Best Egg Flies For Steelhead: What The Guides Use

An assortment of the best egg flies for steelhead.

There are a ton of egg fly patterns, but which ones are the best egg flies for steelhead, why do certain ones work better, and when should you use them?

Also, which egg patterns do the guides use? Let’s find out.

Glo Bug Egg / Yarn Egg

Of all the best steelhead flies available, the egg fly might be the fly that has caught the most steelhead.

Basic Egg flies in all sizes
Basic Egg flies in all sizes are often the best egg patterns and the ones I use the most. Change size and color based on conditions.

The most effective egg fly for steelhead and the one that has caught the most steelhead is the simple and basic Yarn Egg Fly, or what some call the Glo Bug Egg Fly.

I have had the opportunity to look into the boxes of many steelhead guides, and the most common egg pattern in all their boxes is the Yarn Egg.

I know for me as a guide, of all the egg patterns I’ve tested and used, the Yarn Egg is by far my most consistently effective egg pattern.

I tie my Yarn Egg pattern in a few sizes and many colors for different water conditions.

Pro Tip: If and when legally allowed, I always run two flies and most of the time I run an egg pattern with one of my favorite nymphs, or my favorite worm patterns. This combination can be deadly.

Blood Dot Egg Pattern

My second most effective egg pattern is the Blood Dot Egg. Now the Blood Dot Egg fly can be found in two distinct patterns. One is simply a Yarn egg with a tiny red dot in it. I use it a lot.

But the one that I like the best is designed by Great Lakes Guide Jeff Blood and it resembles a spawn bag or a cluster of eggs. I was introduced to this egg pattern while filming an episode of The New Fly Fisher Show. Host bill spicer pulled it out of his fly bax and said this was an excellent fly pattern for steelhead, and he was right.

When To Use Bright Flies And Natural Colors.

My egg flies beside a dime to show the sizes I use
My egg flies beside a dime to show the sizes I use. Smaller eggs are best in very clear water or slower water and bigger eggs are better in the faster or dirtier water.

I use big 10mm to 14mm eggs and brighter colors like chartreuse egg flies for muddier low low-visibility water. Bigger flies can also be better in faster water becuase it gets the attention of the steelhead and they see it better.

I use small eggs in 6mm to 8mm in natural orange, peach, and light pink for gin clear low water.

The egg flies that are sold online are usually about the size of a large salmon egg and are good for general-purpose conditions. They are the size I use the most.

You may have to shop around for the best colors, but you can get egg flies at Amazon – HERE, Or at Bass Pro Shops – HERE or at Trident – HERE. Some discount fly shops sell egg patterns on crappy hooks that might break or bend, so be careful with flies meant for big fish like steelhead.

Flashy Egg Patterns

Flies like the Krystal Bloodline fly can be good for steelhead in off-colored water.

Egg patterns with flash or sparkle can be very effective at attracting steelhead and triggering a strike.

I have found that these flashy flies like the Crystal Meth Fly is best in off colored water or dirtier water.

In clear water, the steelhead can shy away from these flashy flies.

Great Egg Patterns For Steelhead

I have used many other fly patterns, but but most do not work as consistently well as the simple Yarn Egg. However, at times they can be pretty good. These are other recommended egg patterns from other websites and from books:

  • The UV2 Roe Yarn Egg – A great egg pattern with a little flash.
  • Otters Soft Milking Egg : I used to sell this fly in my tackle shop. Although it catches steelhead, it was never an effective pattern for me.
  • Death Roe Bead : (not an actual fly) See Steelhead Fishing With Beads
  • Crystal Meth Egg : good in dirtier water and agressive steelhead
  • Estaz Egg : This is a flashy egg fly that works great in off-colored water.
  • Nuke Egg : The Nuke Egg has worked well for me in both clear and off-colored rivers.
  • Blood Dot Fly : Designed by pro steelhead guide Jeff Blood. This fly was introduced to me by Bill Spicer while we were filming an episode of the New Fly Fisher Show and I have been loving this fly ever since.
  • Micro Spawn Fly: This is another good option for steelhead in clear and low water.
  • Sucker Spawn : I have seen this pattern being recommended in books and websites.
  • Krystal Bloodline Fly – Simialr to the Sparkle Sucker Spawn or Scrambled Egg Fly.

Tying Egg Flies

If you like to tie your own flies, you can use Glo Bugs Yarn or my favorite egg-tying material called McFly Foam, which has my most productive colors, which are called Apricot and Oregon Cheese.

Tying the egg fly is super easy. Watch this easy-to-tie Egg Fly Pattern Youtube video.

The Best Egg Flies For Steelhead Q&A

If you have a question or comments about the best egg flies for steelhead, let us know in the comments below.

Tight Lines,


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