As Tim Flagler notes at the beginning of this video, some anglers think that egg patterns aren’t “proper” flies and are effectively bait. Of course, at other times, similar arguments have been made about beadhead nymphs, so don’t think there’s any kind of agreement on this subject. I can tell you that, when I was a fly-fishing guide on Alaska’s Copper River, egg flies were the only patterns the big rainbow trout would eat once the sockeyes were in the river and starting to spawn. We fished eggs in various configurations—in clusters, on Egg-Sucking Leeches, with and without a veil of white—but really nothing outperformed a single egg fly on an absolute dead drift that bumped a big rainbow right on the nose. And that last part is key: Those who think fishing egg flies is easy have obviously never fished to a 25-inch rainbow that’s absolutely stuffed with eggs already. Those fish won’t move an inch to either side to take a fly, so your drift has to be absolutely perfect. The largest rainbow trout I’ve ever seen—which I estimated at 34 inches—sat in a run on the Copper that had very complex, conflicting currents. My client tried for two hours to get a drift that would deliver the fly right in the fish’s narrow feeding lane, but he just couldn’t do it. I always tell that story when someone starts the “eggs flies are bait” argument.
In this video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions offers his version of this very simple egg pattern, which uses just two materials. You may be confused when you see how he attaches the Antron way down the hook bend, but then comes the big “reveal” and all makes sense. Now that winter is setting in, egg flies will become increasingly important, so whip up a few of these, and get on the water before the snow flies.
Hook: Standard emerger hook (here a Dai-Riki 125), sizes 12-18.
Thread: White, 70 denier or 8/0.
Exterior of egg: 3 pinches of light Antron dubbing.
Interior yolk or blood dot: Darker Antron dubbing.
Adhesive: Head cement.
Note: Tie this pattern in different color combinations to match
the eggs in your streams.