Thursday, November 20, 2008


I read an interesting magazine article a few months ago by well known tyer Bill Logan. In it he described a nice little method of tying egg flies, which involved the shrouding of a good-sized brass bead with a layer of egg yarn.
In one of the photos, the finished article had been wetted and the translucent effect of the bead shining through the yarn was very appealing indeed. I decided to have a go, and the results (albeit considerably more amateurish than Logan's excellent tying), can be seen above.

The question is: have I got the guts to give them a cast? In the US, egg flies for the river angler are very much par for the course, but over here they are still regarded with suspicion at best. I've seen them used on small stillwaters, but not for wild river fish. Logan's reasoning is that fish eat fish eggs, in every river, in every country, fact. I think he's probably right.

Now I want to make clear that in no way do I intend to start fishing this pattern in behind - or anywhere near for that matter - salmon redds like our Stateside cousins do when the millions of spawning Sockeye enter the Pacific Coast rivers. But a recent conversation with Time By The River's Tony got me thinking; he recounted a story where a friend had caught a huge grayling well up the Ribble on something resembling a 'flesh fly'. The implication is that winter grayling may well be prepared to have a go at anything offering an easy, high protein meal - rotting salmon flesh, fish eggs, you name it.

So next time I'm trundling a team of nymphs through a likely run, I may well have a quick look around to check the purists aren't watching, and slip one of these onto my leader.....just by way of experiment, you see!


Mike Duddy said...
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Mike Duddy said...

Your on the slippery slope - listen to Tony & Phil for too long and we'll soon see you sneaking a pint of maggots out of Ted Carters in a plain brown paper bag.
Do you fancy coming down to Bolton Fly Tying Club one night in the new year? We,ve been a few times now and is attended by some nice guys. 1st and 3rd Tuesday every month at a pub in Horwich?

10:39 AM

phil-k said...

I was given a tiny egg fly at Pendle View by Big Dave,he had got from America.It was a lot smaller than the egg flies we get here.It is also a soft white material which I presume can be coloured with a permanent marker.

I think the soft eggs would outscore your bead eggs because they are soft and the fish would not spit them out as quickly.

This is very noticeable with pike who will hang onto a soft rubber lure longer than the old hard plastic plugs.

Matthew Eastham said...

I'd love to join you one evening at the tying club - I'm entirely self taught so it would be a nice opportunity to iron out all the bad habits, as well as meeting up for a pint.

I think you are probably right about the eggs. My Dad's cried off the Old Man ascent tomorrow so i might get chance for a couple of hours on't Ribble. I'll let you know if they work at all.


Tony said...

Good to see them tied in the correct colour , I had never got the pink thing with Grayling and everyone always seemed to say it was connected to eggs which I have only seen in that orange colour and have no doupt they feast on , but the colour ? It was when up at Paithorn on the Ribble that Rob hooked the biggest Grayling I've seen on what he described as a pink shrimp more like a king prawn it was massive , when in the water it looked like a large lump of Salmon flesh . When we moved up stream we found a lot of spent fish both dead and dying I'm now more or less sure the Grayling make the most of the free meal ,I will be fishing it over Christmas and guess what I will be whipping up!!

Matthew Eastham said...


Bring on the massive 'shrimp'!!

I think some people mis-interpret the grayling=pink thing. I've found bright flourescent pink next to useless most of the time....bit a washed out, watery pink? Now that's a different matter altogether! You may well be right - it could easily be to do with their consumption of flesh.....