Whether you are fishing the Great Lakes Steelhead Alley or the Pacific Northwest fisheries, egg and spawn fly patterns are among the most effective steelhead fly patterns. They have saved the day more than once when working over picky or sullen steelhead and salmon. They can be fished alone but are often used as a dropper fly below a bead head nymph pattern or even below a woolly bugger or streamer.
Egg patterns are easy to tie and relatively inexpensive to buy, and since an egg pattern fished properly is always snagging the river bottom, it is a good idea to have plenty in your box! You should try several of the new variations in style, weight and color to find ones you feel confident using. The original Glo-Bug types work great, but a lot of the newer egg and spawn patterns have added egg sac, bead and hour glass weights, and use different materials to simulate the natural eggs that are an important food to many species.
Here is a list of a few of our most popular and productive egg and spawn flies:
Anvil Egg Fly: A heavy bead inside an egg sack of egg yarn – gets down deep!
Pettis’ Unreal Egg Fly: Similar to the Anvil but smaller and lightly weighted – lots of great colors!
Microspawn Egg Fly: A nice spawn sack pattern for clear of only slightly off-color waters
Gorman’s Veiled Bead Head Egg Fly: Tied with a realistic translucent egg sack – one of the best dropper flies!
That’s five great egg and spawn patterns to try this season – now get out there on the river!
FLY OF THE WEEK: BLACK GNAT DRY FLY
Black Gnat trout flyThe Black Gnat Dry Fly most likely evolved as a dry fly adaptation of a very old British wet fly pattern. Whatever its origins, it has been a standby fly of savvy dry fly anglers for decades. The Black Gnat is a great dry fly for early morning or late evening fishing, or on overcast days when the dark silhouette seems to be readily visible to rising trout. Two useful variations are the Red-Tailed Black Gnat tied with red hackle fibers for the tail, and the Black Gnat Special, which substitutes red floss for 1/3 of the rear body in addition to red hackle fibers for the tail.
HOOK SIZES: 10, 12, 14, 16, 18
HOOK OPTIONS: Daiichi 1180 mini-barb dry fly hook , Mustad 94840 standard dry fly hook , Mustad 94845 barbless dry fly hook , Tiemco 100BL
THREAD: Black Danville 6/0
WING: Natural gray duck quill sections upright and divided.
TAIL: Black hackle fibers . Variation: Scarlet red hackle fibers.
BODY: Black Super Fine Dubbing
HACKLE: Black Metz dry fly hackle
HEAD FINISH: Water base head cement