Fly Tying 1 min read

[Tying] Steelhead Flies – Where to Start?

A fly tying video tutorial demonstrating how to tie a simple yet highly effective steelhead fly that some anglers over look.

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

October 1, 2010

As part of our mini-series on fly fishing Steelhead Alley, this week’s Friday Night Fly Tying Video features a super simple steelhead fly, the Sucker Spawn, brought to you by

Super Simple Steelhead Flies

As a newbie to steelhead fly fishing I haven’t tied many steelhead flies, or at least so I thought. So like many folks I turned to the internet to see what I could find and all I can say is, “Wow!” There are some super fancy steelhead flies out there; some that border on fine art and must take a 1/2 hour to tie.

I’ll admit, I am not the most patient fly tyer and with 3 little kids I really can’t afford to spend 30 minutes tying a single fly.

So I continued my search and came across this quote by one of the great steelhead fly fishing pioneers in an article on steelhead flies,

“It is good to remember there will be a lot more steelhead caught on a piece of yarn, than all the fanciest flies ever fished.” Roderick Haig-Brown

Encouraged, I looked further and found that very simple egg patterns, like Sucker Spawn, work equally well for steelhead as they do for resident trout. Makes sense. After all, steelhead return to their natal streams to do what? Lay eggs, right? With all those eggs in the water some are bound to end up on the lunch menu for other steelhead.

So we kick off this series on steelhead flies with one the easiest pattern you can tie, the Sucker Spawn. By-the-way, if you have kids and want to get them into fly tying this is a good pattern to start with. They’ll have a blast and you can kick back and relax, I mean provide valuable instruction to the next generation of fly fishers.

Sucker Spawn Material List

Hook: Mustad 3399, size 8 or 10
Thread: Uni-thread 6/0, hot pink
Body: Pearl Diamond Braid, yarn or egg yarn