The origin of the “Blood Dot Egg” leads many people to misunderstand the concept of this fly. The confusion comes from the assumption that the egg is named for a blood-red dot included in the egg. The origin and communication of its name might unfortunately continue well into fly-fishing’s future.
The Blood Dot Egg is a salmon egg pattern, but it is tied to include the addition of a small dot of a contrasting color, which is intended to mimic a developing fish fry within the egg. This pattern is actually named for Jeff Blood, the person believed to have designed it in the 1980s. It seems a ridiculously obvious concept, but Mr. Blood was the first to closely examine natural salmon eggs and take note of the developing fry visible inside the translucent eggs. After becoming aware that fish eggs were not merely a solid color as were being produced and sold, he applied his awareness at the tying bench. Mr. Blood’s contribution to trout, and especially steelhead fishing, deserves recognition. Fishermen drifting this natural imitation often enjoy success that isn’t realized by fly-fishers casting solid-color egg patterns.
Fly tyers produce many varying color combinations of this fly, such as lime green, purple, or bright-yellow, each with an added blood-red dot. They sometimes attract fish that are attracted to something just a bit different.
Usually, however, fly fishers who present imitations mimicking the colors of natural eggs enjoy more success. If unsure, three of the most reliable colors are light pink eggs with a red larval fry, light-yellow eggs with an orange or pink larval fry, and ivory eggs with pink dots.
Don Jacobs, publisher and host of Pennsylvania Outdoor Life, fishes for steelhead on Elk Creek.
Tying the Blood Dot Egg
The Blood Dot Egg is an easy and effective pattern to tie. Cut off a short length of egg yarn and split it in half. Depending on the size of the hook you are using, you may have to split each piece in half again to produce a fly that is proportioned to the hook. For this pattern, sizes 10-16 are the most commonly used.
Start by splitting the egg yarn in half so that it’s proportional to the hook size you’re tying on. In this case, we’re tying on a size 12.
Tie in a piece of egg yard above the bend of the hook using either white thread or a thread color to match the color of the egg. Fold the yarn forward to make a single “bubble” and secure it with a few wraps of thread. Do this again to form a second bubble in front of and slightly overlapping the first.
Next, tie in a different color of egg yarn for the blood dot. Again, keep separating the yarn until you have a piece that is proportional to the size of the fly. Tie in the yarn in front of the two bubbles for the blood dot.
In front of the first two bubbles, add a different colored yarn for the blood dot, and then create another bubble with the original yarn color in front of the blood dot.
Using the original color of egg yarn, create another bubble in front of the blood dot. Whip finish and trim both colors of yarn to the correct size.
Whip finish and trim each section of yarn to the correct length. You’ve now tied a simple yet very deadly fly for both trout and steelhead.
Last step: go catch fish! This pattern is deadly on both trout and steelhead in a variety of colors.
Jerry Bush of Hermitage, PA, is a lifelong outdoorsman and writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications. Looking for a speaker for your next sportsman’s club event or game dinner? Contact Bush at email@example.com.
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