Color Ranges of Eggs

I am often asked what the "best" color of eggs is! Well, the ones that are taking fish!! Seriously, we offer 17 colors of eggs, and I have caught brown trout, steelhead, brook trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and most of the salmon species on every one of those colors! But to more accurately match the colors with the actual fish egg colors, you need to look closely at what is in the river. I have seen eggs from the same hen steelhead and other trout species that have slightly different hues coming from the same hen. For example, most steelhead, brown trout, and rainbow trout eggs are the exact color of our Apricot color. But then I have seen eggs change in hue to the lighter Salmon Egg color, or a bit darker toward the Tangerine or Tangerine/Red Flash color from the same fish. When the eggs are first expelled by the female, they are very fragile and actually they absorb water inside the egg space between the outer porous shell and the inner yolk, increasing the size of the egg by about 20%, based on all the factual fish biology data I have researched. In doing so, the egg will "water" harden in about 20 minutes. Now think of an off colored river, and that "off color" water entering the egg-yes, this alone can produce an off colored egg from other colors in the same fish. Also, biologists suggest that the diet of a fish can also have an effect on the color of its eggs, similar to the effect of coloring of the flesh versus diet. So grouping fish types into another chart, you have the following chart depicting realism of our actual egg colors to fish species:

Fish Types: Live Egg Basic Colors: Dead Egg Colors:
Suckers, Frogs, Whitefish, Crayfish, White, Apricot, Tangerine, Buff, Kiwi, Salmon Egg White, Apricot Opaque,
Brown Trout Apricot, Salmon Egg, Apricot/Silver Flash, Tangerine, Ruby, Tangerine/Red Flash White, Apricot Opaque, Tangerine Opaque
Rainbow Trout Apricot, Salmon Egg, Apricot/Silver Flash, Tangerine, Ruby, Tangerine/Red Flash, Tango/Silver, Tango White, Apricot Opaque, Tangerine Opaque
Brook Trout Apricot, Salmon Egg, Apricot/Silver Flash, Tangerine, Ruby, Tangerine/Red Flash White, Apricot Opaque, Tangerine Opaque
Cutthroat Trout Tangerine, Ruby, Tangerine/Red Flash, Salmon Egg, Apricot, Apricot/Silver Flash White, Apricot Opaque, Tangerine Opaque
Steelhead & Smaller Salmon Apricot, Apricot/Silver Flash, Salmon Egg, Tango, Tangerine, Tangerine/Red Flash, Tango /Silver Flash, Flamingo, Ruby White, Apricot Opaque, Tangerine Opaque
King Salmon Apricot, Apricot/Silver Flash, Salmon Egg, Ruby Tangerine, Tangerine/Red Flash White, Apricot Opaque, Tangerine Opaque

We have been told by many of our Alaskan customers and guides that our bright colors work well in their northern waters for all the smaller salmon species, plus Dolly Varden, Lake Trout, Grayling. Trout are usually behind these spawning fish, picking up loose eggs. They mention the Tango, Tango/Silver Flash, Ruby and the Flamingo as very good colors for their rivers. So then, what about all the other colors we offer? On our other colors, I wish I could tell you why steelhead on the Salmon River near Pulaski, NY takes our Robin Egg Blue eggs so often!! Or why a Kiwi/Silver Flash egg does so well on the Snake River in Idaho, and why Tango, Flamingo, Ruby, Kiwi Opaque, and Kiwi take many trout and steelhead all over the world's rivers and lakes! How many times have you had a fish hit your bright, two toned floating strike indicator??? You figure it all out, I can't! And for that reason my Otter "Soft Milking Egg"© fly boxes contain all 17 of our colors in them, in all of our 7 egg size ranges! I come prepared at all times and with that arsenal I can usually connect most of the time!

I can tell you that when I fish I usually use two different size and colors of eggs when moving through a run or long hole. When finished through the run, I often times go back up to the top and start all over again, but this time switching sizes and colors again. And quite often I take more fish from the same run/hole that I just moved through using totally opposite color and size ranges. Many suggest that the vibrant coloring has something to do with aggressive strikes and I can't answer that question! I have heard other fishermen suggest that a hen fish will take off colored eggs out of her redd. Others say they will attack any egg, other than their own, on the redds. I personally have seen male trout eating eggs of redds that they have just fertilized with their own sperm after the female releases her eggs onto the redd. Also, Ozzie Ozefovich has actual underwater videos of a hen Brook Trout eating her own eggs off her redd. He now has 3 underwater trout videos out and you should pick up a copy of each and watch the actions of fish and eggs on their redds. All trout and salmon are very cannibalistic with regards to their and others eggs, which is another key reason to actively fish our patterns all year long to take advantage of that characteristic in all trout and salmon!

Other interesting notes are that when I fish some of our famous and heavily fished Catch and Release waters in Colorado, such as below Taylor Reservoir for huge trout (up to 18 # Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Brown trout), or below Rudi Reservoir on the Frying Pan, I go to the very small 3 mm egg on a # 18 or #20 hook or our "Soft Sucker Spawn"© of 4 eggs on a #16 hook. I am convinced that the reason these small egg patterns do so well is that these trout, all of which have PHD's, do not frequently see egg patterns this tiny. Being different on presentations and colors/sizes of patterns is sometimes the solution!

Introduction to Basic Data on Fish Eggs | Egg Sizes Versus Fish Species | Timing to Use Our Egg Patterns | Structure of Fish Eggs | Our New "Dead Egg White" Color | Recommendations on Hook Styles and Manufacturers | Why Otter's "Soft Milking Egg"© patterns Work So Well

For more information, contact:
Blue River Designs, LLC
6977 S. Madison Way
Centennial, CO 80122

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