Category Archives: Egg Flies

Salmon River Flea aka The Steelhead Flea

The Salmon River Flea a.k.a. the Steelhead Flea is a really simple but effective pattern for fishing the large salmonids that occupy the 13 miles of New York’s Salmon River. The pattern calls for Poly Yarn, but I will often substitute it for Ep Fiber or Congo Hair.

The fly is one you can pull out when nothing else seems to be getting a look. It’ll save you from a skunk day. The fly is good for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown trout and both strains of the steelhead (Washington and the Skamania) that call the river home for a while.

You can tie the fly in a variety of egg-themed colors, but don’t forget to add some blue and black variations into the mix. Hot pink, red, orange and paler offerings all work well, but the Salmon River seems to like the blue colored flies, and I often get requests from clients to tie standards in blue. If you are into the simple flies, also look up the Frammus fly for your next trip out to the Great Lakes tribs.

Salmon River Flea fly pattern recipe

Hook: Mustad S82-3906B #8-12
Thread: Fl. fire orange (140d)
Tail / Wing: White Poly yarn
Body: Medium chenille


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Matt’s Egg tied by Matthew Pate

Matt’s Egg is a fresh look at the classic Glo-bug fly pattern that has been a staple for anglers targeting salmon trout and steelhead in the migrational river systems over the world. I’ve likely tied 10,000 or more egg flies of differing pedigrees for clients in the past year. Reason being is that they are quick to tie, and they catch a lot of fish. The majority of these eggs are destined to be fished in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario for both the spring steelhead run and the fall salmon / steelhead runs, but the need for egg flies exists everywhere.

Matt’s Egg takes a different approach from the slam bam approach of the 30 second glo-bug . One problem with the go-bugs I’ve seen in fly shops is that they don’t hold up well in the water, and if they are not tied with densely packed material, they lose their shape in the water and tend to look like a cube of cheese. Matt’s Egg generates and nicer shape and a dense soft fly which looks like it should hold shape better. It should be noted that the more dense the egg, the slower it is to sink, so the 3.2mm brass bead is a welcome addition to the fly and should balance out the sink rate.

Matt’s Egg Fly Pattern Recipe

Hook: Grub hook (or suitable egg hook) #6-#12
Bead: 3.2mm brass bead hot orange
Thread: 6/0 white or match yarn color
Body: Peach or yellow egg yarn

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Crystal Meth – Kevin McKay

The crystal Meth is a variation of the sucker spawn, a popular steelhead and salmon fly in the Great Lakes area spring and fall. The sucker spawn is tied with glo-bug yarn while the Crystal Meth uses diamond braid or a similar mylar weave. I have an objection to the way most of these are tied, with all the material stacked on top of the hook shank, in a straight line. I prefer to lay each bend to an alternating side so that the finished fly has more of a cluster look to it.

Kevin adds another variation I might need to explore this fall by using 2 strands of different colored braid. The results of using 2 stands is a cluster like fly (sac of roe) that should do well amid the barrage of egg sacs being floated through the deeper pools. 🙂 You might even get a surprise brown to hit that.