The Incredible Ethical Egg

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By Herman DeGala

When I started fly fishing years ago, I was told that fishing egg patterns was indicative of questionable angling ethics.

What I discovered was that it was not so much the flies themselves, but how they were used. I don’t fish to spawning fish and won’t fish over redds. I do, however, fish behind redds, where fish are looking for an easy meal, or to fish in other parts of the river during spawning season. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this fly works particularly well during the spring and fall.

With that in mind, below is my scud pattern, which COULD be mistaken for an egg.


Herman deGala

Signature Fly Designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. /

Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “The Incredible Ethical Egg

  1. Ya’ll probably want to crucify me but, here goes – from late June until freeze-up, trout fishing here usually means “bead” fishing to me. 10mm-14mm beads in June/July (to match the king salmon spawn) then 6mm-8mm beads later to match the other salmon species. Trout fishing is closed in some (road accessible) streams during the rainbow spawn. Due to the numbers of spawning salmon (and the numbers of eggs they produce) the fish key on eggs and getting a bite on anything else is problematic. I’ve found that a plastic bead is less likely to deeply hook a fish than a glo-bug, so usually go with the bead.

    • I fish in a lot of places around the world – fresh and salt. This includes an annual trip to Alaska in the fall. I just don’t understand the argument that a bead is somehow “unethical.” I have caught and released thousands of fish and, in my opinion, eggs do no more damage than other flies.

      If your objection is based on an aversion to something “artificial,” check out the tying section in any shop. A plastic bead may be the ultimate “match the hatch” product on the market. I tie most of my own flies and find times when an egg is by far the most effective choice.

  2. Tell me where I can find ostrich herl that is as leggy as what was in the video, peacock also. Nice looking fly. Would like to tie this pattern.


    • It was from Wapsi. Most of the ostrich you will find out there is “burned” or over cooked. They leave it in the dye too long and at too high a temp.
      Of course, they also start with really good ostrich. Funny thing is is they are typically cheaper than the other guys.
      You really can’t get this from mail order. You need to be able to touch and feel the material and pick it out yourself.
      If you can find a shop that you can trust and tell them exactly what you are looking for that will also work.
      Even though I live across town from one of the best tying shops in town I will mail order from him because of my health and COVID. When you call him he won’t sell you anything he wouldn’t tie with himself.

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