Common Names: Sowbug, aquatic sowbug
Scientific Name: genus Isopoda

Every fly angler knows or soon learns about scuds , yet in some rivers sowbugs are a much bigger food source than scuds.

One reason sowbugs dwell in figurative obscurity is because they dwell in literal gravel. Anglers don't often see them, even when they are present. But where large populations occur, sowbugs are an important part of trout diets and are associated with deep-bellied fish.

They can flourish in slow, unpolluted tailwaters, springs, creeks, and small ponds, where they feed on weeds and leafy debris. Sowbugs often--but not always--occupy the same habitat as scuds. Populations tend to be spotty: a lot in one place, but very few in another.

Imititations are usually fished with trout indicator or tight line tactics in slow runs of weedy streams. Where they occur, they can be available all year.

Few Oregon fly shops carry sowbug imitations, and they are not in Westfly's standard database> However, you might want to check out the article shown in the sidebar.


COLOR: Back--Gray, pink-gray, black, brown. Belly a lighter color.

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS: Flattened appearance. Seven pairs of legs.