Q/A: What are the best hooks for Steelhead Egg Patterns?

Q:  On Dec 5, 2010, at 11:53 AM, an anonymous blog reader wrote: This email should be read with the strict premise and understanding that I would never, ever dream of fishing any type off egg imitation for steelhead. Ever.  

Question: is there a hook used for eggy patterns (lifters, etc) that’s known for really holding onto fish, like some gnarly Gamakatsu or something? “A friend of mine” who occasionally fishes egg imitations in smaller rivers for winter fish used Dai Riki #135s (8) last year and had a real problem with fish shaking off, even those that seemed solidly well-hooked.

A:  Dai Riki trash forget that crap you should use a TMC 2457 this is a rock solid steelhead egg patterns hook as is the Gamakatsu C14S Glo Bug System hook but you will find that the TMC fly hooks look much nicer and take a bead nicely although you will probably need to pinch the barb and tungsten beads are a plus and yes I know the TMC 2457 is supposed to be replaceable by the Dai Riki but the latter is not the same hook as the former and you are basically wasting your money and the diminishing possibility of catching a steelhead by using the Dai Riki hooks even though they cost less and I am completely objective and an expert so who would consider challenging this opinion even though some of professional fly tyers use and fish Dai Riki hooks I just can not bring myself to do so except maybe for trout because who cares if they get away and by the way I got rid of thousands yes honestly thousands of the DR hooks and swore to only use TMC or Daiichi or Gammie  fly hooks after several bad experiences and common dude the little bit of extra cash is well worth an increase in 0.003679 ratio of fish hooked and 0.459362 ratio of steelhead landed your friend will achieve with the TMC hooks on his or her egg patterns not that I have any personal experience with fishing egg patterns even though I have tied hundreds of dozens of the little pink and orange beauties and even some peach eggs and blue and chartreuse egg flies and flame red and purple and fluorescent red and yellow and cheese eggs too on sizes from #2 to #12 but I never ever fished a one of them especially in tandem with a bead head rubber leg stonefly nymph that’s for sure and also you should be using Estaz or chenille in hot pink or some of the great synthetic dubbings like STS Trilobal blended with Ice Dub and maybe Steelhead Stalkers UV yarn with Senyo’s Lazer Dub and for God’s sake do tie an egg veil they are easy once you figure out how to do it and improve the overall appearance of the fly even though the steelhead don’t give a dang and by the way you can loose fish on any hook you choose to fish, and will do so in long streaks that you must force yourself to ignore so as to avoid going crazy and over-thinking everything because sometimes a steelhead will just eat the whole burrito and sometimes the fish will just let you get a snip of skin and then after a long or short battle your hook pulls lose so don’t sweat the loss it because your hooked-to-lost steelhead ratio will average-out over time and you will mistakenly think you have something figured out when in fact you do not and then it will go bad on you again and you will get all freaked out and depressed and go into therapy but then you will again land some steelhead and so on so you might just as well get over getting disrespected by egg-eating steelhead and grow up and quit yer whining and get back to the fly bench with a decent TMC Daiichi or Gamakatsu hook and shove all the egg flies you tied up last winter on Dai Riki hooks down the garbage disposal and get on with your life oh but i forgot that you do not personally tie or fish egg fly patterns so just tell your friend to dump all of his or her Dai Riki Egg flies into the landfill but if you choose to tie on the Gamakatsu Glo Bug hook which I would also recommend as a great tube fly hook with a nice ring eye and a super sticky point you should be advised that the Gammie hooks as a consequence of the ring eye look a little silly with a bead-head but the egg flies fish just fine but you might consider not using a bead on the Gamakatsu Glow bug hook and use split shot to get in the zone with these hooks pardon me while I puke my guts at the thought of using split shot and still pretending to be fly fishing for steelhead but then I know that lead barbells and chenille wrapped on a short shank hook get down and catch steelhead which is as ugly a fly and a presentation style as you can imagine but it is true that steelhead take these flies and your friend should be ashamed to fish the things and they steelhead egg patterns I mean should be made illegal because anyone can catch at least a hundred steelhead a day on egg patterns under a strike indicator and you know it and you are not really writing about a friend because it is really you and you should be double ashamed because you are not only a sinning fly angler sinning in the holy shrine of steelhead fly fishing and simultaneously pretending you are not a low life and I know this is true because you seem to know quite a bit about a lifter and that for sure as hell is not a dry fly I have ever heard of and you never ever fish eggy fly patterns my ass but at least you can be thankful that you did not ask about hooks to fish with pegged plastic beads because if you had I would have sent the truth squad to where you live and made you eat every plastic bead in your garage and fly vest how can you live with yourself and still claim that fishing eggs is really fly fishing and you know that eggs are a gateway to pegging plastic beads and then hell why not use shrimp oil on a fly and then why not slip a plastic worm on a Muddler and totally and irreversibly befouling the ethical hallowed ground of fly fishing for steelhead and getting skunked a thousand days straight is better than skulking around with plastic beads and toothpicks in your pants and all such nastiness aside and getting back to the subject of the proper hooks to tie an honest steelhead egg fly on and reiterating that I do not personally have any personal knowledge about fishing egg patterns or stonefly nymphs for steelhead because I unlike you and your ilk would never engage in such a low-life shenanigans because I am a pure Spey fisher who mostly fishes dry flies in summer on Scandi Compact lines and fishes Intruders just like the big-name two hand steelhead fly fishers do on the Skeena and the Dean, and the Babine, and the Skagit and the Wind and the Deschutes and John Day and Clearwater and the Town Run wild steelhead with suspiciously absent dorsal fins and the Missouri and Mississippi wow I remembered how to spell the name of that fine steelhead river too and besides I am so good at Spey fishing that I commonly catch big steelhead on Intruders I have personally designed and tied and big buck steelhead really grab hard on the swing and the fish are so big and my reel screams out on hundred yard long runs – – – – – – –

And thanks for asking.

Jay Nicholas

10 thoughts on “Q/A: What are the best hooks for Steelhead Egg Patterns?

  1. Longest sentence ever!!

    The Gamakatsu C14S Glow bug hook is the hook of choice for me when it comes to Steelhead egg patterns. Also works well as stinger hooks on larger leeches. But to each their own I guess.

    1. Love that Gamakatsu Glo Bug hook, and love it for tubes too. It just doesn’t seat a bead as nicely as the TMC hook will. JN

  2. This post explains many things, but raises several new questions as well. The best part is I’ve never seen you fish an egg pattern, but I’d be willing to bet you have several fly boxes full of them.

    1. Hummmmmm. Need to think about that. Don’t think so. Might have a few stashed away, nah, gave ’em all to Chris months ago. Pretty sure anyway. Ha ha. JN

  3. THE BEST HOOK……is the one that, after you have tied all your “attractants” to it an drug it over, around and thru way too many rocks, trees, etc. and that grabby old steelhead has finally graced you with a wrist popping display; is still in his lip when you haul him up on the beach. That’s my definition of the best hook.

    Btw, this does not include the hook Jay hooked in his ear on a previous post.

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