Cluster Egg Fly
As you probably know the egg was way earlier than the chicken. This article show you how to make The Cluster Egg Fly (pom-pom eggs) - a very popular type of fly for steelhead and salmon.
The key tool is nothing more than an old plastic pen tube, cut in half, keeping the writing end. Make yours by removing the pen ink tube and rollerball tip portion, then cut the exterior pen tube in half. Be sure to choose a pen similar to the one pictured. The plastic is easier to cut and the tip is just about the perfect diameter to make pom-pom eggs.
How do you use it, you ask? Let's walk through the process.
Preparing The Tippet Material & Egg Glo-Bug Yarn
Strip off a 6-inch length piece of 0x - 3x tippet material. Don't go any shorter or you'll be in trouble from the get-go! I like to use 3x because it is strong enough to withstand a fish or two yet small enough to tie around the yarn and not be too bulky. You'll see why in a moment. Now, cut a one-inch piece of the glo-bug yarn you've selected to be your egg color. In this case, I've chosen orange. Tie a loose overhand knot in the tippet material, ensuring the loose knot is slightly towards one end. Insert the one-inch piece of glo-bug yarn in the knot loop (figure 1) and draw the knot tight (figure 2).
Figure 2. - Drawing the knot tight in the middle of the glo-bug yarn.
Be sure to keep the knot in the middle of the yarn piece. Tie one more overhand knot to be secure about things. Trim the tag end of the tippet material to about 1/16" from the knot.
Making the Pom-Pom Egg
Figure 5. - A finished egg-yarn pom-pom.
With the tippet-tied egg yarn in hand, thread the tippet through the larger end of the pen tube (figure 3). Draw the tippet through the other end until the yarn is exposed approximately 1/4" (figure 4). Using the sharpest scissors you have, cut the yarn right at the tube tip. What remains is a puff of yarn. Work the yarn puff with your fingers to form it into a round ball. Make a few more, say 2-3, and lay them aside in preparation for the next step.
Tying an Egg Cluster Fly
Taking three to five of the pom-pom eggs, one can easily make an egg-sac cluster, complete with skein. Tie in the pom-pom eggs from the tippet material in a random order so they protrude from the hook shank about 3/8". Cut off the excess tippet material. Don't crowd the hook eye. It's best to tie the pom-pom eggs in near the middle of the hook shank. See Figure 6.
Tying the Skein Sac
Finally, we must prepare a section of skein colored egg-yarn. Cut a 1" piece of egg-yarn and carefully stretch it apart into a thin, translucent section. Fold the translucent, rectangular piece of egg-yarn around the thread, creating loose section like spun dubbing. If you are comfortable doing the split-thread method of dubbing, try splitting the thread in half and placing the rectangular piece of egg-yarn in the split loop. It may be easier to handle when completing the next step.
Figure 8. - The finished Egg Cluster Fly. When wet, this fly closely resembles a cluster of salmon eggs.
Now carefully wrap the folded skein material around the hook shank, teasing the material backwards while doing so. When wrapping the folded egg-yarn around the hook, be careful to wrap the fold around the hook, allowing the long fibers of the egg-yarn to flow back over the egg pom-poms. Figure 7 above doesn't do a great job of showing how closely the fold of the egg-yarn should be to the thread. (it's tought to keep it in place while photographing without touching it!) The object is to get a uniform, translucent "glow" around the egg cluster, creating the look of a skein sac. Use a toothbrush to tease the material back the way you prefer.
Congratulations, the Egg Cluster Fly is complete! Happy Fishing!