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by: Jason Akl
During the steelhead runs of early spring you are almost guaranteed to see fisherman out drifting spawn sacs and single egg patterns to pooled-up fish. Presenting egg flies to steelhead that have ventured up into the rivers can provide a very exciting day of fishing. The basic egg pattern is a versatile producer for many different species of fish all over the world. Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, arctic char, dolly varden and steelhead are just a few of the species that can be taken with egg patterns when spawning fish are present.
Eggs, which get washed out of spawning beds, represent a crucial food source for many fish. They contain many of the basic nutrients for sustaining life, such as high amounts of protein and carbohydrates that will help to fatten fish quickly.
Real eggs and egg flies can be found at almost any fishing store during the appropriate spawning periods. But there are some considerations that fisherman should take into account before heading out to the store. First off, when fishing for steelhead or salmon with eggs or egg flies, you should expect to lose large number of flies or eggs due to snagging up on the river bottom or foul-hooking fish. Often the best presentation requires getting your fly or egg right in the thick of things meaning bouncing off the bottom all the way down the river.
Another consideration to make is that real eggs will not stay perched on hooks for that long especially in turbulent waters. Also the eggs that do stay on your hook will lose their color and need to be replaced every so often. With these things in mind really there is only one true choice to make and that is: to tie your own egg patterns. By tying your own flies you will never have to worry about the color fading or the eggs loosening from the hook, plus it might just save you a few dollars. Another nice thing about tying your own egg patterns is that you can create flies to match almost any egg pattern that you may come across on the river. Egg flies can be tied in all different shades of orange and pink and usually include a dot of offsetting color to imitate the oil drop that occurs in natural eggs. It is a good idea to carry egg patterns in an off-white or cream color. When the natural eggs are laid, some do not get fertilized during the spawning procedure and become a murky whitish color. These dead eggs sometimes can save the day when fish become extremely finicky. Finally, it is good to carry patterns that range from single eggs to egg clusters. When fishing murky water I have found that using an egg cluster pattern works better than single eggs. In turn when you are fishing clearer waters I have found using single or double egg patterns will produce the best results.
To fish egg patterns simply "dead drift" the fly on or near the very bottom. Natural eggs will never be floating in the middle of the water column; therefore your fly shouldn't either. When fishing faster turbulent waters getting the fly to the bottom can be a problem. By using fast-sink tip lines and small split shots you can get the fly down to the right depth.
The Materials for the pattern are as follows:
- Hook: Mustad Size 14 (Scud )
- Egg: Champagne Egg Yarn (Any Assorted Colors)
- Dot: Red Permanent Marker or Contrasting Yarn (Optional)
Champagne Yarn Egg Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Start this fly by placing your hook into the vise; making sure it is secured tightly. Start the thread behind the hook eye and wrap a thin smooth base of thread back towards the hook bend. Keep wrapping the thread until you reach the ½ way point on the flat section of the hook shank.
2. Cut three separate strips of yarn, each one inch long. Split each strip into two separate pieces (total of six yarn strips). Take a single piece of champagne yarn and place a thin strip of colored yarn on top. Tie in the two pieces on the top of the hook shank (use two thread wraps and tighten the thread to slightly spin the yarn around the hook shank) and secure it in place. Repeat this process for the bottom of the hook shank as well as the sides.
3. After all the yarn is tied-down, advance the thread to the back of the hook eye where you will whip finish and cement the thread. With your bodkin or dubbing needle tease out the yarn so that it completely covers the hook shank.
4. Using your opposite hand, pull a small section of yarn straight up and cut it in a circular pattern. Continue to do this until all the yarn has been cut to approximately the same size, with a little fine-tuning your egg should have a nice circular shape.
5. Finally, use a permanent red marker to color a small red dot onto the yarn egg if you choose not to use the orange yarn in step 2.
Tight Lines and Smooth Thread
Added: Fri Aug 22 2008
Last Modified: Wed Apr 27 2011
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