Lower Mainland anglers were truly blessed with a great run of Vedder River Coho this year! In the last few years I have made runs from Kelowna to fish that awesome river for at least a day or two and more when I can afford the time! To my pleasant surprise, I found the Coho this year much larger than in past years and while I did not fill my freezer, I did have one terrific day with three nice hatchery Coho landed with, yes, my Spey rod! What on, you may ask? I see dozens of fishermen, perhaps more every year, fishing many colours of yarn with float rods. Some do catch their fair share of salmon and I have observed the occasional fisherman doing very well with roe. I also admit that I lose a good number of fish using my Spey rod but it is really is a lot of fun when you do connect. Oh yes, what do I use when spey fishing? My favourite fly is the egg fly in two different colours, bubble gum pink and a radiant orange with a red spot. I think it is appropriate to end the year with a good look at my Vedder egg fly, the orange with red that did well for me this past October!
Some yarns are more friendly to manage than others, in fact, a product called "glo bug yarn" does make the fly shaping much easier. However, I use whatever I can find in my rather vast array of yarns but first I pre-tie the hook using a nail knot with a flourocarbon leader. Although expensive, I use this material because I can increase the breaking strength of the leader without a causing much of a leader shy problem. As well, I like to fish faster water where the salmon tend not to scare away as they will in calmer water but once hooked, the stronger leader does come into play. Now, take your orange yarn and cut two 1/2 inch pieces. If the yarn is thick, pull the yarn apart so that you have four pieces. If not, cut two more 1/2 inch chunks plus a thin piece of red yarn also 1/2 inch long which you can set aside for the moment. Although I pre-tie my leader before making the egg fly, it is easier to shape the fly on a bare hook so let's proceed in that manner. Take one piece of orange yarn and make a wrap or two (exact center of the yarn) on top of the hook closer to the eye, then half hitch it firmly to the hook shank. Next do the same with piece two and three to the sides of the hook. If you have a rotary vice, these steps are a bit easier. I then flip the hook in my vice and tie the fourth orange piece to the bottom of the hook and snug it down before flipping the hook top side again. The last tying step is to take the thin red yarn strip and tie it in at the top of the hook shank, also centered with the other strips of yarn. Next carefully move your tying thread to the hook eye and whip finish there. In my case, because I do not use a whip finisher, I simply half hitch several times at the hook eye. Now the real fun begins as you must trim the yarn into an egg shape. Grab the yarn ends and scissor trim in half moon shapes, top, sides and bottom. Keep at it until you are satisfied with both the shape and size of the egg fly. As a tip, I have found smaller is better! Good luck and have a great Christmas!
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