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Stickleback Egg Fry

Stickleback Egg Fry by Jason Akl
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For a brief period every spring, our favorite streams explode with a secretive hatch of fry that most anglers never think of exploiting. If the streams in your area frequent a fall salmon run then these waters will most likely have a spring salmon fry emergence. This spring emergence of salmon fry can produce some of the best opportunities for the year to catch trophy rainbows. Egg patterns that are bottom bounced during the fry emergence can produce consistent hookups for anglers, but the best bite comes from fish looking to feed gluttonously on the protein-packed salmon alevin.

When the millions of eggs have come to term and hatch each spring small larval fish emerge. These tiny alevin range from ½ to 1 inch in length, and have a characteristic large orange egg yoke still attached. Because these baby fish have all the nourishment they need to survive with them for the first few weeks; shelter becomes their most important priority. These Alevin find safety from predators in the form of gravel on the river bottom, but they still may become potential food if they get washed or crowded out of their hiding spots.

Since these baby salmon spend most of their time hiding away on the river bottom any fly patterns used to imitate these fish also need to be on or near the bottom. Fish the flies dead drifted along the bottom in the same manner that you would with a nymph. A good idea is to use a strike indicator when fishing alevin patterns like the stickleback egg fry, since takes by fish can be sometimes very subtle.

Materials Used in the Stickleback Egg Fry

Hook: Teimco 200R Size 4
Thread: Uni-Thread White 8/0
Body: Lite Brite DTL-444 (Pearl Green)
Spine: White Goose Biots
Tail: White Bucktail
Head: 5 Minute Epoxy
Eyes: Stick-on Prismatic Eyes
Egg Sack: Orange Hot Melt Glue

1. Start this fly by placing your hook into your vice securely and attaching your thread to the hook shank.

2. Clip a small bunch of white bucktail from the hide and clean the ends of the hair from the soft under fuzz. Stack the bucktail tips and tie the hair onto the hook shank. The stacked tips should extend off the back end of the hook shank about 1 ½ times the hook gape.

3. Bring the thread to the point above the barb and slightly wax your thread. Pinch dub the thread with the lite brite dubbing and wrap a nice tapered body towards the front of the fly. Stop wrapping the body when you reach about the ½ point on the hook shank and clip six white biots from the stem.

4. Tie down one of the goose biot’s on top of the hook shank pointing towards the hook eye. Bend the biot back over itself and wrap down with thread until it butts up against the lite brite dubbing body you have been building.

5. Pinch dub the thread again and continue building the body. Wrap about ¼ inch of the dubbing body and tie another white biot on top of the hook shank.

6. Continue this process of building the body and tying in a goose biots until all six of the biots have been used up. When you are finished the body there should be enough room to still epoxy a small head.

7. Whip finish the thread and move the fly over to your epoxy station. Apply one or two small drops of epoxy on the fly head and place the fly on you drier. Once the epoxy has hardened stick one of the eye’s to each side of the head. Give the head one more coat of epoxy and let it dry thoroughly.

8. To finish this fly place a large drop of hot melt glue on the bottom of the head/ throat region. Once you have the drop in place quickly rotate the fly with your vice (if you have a rotary model) or by hand so that the glue takes on a circular shape. Keep rotating the fly moving in your vice until the hot melt glue has hardened. You now should have a nice rounded egg sack permanently attached to the underside of the fly.

Tight lines and Smooth threads.

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