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This topic is about the Arthropod Order Isopoda

Sowbugs are not quite as prolific or as important as scuds (Amphipoda), but in certain waters they are more common and serve the same role.

They should not be imitated with the same patterns because they are much more wide and tend to sprawl their legs to the side instead of tucking them neatly under the body. They crawl around instead of swimming, so they are probably best imitated with a dead-drift (Dead-drift: The manner in which a fly drifts on the water when not moving by itself or by the influence of a line. Trout often prefer dead-drifting prey and imitating the dead-drift in tricky currents is a major challenge of fly fishing.).

They produce new broods once every two months, allowing them to populate a stream very quickly if enough food is there to support them.

This order also includes popular terrestrial (Terrestrial: Insects which live on land and are fed on by trout only when they incidentally fall into the water are known as "terrestrials" to fly anglers, and they're very important in late summer.) species commonly known as pillbugs or rolly polies. They aren't known to be relevant to fly fishermen.

There is 1 more specimen...

The Discussion

MartinlfJanuary 26th, 2011, 11:06 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Do these look like the bug you ask about in your post?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
FredHJanuary 26th, 2011, 11:13 am
Lake Charles , Louisiana

Posts: 108
I believe that's the bug. Thanks Martin . Do you know how these guys move in the water and what the standard patterns are?
Jmd123January 27th, 2011, 12:15 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
There was a recent article in one of the fly fishing magazines about these critters and their imitations. I don't remember which one so I will go look through my stacks tonight and see if I can find it for you.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123January 28th, 2011, 6:21 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Found the article - American Angler, January/February 2011, pp. 56-57, entitled "Cressbugs" in the Natural Reflections section of the magazine. It includes an imitation pattern for them too.

I hope this helps!


P.S. Go to to find it online.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
FredHJanuary 28th, 2011, 7:53 am
Lake Charles , Louisiana

Posts: 108
Thanks Jonathon . I'll let you know what i come up with.

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