5 Tips for tying Chironomid and scuds

First off, I want to start off by saying these tips aren't just for chironomid and scuds but I find these tips especially helpful especially when tying them. Spring is here and, for me, its time to get those spring still water boxes full. Other than various leech patterns (keep your eyes out for a post with tips on those) my still water box is made up primarily of scuds and chironomids. I've been spending a lot of time at the bench recently prepping for some spring still water trips and figured i'd share some tips that really help me out.

#1 Hackle Pliers:

Sick of poking your hot dog shaped finger tips on hook points? Tired of snipping wire with scissors and having it cut your thread? Try using clamp style hackle pliers to help you helicopter your wire off. I find this especially helpful on smaller patterns.

#2 Water:

No, that solo cup isn't full of cheap bourbon (thats to the left of my messy tying bench). I like being able to quickly dip my fingers in water to manage flashabou static prior to palmering it on a hook shank, managing dubbing loops for scuds ect. If you tie, you'll start to notice how much you lick your finger tips. So, do yourself a favor and try this tip before you find yourself with green lips after tying a batch of marabou micro leeches.

#3 Thin Glue and a Bodkin: 

In my opinion, glue is crucial to tying flies that last more than a couple fish to hemostat sessions. I find using super thin CA glues like: Zap A Gap thin and Hobby Lobby extreme power thin, delivered via bodkin tip, to a whip finish to be my favorite way to finish chironomid and scud patterns. Using this method, I find, makes it very easy to avoid saturating dubbing, peacock hurl ect found at the head of most these patterns.

#4 Mix those scud dubbings: 

I'm a firm believer customizing your dubbing can give you an edge on the water. Ever find a dubbing that was the perfect color but you wished it had a UV element to it? This is an easy fix if your willing to think outside the box. For a simple example, one of my favorite dubbings for stillwater scuds is 1 part olive grey sow/scud 1 part UV tan ice dub. In the picture you see the ice dub on the left, the sow/scud in the middle and the mix on the right.

#5 Change those batteries: 

This last tip is a simple one. If your about to sit down and tie a few dozen chironomids and use UV resins regularly, put some fresh batteries in your UV torch. It will improve your cure time and you'll most likely be changing them some time during the tying session anyway. If you have a rechargeable torch or one that runs on a different power source, I guess you only get 4 tips... and i'm jealous... 

Hope you found this information helpful and it can help you tie a few more flies and catch a few more fish! Thanks for reading and feel free to check out our YouTube channel for more tying/tying tips.


Brandon Mena