Late April can be the start of a magical time on Shuswap Lake. Salmon fry, some years in their millions, begin the long and dangerous trek to the Pacific Ocean. Here is where the classic Egg and I fly can come into its own. Large marauding rainbow trout love to feed on the racing fry and will sometimes strike a well placed Egg and I fly. The Classic fly is tied with a grey tail and silver body but I have found equal success using a yellowish tail and a hint of blue in the body. It certainly won't hurt to have both versions in your fly box so we will have a look at how I tie my Egg and I fly!
Start with a short yellow or gold dyed wood duck feather for the tail. Next form the body in three stages, beginning with a wrap of blue tinsel. Overwrap this with clear flashabou allowing the blue to show underneath. The third step is to make just a few wraps of gold or copper tinsel near the hook eye so that only a tiny amount is visible in the finished fly. Now tie in a short piece of radiant red yarn or chenille for a throat hackle. Add a mallard flank feather wing with a flat profile flowing back just past the tail. The final step is to create a neat head. I prefer red tying thread although the classic Egg and I usually features a black head. By the way, you should have several of these flies because if you find a spot where those giant rainbows are actively feeding, you will likely need more than one fly!
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