Winter Egg Patterns for Fly Fishing

As the winter chill sets in and the days grow shorter, anglers eagerly anticipate the opportunity to pursue trout in coldwater conditions. With the change in seasons comes the need to adapt tactics and fly selections to entice fish in the challenging conditions of winter. Among the arsenal of winter flies, Manic's egg patterns stand out as reliable producers that consistently fool even the most discerning fish.

Image: Casey Pfeiffer 

In the world of fly fishing, egg patterns are a staple during the colder months when trout turn their attention to spawning activity. These patterns mimic the appearance of fish eggs, a high-protein meal that trout eagerly consume as they prepare for the spawning season. By presenting an egg pattern to trout, anglers can capitalize on this natural feeding behavior and entice strikes even in challenging conditions.

Fly Fishing Eggs

Image: Casey Pfeiffer 

When it comes to selecting egg patterns for winter fly fishing, anglers have a plethora of options to choose from. From traditional Glo Bugs to more intricate variations, there's no shortage of creativity when it comes to tying effective egg patterns. 

As a general guide I look to larger and / or brighter colours in low light, dawn or dusk conditions and when the river is off colour. Smaller, more natural egg patterns are used in lower, clear or brighter conditions when visibility isn’t a necessity.

Fly Fishing Eggs

Image: Casey Pfeiffer 

Colours to use

Brighter patterns =  low light, morning or evening and coloured water

Smaller, more natural colours = lower, brighter or clearer conditions.

The Glo Bug

The Quintessential yarn egg pattern with many variations. This simple yet effective pattern features a brightly colored yarn or chenille tied on a hook, mimicking the appearance of a drifting egg. Whether dead-drifted or swung through the current, Glo Bugs have a proven track record of success, particularly when fished in conjunction with other nymph patterns.

Glo Bug Orange/Brite Red | Manic Fly Collection

Manic Fly Collection: Glo Bug - Orange

Fly Fishing Egg

Manic Fly Collection: Glo Bug - Tangerine. Other colours available: Brite Red, Chartreuse.

Flash Tail Glo Bugs

Like the glo bug, but with a stick of flash on the tail...a flash tail if you make it really pop underwater. Chuck on some shot to get them down deeper and they will be even more effective.

Fly Fishing Egg

Manic Fly Collection - Flashtail Glo Bug - Chartreuse.  Other colours available: Orange, Champagne


Ultimate Eggs 

The name says it all really. It's the ultimate egg. It combines the glo bug with the flashtail and adds a bit of extra goodness to it. It's a small, yarn egg with a veil simulating a freshly fertilised egg with the milt trailing behind, or slime covered decomposing eggs in the latter stages. The veil adds translucence to this pattern and shines when wet. A killer of a pattern.

Ultimate Egg Steelhead Orange | Manic Fly Collection

Manic Fly Collection: Ultimate Egg - Steelhead - Other colours available: Brite Red, Tangerine, Watermelon,Chartreuse, Early Girl


Soft Eggs

Ok, lets be honest here. Scores of guides will tell you that this is actually the ultimate egg, but the name was already taken by the flies above, so these are named in the customary way many things get their names down under -it's a soft plastic egg, so we called it a soft egg. These are ultra realistic to the eye with the egg vail trigger. The benefit of soft eggs are that they feel natural to the touch, and thus aren't often ejected as quick a solid bead or yarn type fly as mentioned above. 

Fly Fishing Eggs

Manic Fly Collection: Otters Soft Egg - Opaque Apricot - other colours available: Salmon, Kiwi, Tango, Tangerine + tangerine cluster below.

Otter's Soft Egg Cluster Tangerine | Manic Fly Collection



This is the yarn egg with punch. Lead eyes add the weight required if you need to get down on a one fly rig, where snags or structure prevent a two fly presentation. Also handy as an attractor to get a smaller, natural fly down.

Fishing Flies

 Manic Fly Collection - Muppet - tangerine.

When fishing egg patterns in winter, presentation is key. Anglers should focus on dead-drifting their flies through likely holding lies and deep pools, where trout are more likely to be found during the colder months. By adjusting depth and drift speed, anglers can effectively target fish at various water levels and increase their chances of success.

Egg patterns are a valuable addition to any angler's winter fly box - well,duh.