North Coast Angler
Fly Tying Techniques
"Cluster Eggs"
Various color combinations
The Cluster Egg pattern was developed for use as a go-to egg pattern for western NY trout and salmon. The current pattern evolved from a “Sucker Spawn” pattern which was tied using many different types of yarns or chenille’s, of many colors, sizes and shapes, all for imitating released spawn. The spawn patterns are very effective when fished in streams that support actively spawning salmonoids. The various colors and sizes present many different presentation options for specific daily conditions, such as; water clarity, available daylight and just simply for a “change-up”. I have used this pattern successfully for Chinooks, Coho, steelhead, Atlantic salmon, rainbows and brown trout. The pattern is tied a variety of hook sizes to allow for the number and size of the single eggs tied on the hook. The size 8 hook is used to tie as many as 9 individual eggs. The 10 and 12 hooks are used to downsize the number of eggs to 7 and 5 respectively. I am continuously changing out the size and color when fishing to fussy eaters.
Materials and Recipe
Hook: TMC 2457, sized based on cluster size; 8,10, and 12
Eggs: Dyed Pearl Diamond Braid
Body: Petite Estaz, color to match eggs
Glue: Crazy glue or head cement
Step 1
Start the pattern at the hook eye and make several wraps of clear monofilament (or color matching thread) moving the bobbin to just past the hook point, slightly down on the bend. Take a 1 inch or so length of petite blue estaz, strip one end a bit down to the core material and tie it in taking care to set the crystal fiber “natural lay” to the back. Wrap the thread forward to the hook eye.
Step 2
Next, Palmer the estaz forward and secure at the hook eye and take two quick wraps back over the estaz to reset the bobbin at the hook bend. Cut off 5 inch long piece of diamond braid and hold each cut end to form an equal loop. With finger and thumb, squeeze the braid together at the loop bend to form one single egg at the hook bend and take several wraps of mono tightening gradually over the formed egg and secure.
Step 3
Now comes the tricky part, forming the several parallel rows of eggs using a round cocktail tooth pick or a small diameter cocktail straw and sequentially tying in each separate row moving forward to the hook eye. First, be sure the braid strands are laying side by side. Lay the toothpick on the hook shank and bring both braid strands over the tooth pick slightly bunching the material to form a somewhat loose curl. Hold this in place with one hand, and carefully take several wraps of mono over the formed egg pair. Don’t worry about getting the wraps to tight, because the formed egg loop should not be over tightened as this will cause the loop to become small. Repeat the above two more times to complete 3 rows of eggs. Secure the last egg pair and snug down the wraps and clip off the excess braid, and finish with whip or knot. Add a drop of glue to the finish end and add one small drop to each egg pair wrap point. Finally, using the tooth pick, carefully splay out each egg pair off to each side of the mid line so that the eggs form the cluster appearance. This pattern will take some practice to get right, but if you plan on fishing W. NY, this cluster egg pattern will catch you a trophy.
Questions or Comments, email:
Captain Skip Montello


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