Archive for September 15th, 2008


Egg Patterns for Trout (Chinook on the Redds, eggs drifting)

I spose egg patterns can be enticing anytime of the year for trout, however, late Summer/early Fall is a a great time to use eggs. Color and presentation are important. However, more important is locating salmon redds near the rivers edge. I have found Chinook Salman redds big enough to hide a VW Bug in. Large depressions with built up walls on the downstream side of the redd. As the water glides over this redd, the water takes on a busy look because of the hydraulics caused by the depression, particularly the upswept gravel dam at the downstream end of the redd. There is a subtle to not so subtle washboard look below the redd. This the place to fins if salmon are not visible or obviously present. Once located, don’t fish there unless you want to hook a Chinook on a 5/6 wt. No, fish below, drifting line downstream as if into the fish’s gullet from above. This can be 20-40 yards below the redd depending upon water speed below the redd. That sounds complicated but think of easying an egg pattern down into the fish’s mouth. Use a strike indicator and feed line out and wait..feed more line out and wait. Keep the egg just above the bottom.


‘When salmon first drop eggs into the gravel redds, they are translucent, bright orange; the color we often see with egg imitations. And although fish do feed on this fresh, orange version, most of the eggs, available to fish, will have a much different appearance. The way it works, is that many of the freshly deposited and fertilized eggs are buried in gravel, not available to feeding fish, although a good number are swept out by the current. The unfertilized or “dead eggs” become the most plentiful as fish food, but they quickly lose the bright orange color.’

‘Dead eggs are milky or an orange tinged, cream color, with swirls or dots of darker orange. Creative flyfishers mimic this appearance by brushing pearlescent fingernail polish over an orange bead. And while this method works well, it’s not always possible to get the right color combinations or even find the beads in the right size. Color is an important part of any imitation, but depending on the ambient light, water clarity, or speed, the profile or general size of a fly is often more important than color.’

‘Such a powerful food source is the salmon egg that even at times of the year when salmon are not present, the presentation of an egg pattern will trigger aggressive strikes.’

‘Beads when properly presented, beads are without a doubt one of the most effective salmon egg imitations that one can fish.  Beads can be so effective that the Alaska dept. of Fish and Game has had to place restrictions on their use.’

‘The eggs from spawning fish in the river may come in many different sizes and colors. Eggs from spawning rainbow trout are approximately 3/16 inch in size and can be characterized with a translucent yellowish-orange color.  Spawning steelhead and Coho salmon produce almost identical eggs that are about a 1/4 inch in size and basically have the same translucent yellowish-orange color seen in rainbows.  Chinook salmon eggs produce similar colored eggs to the other mentioned species but have a slightly larger size at 3/8 inch.’

Claymore Eggs (How To Make If You Are Artistic)

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September 2008

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