Fall Fly Patterns to Capitalize on the Abundance of Salmon Eggs
by Professional Fly Tier Marc Procopio, DSR river walker and owner of
For many fly anglers, the annual Fall Migration of Great Lakes Salmon & Steelhead evokes memories from seasons past, some of which will be planted in the minds of aanglers for years to come. Sometimes it’s a particular fish or scenario that was exciting, sometimes it’s a new technique we learn to improve our skill level.
With the passing of each season, we make mental notes on how to improve our game in order to be successful and enjoy our time on the water. Most anglers will tell you that they learn something new every year.
soft sperm egg
Fishing for migratory Brown, Domestic Rainbow, and Steelhead Trout dictate that you are aware of what is going on under the surface of the water. Many anglers never turn over the life filled rocks in the river to actually see what is available to the fish. But there are good reasons to do this. Quite simply, once you’ve seen see the abundance of salmon eggs under those rocks, you can choose egg patterns with confidence to make your fishing more productive.
People often ask me this question, “If you had to choose only one fly pattern, what would it be?” In my opinion, it would be an egg pattern in one of its many forms, anything from simple glow bugs or Estaz eggs to slightly more elaborate patterns like nuke eggs. And even though egg patterns are very productive, it pays to cover your bases and have other food forms in your fly box as well.
Fly patterns for Fall Steelhead can be elaborate or simple. Over the years I’ve tied all kinds, from realistic to simple attractors. Eventually, I learned to tie a nice blend of both so I can spend more time on the water.
The four patterns shown here have proven to be solid producers, and are variations of original fly patterns I created for the Salmon River. I've had good luck with these on all the Great Lakes Tributaries, catching all trout species. They include Egg, Stonefly, Leech, and Scud to help to capitalize on the abundance of eggs in the river.
I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out tying these new flies, and angling with them afterward.
For more information about these flies, go to http://douglastonsalmonrun.com or contact Marc Procopie at http://freestoneflies.com
Soft Sperm Egg
-Hook-TMC 105 #6
-Egg-Otters or Mr. Egg 6mm Soft Egg
-Thread-6/0 White Danville’s Fly master
-1/100th Micro Mirage Flashabou
-Butt-Two turns of Pearl Estaz
(Notes-Tie the Flashabou so it hangs over the eye of the hook then slide the Soft Egg on and pull the flashover the egg and tie off directly behind the egg to help secure. You can add a tiny drop of Super Glue to the padded shank as well to help secure the egg even more. Feel Free to play with the colors. For Example the Classic Blue Goo could be Orange Estaz and a Blue Egg)
Egg Sucking Leech
-Thread-Black 6/0 Danville’s Fly master
-Hook-TMC 7999 #4,6,8
-Tail-¼” Black Scud Back Cut on an angle 2X the length of the shank W/Rainbow Flashabou over
-Body-Brown/Olive SLF Squirrel in a Dubbing Loop Brushed out.
(Notes-I like to wrap some non-toxic wire around the shank for weight before I dub the body. The way to fish this fly is to add the Bead of your choice to the Tippet section of my Leader and Fish it Dead Drift and Swing Style)
-Thread-6/0 White Danville’s Fly master
-Hook-TMC 2457 #10
-Shell Back-Pearl Flat Braid
-Rib-0.5 mm Clear Magic Stretch
-Eye’s-Small Black Bead Chain
-Body-Senyo’s Laser Dub picked out well(Fl. Fuchsia, Hot Pink, Fl. Orange)
Antenna-Pearl Flat Braid cut to length and unraveled
(Notes-Tie the Flat Braid on first leaving a bit over hanging the eye of the hook to represent the antenna. The Magic stretch is available at any craft store.)
Salmon River Stone
-Thread-6/0 Black Danville’s Fly master
-Hook-Any Standard Heavy wet fly hook #10-12
-Antenna and Tail-Black Spanflex/Super Floss/Goose Biots
-Abdomen-Black Micro Pearl Core Braid or Small V-Rib
-Wing Case-Black Flat Braid
-Thorax-Estaz (Hot Pink, Red, or Butter Rum)
-Legs-Strands of the Flat Braid after it has been tied off for the wing case
(Notes-Pull the wing case over the Thorax tie it off then cut it to a length that will represent the legs and unravel it and tie it on either side)