This scud imitation might become one of the most important patterns in your fly box.[by Barry Clarke]
THE GAMMARUS IS ONE OF THE MOST FAMILIAR and readily available amphipods on the fishes’ menu. Anglers usually refer to Gammarus as scuds. They are found in large numbers in both fresh and salt water. A Gammarus has a laterally compressed body, and is usually seen crawling or jumping about on its side.
Although this fly has produced at least 4 of my 10 best sea trout, very few fishermen have faith in this pattern. It’s happened many times: an angler a little farther along the coast watches as I land a sea trout, and he wanders over and asks what fly I caught it on. When I show him the size 12 Foil Gammarus, he thinks I am trying to conceal the real pattern I was using. To convince him, I remove a blue Wheatley fly box from my jacket pocket that contains nothing but this pattern tied in five colors and three sizes. I would not go fishing for sea trout without this fly, and it is equally at home on waters containing freshwater scuds. This pattern has worldwide application.
A few weeks ago, The Fly People, a fly tying company in Germany, sent a product called Shrimp Foils for me to test. Shrimps Foils are designed to create shell backs on shrimp imitations. After playing around with the foils, I reversed one of them and tied this Gammarus imitation. When Lutz, from The Fly People, saw my new fly, he asked what I would do to change Shrimp Foils into Gammarus Foils? I went straight to the drawing board and made a sketch. A short time later, The Fly People sent the first prototypes of the new Gammarus Foils.
If you don’t live in Germany and your local fly shop does not stock The Fly…