Eggs are controversial in fly fishing. Some traditional anglers will say ‘an egg is not a fly’. Die-hard Steelhead anglers who fish the Great Lakes beg to differ, however. Regardless of your stance on eggs, they’re really productive. Take Alaska’s rainbow trout fishery, for example. Every year Salmon swim from the ocean into the river to spawn. When they spawn, they drop eggs that trout feast on with urgency. There’s a time during Alaska’s summer rainbow season when it’s hard to catch a fish on anything other than an egg. Sure, it’s not technically a fly, but neither are streamers.
Many anglers, especially in Alaska, elect to fish a bead instead of a soft egg ‘fly’. Beads are easily tied onto small trout leaders with a hook roughly 2” below them. Hard beads come in a variety of different colors and represent all stages of the life cycle of an egg. From a newly dropped egg all the way through to a completely spent egg, beads allow anglers to match the bead cycle and catch fish feeding on eggs. If you’re an angler who prefers to fish a bead, head over to our Fly Tying category titled ‘Beads, Coneheads, & Eyes’.
If you’re looking for a softer egg fly, you’ve come to the right place. This page features egg patterns by Umpqua already tied on a hook and ready to fish. The Umpqua Soft Egg comes in a variety of sizes and colors for all of your egg fishing needs. Whether you’re fishing the sucker spawn in Maine and need a green egg or you’re targeting Steelhead in the Great Lakes area, this ‘fly’ comes in a multitude of colors to imitate different eggs, different stages of the egg lifecycle, and eggs from different fish.
Egg size is important because different fish release different eggs during the spawning season. In Alaska, there are five different species of Pacific Salmon. King Salmon and Chum Salmon release eggs that are significantly larger in size than Sockeye Salmon and Pink Salmon. When Rainbow Trout are keyed in on larger eggs, it helps to ‘match the hatch’. Sometimes trout will only eat an egg that is the same size and color as what they’re seeing in the water.
And if you’re fishing for Steelhead, sometimes it pays to have a brightly-colored egg, especially in muddy water conditions. A Chartreuse egg or a Fluorescent Orange egg is highly visible in water conditions that are off-color and helps catch the attention of a Steelhead in a difficult lay. While Steelhead sometimes aren’t as particular about which eggs they eat, it helps to have a few in your box in case they aren’t eating one specific size/color.
While our egg fly selection is somewhat limited at the moment, we’re constantly adding new flies to our selection from the top fly companies like Umpqua and others. Check back if you don’t see the pattern you’re looking for.