To some fishermen using egg patterns is not true fly fishing but the egg pattern works excellently under a bung. If you are imitating the natural food of your target fish then using eggs is fly fishing. The art of matching the color and size that are being eaten is an art form just like matching the hatch of emerging dry flies, so these are matching a natural food! Not all fish eggs are the same colours. So you fish in the Europe and there are not many salmon? Don't worry trout go mad for eggs flies.
Not all fish eggs or roe are the same. Trout are different to spawning King and Chums have much larger eggs than sockeye's. Where there is roe you can always find that the hungry trout eating up the protein. Steelheads have discerning tastes, yhey will only target eggs of a certain color and size. Eggs that are laid by one particular salmon species and leave the others. It is therefore important to understand the color differences and what is the favorite color and size of the eggs eaten by your target fish. Most eggs are a very bright orange when first laid. They gradually change shade. They take on a milky white tint as they develop or decompose. You will find your fish lurking downstream, gobbling up the loose salmon eggs as they tumble from their redds and roll along the streambed as the salmon complete their spawning. Generally salmon lay between 2,500 to 7,000 eggs depending on the species and size of the fish. Chinook Salmon generally produce the most and largest roe.
Egg Fly Techniques
These are fly popular patterns for Rainbow Trout, Brown and Brook Trout, and Salmon. These flies will catch fish consistently in rivers, lakes and streams throughout the world. Fish on a "dead-drift" in streams, they will fish well against the river or stream bottom, add a couple of split shot to keep it near to the stream bed where the bright colours can attract fish where they make look like a natural egg floating.
On lakes or reservoirs these flies can be floated, used under a bung or used as part of a tandem rig with for example a buzzer suspended below the egg fly at 18" to 24" deep.
Do Eggs Work?
Of course they work! many anglers believe Rainbow Trout especially to be unable to breed and therefore do not produce eggs. This is a misconception as we have seen when fishing, you will see the eggs from a Rainbow Trout in the photo here, match the hatch using orange coloured egg flies with that destinctive dot. We have caught female Rainbow Trout in lakes and reservoirs that have been egg laden as you can see from the photo our these eggs. We have watched Rainbows and Brownies hammering the edges of lakes to get at the previously laid eggs planned to hatch in margins, indeed they become so pre-occupied with eggs that there are times when they will eat nothing else!