Did you know, the typical female trout can produce about 2,000 eggs per kilogram (900 eggs per pound) of body weight at spawning? Love them or hate them, egg patterns are deadly effective. Fish them solo with shot, as part of a combo, off a dropper or as a trailer behind your streamer. Nymph them upstream or wet line a cluster. They are that versatile.
We are lucky that our fish here aren’t as choosy when it comes to colour as say, an Alaskan rainbow following the salmon spawn and so it’s more about grabbing their attention in my opinion. My approach is if you’re not catching fish, change out the colour of your egg to give fish a fresh look at your fly.
Earlier on in the spawn fish will prefer fresh, vibrant eggs over older, duller dead eggs however later in the season these dead eggs are all they have. Light conditions play a big part in my colour selection as does water clarity. I often prefer darker coloured eggs in low light or more coloured river conditions and lighter colours on brighter days.
Yarn glo bugs are tough, durable and offer a solid profile, whereas soft eggs are extremely natural and come into their own in softer water, lakes and when angling pressure is high. Veiled egg patterns represent the milt of a freshly dropped egg so are great just after a fresh run of fish have pushed through and are on the job, and muppets provide the weight to get down fast on a solo rig. Clusters offer a great mouthful on the swing or fished on a wet line and come into their own fished off stream mouths in lakes. In heavier water or murky conditions you might wish to go up a size or two and under heavy pressure or clear conditions the smaller sizes come into play.
That’s the fun of fly fishing - the choices. So grab a selection of eggs this winter and go play.