Viking Lars | Saturday, 28 November 2020

Gammarus are one of the most important food items for trout in any environment. Gammarus are on the diet, year round in both salt- and freshwater and they can be so plentyful that it's almost ridiculous. Have you ever tried kicksampling in a river? Where you hold a small net between two sticks that you hold downstream of your feet, and then walk trhough a little weed patch or kick some river bottom? First of all it'll tell you what's in the river (and with that also what the water quality is, but that's a different story) and if you do in 5-6 times during a season, it'll also tell you which insects are active when, especially if you also try setting up the net just to catch what's drifting. And I'll almost guarantee you that you'll find plenty of gammarus.

So a gammarus is an important imitation to have in your fly box. Essential, I'll say. And in many different sizes. For rivers, I tie them from say a size 10 down to 16 or an 18. For the salt I tie them in 8s, 10, 12s and sometimes 14s.

When nymphing with two flies, one is almost always a gammarus and when fishing a dropper in the salt (which I do more than half the time), one fly is very often a gammarus. Olives, browns, tans, sometimes even a salmon pink or a hot pink one when it's cold. But I do like the imitations...

And the plus side is that 1) I like tying them and 2) unless you go overboard, a really good imitation is fast to tie and generally quite durable.

I like a gammarus-style hook of course and for freshwater, many versions are available. For the salt, I've been using the Ahrex 172 since they came out. They are absolutely fastastic and hook so well. But they're not saltwater proof - which isn't that big of a deal for me when it comes down it. Because I have a habit of keeping the day's used flies in an open corner of the box and dropping them in a small bown of water when I get home. But now Ahrex have released the SA 274, which is a slightly heaver wirer version with a saltwater proof coating. And the truely great news is that no compromises are necessary since they're available down to a size 12. And the hook is nothing short of brilliant for sandeel- and baitfish imitations as mentioned last week.

I tie several different versions and here's an easy one I made for the guys at Ahrex.

Have a great weekend!