This is fly fishing inverse proportional value at its' best. The same holds true in the spring when imitating natural steelhead eggs. The best winter and summer steelhead hook size is #4, 6, 2, 8, 1.5, 3, 5, 8, 1, 10; in that order; unless in a different order. Use 10-12 lbs. Some think curious steelhead follow the salmon as they run up the river to spawn, others hypothesize that they are genetically programmed to enter rivers at that time of year. Before I could really appreciate what was happening, my first steelhead was screaming downstream and I was in for the fight of my life. What really sets this egg pattern apart is the ‘milking’ feature. You are standing on the edge of a swollen river with a fly box in your hand. Size 1 and 1/0 are good for steelhead. Start your thread leaving a small space behind the hook eye. Otter’s Soft Milking Egg is effective because it is realistic. © 2020 Current Works, LLC — All rights reserved. One minute of tying a fly to catch a thirty inch fish. Here’s how to fly fish egg flies and some of our favorite egg fly patterns for winter trout or fall steelhead. This fly is tied in a wide variety of colors, but my favorites are pink, black and purple. All of this weight ensures that your fly gets down in water column and hangs out where those fish like to be. It has many characteristics of a stonefly nymph, but it also has a bright orange bead that stands out in the water. One of my favorite nymph patterns for steelhead is the Agent Orange. In this piece, we will highlight 5 effective fly patterns for great lakes steelhead, the materials needed, and step by step instructions on how to tie these killer flies. River Traditions – Personalized Aluminum Fly Box. If you are fishing quieter water, or water that sees more fishing pressure, I like to throw smaller Bombers. ... Soft otter eggs fell into this same category of trout/steelhead egg patterns, ... Silver Tungsten 1/8-7/64 depending on hook size Thread: UTC 140 FL Pink Egg Material: UV Fly … This is a fishing Pythagorean Theory; Egg hook + brightly colored yarn = steelhead. The smallest egg sizes we find in most any river or lake are usually in the 1 to 2 mm size for the many sucker species, whitefish, crayfish, and frog egg sizes. These two fly patterns have proved effective in our forays on Oregon and Washington waters fishing salmon and steelhead. Longer rods can be beneficial in lifting and turning over large indicators, weighted flies, and split shot. 16-24 inches of 2X – 4X fluorocarbon tippet, clinch knotted to the eye of the top fly, and to the eye of the bottom fly at the terminal end. For just about any color egg, white UTC 70 Denier thread is just fine. The two best steelhead books to get you started:A Passion for Steelhead by Dec Hogan, and Steelhead Fly Fishing by Trey Combs. The best way to fish an egg pattern is to dead drift it beneath a strike indicator. When the river is swollen and angry or off-color because of blown out tributaries, steelhead are more active and aggressive. With this in mind, I like fishing for fall steelhead, the majority of the time with two egg flies; one larger, brighter pattern as an attractor and a second, smaller, more realistic pattern imitating what is coming down the river. Wait a couple of seconds and then give it a couple small strips before you recast. Box of Eggs in Various Color Combinations. Serving as a realistic egg imitation or when large and bright – an attractor, no veteran steelhead fly angler will deny the effectiveness of an egg pattern. Big flies are indeed the latest rage these days. This fly is great because it is big enough to be noticed but it doesn’t carry the same weight that most attractor patterns do. If the water is murky, go with a bigger, more visible egg. Having egg patterns in various sizes, colors and shapes and learning when to use them and why can be the difference between catching steelhead on a consistent basis and catching a steelhead. See this link to River Traditions – Personalized Aluminum Fly Box. Whether you are fishing for spring, summer, fall or winter steelhead, you want to be sure to have a couple Hoh Bo Spey flies in your box. I’ve now been fishing this pattern for four years now and have found great success with it. Of course it’s not guaranteed, but put others’ experience in your corner to optimize your steelhead fishing and hopefully a well-earned steelhead into your net. I have had the most luck on the red/black Skagit Minnow, but the pink or blue versions are also deadly in high water. Make sure that you do not skimp on your hook. Steelhead have a definite soft spot for stone flies. This fly is tied with dumbbell eyes which ensures that it can get down to fish in those heavier flows, and it is designed to be fished on the swing. A popular Great Lakes fly, the “Bear’s” Hex si a larger nymph that tumbles through those dark waters. Yes, brown trout, steelhead trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout will eat eggs of all these mentioned! One of my dear friends believes, to the core, that big fish want big flies. If you fish for trout or steelhead in any part of the world, it is essential that you carry an egg fly in your box! Look on the ground at access sites or near fish cleaning stations to match your egg patterns – its not that much different than catching a mayfly out of the air and matching it to a fly in your box when trout fishing. If you hook a fish, mark the spot because it will hold fish again and again, year after year. Big bucks (male steelhead) hate little rainbow trout because they will hang out behind hens (female steelhead) in hopes of inseminating her eggs. In water over 42°F, steelhead may move 20 feet to hit a fly. The bright egg fly attracts the steelhead in stained water, and if the fish doesn't take the egg, it often takes the nymph or streamer. It is tied to imitate shrimp, and fresh steelhead simply cannot resist this morsel that so closely resembles a food source that they regularly gorge on in the ocean. It a solitude above all others, and just when you are about to give it up forever, there is a tug and you are hooked for life. My go-to size for steelhead hooks is size 8 or size 10 in most water clarity and maybe a size 6 in dirty water. A well stocked fly box for trout fishing is important to success and it’s no different for steelhead. When spawning salmon are in a river dropping eggs, other fish are eating them. Jigs, lures Some Erie steelheaders fish only microjigs, varying color, size (1/80-ounce, 1/64-ounce and 1/32-ounce), and material (bucktail or marabou) to meet different conditions. The Skagit Minnow, named for the river on which it was designed to fish, was designed to fish big water. When fishing for steelhead in the fall directly behind spawning salmon – color and size becomes more important and is where “matching the hatch” is key. Steelhead are less likely to chase a fly even six inches in 34°F water. I offer PERSONALIZED fly boxes, add a name, quote or capture a special moment. I usually tie these in black or purple. Consider getting a personalized fly box from River Traditions. The setup for a bead and hook setup is simple: peg your egg two to three fingers above a bare hook. Steelhead and the Stonefly. The Egg Sucking Leech is one of the most versatile steelheading flies because it can be fished on the swing as well as dead drifted beneath a strike indicator. Jumbo John Variant. Eggs from spawning rainbow trout are approximately 3/16 inch in size and can be characterized with a translucent yellowish-orange color. A PERSONALIZED fly box make a perfect gift. In rivers where the flies are present, such as the Salmon River, stone flies can be as important as egg flies are during the peak of the spawning season, and at times more effective. I didn’t count how many casts I made before I hooked another steelhead, but I am sure the number is in the thousands. If you plan on fishing large Steelhead rivers where 90' to 120' casts are the norm, a 14' to 15' rod is the weapon of choice. In terms of color, your best option is to find an egg in the current and match the color. I have now shared my four favorite steelhead nymph patterns with fly tying instructions and a fly tying video for each of them. There are times when egg flies are the most productive fly patterns on the rivers. Here it is, along with the fly line and backing I used: 150 yards of 30# backing Royal Wulff #6 Triangle Taper floating fly lineContinue Reading The Cosby Egg Sucking leech was derived from the popular Steelhead Worm made by Mad River. 2. The top fly is typically the egg and the bottom fly a bead-head nymph or streamer. There are many theories as to “Why do steelhead enter our rivers in the fall?”, but there is no clear, general accepted theory. The bucks response to this juvenile behavior is savage and involves teeth, and that is why the Lady Gaga is so effective. 16-24 inches of 1X-3X fluorocarbon tippet, clinch knotted to the bottom of the barrel swivel and to the lead fly. Egg Fly Fishing Considerations The eggs from spawning fish in the river may come in many different sizes and colors. Steak and eggs is the breakfast of choice for steelhead! When fishing leeches and sculpin in the spring or fall, a bead can be slid in front of the fly to make an Egg Sucking Leech or Egg Stealing Sculpin. Not catching tout? (I prefer an egg pattern, size color and density to be dictated by water conditions.) Summer steelhead in the PNW or winter steelhead in the Great Lakes Region are particularly susceptible to nymph patterns like the Flashback Hare’s Ear. These are seventeen of my favorite flies for catching steelhead. More often than not, one of the flies is an egg pattern. In some streams none. It's a simple fact. Hi, David here the guy behind this website.