmonids. Our waters don't have any leaches to speak of except the egg sucking variety.
Scuds and nymphs are a very important food source for stocked rainbow, char and silvers in interior lakes, so I thought that a pattern that combines an important year-round food and salmon eggs might be effective. Scuds are fresh water shrimp, the ones in our lakes are black. The Egg Butt Scud may be just the thing to spark a bite from an otherwise inactive fish. Before Mike and I left for the lake I tied a few Egg Butt Scuds, Egg Head Scuds, some Egg Head Nymphs and Egg Butt Nymphs.