Q: Are there differences in size and color of trout eggs across the three species of trout common to WNC? Can I predict what egg pattern would work better depending on the type of trout is spawning at a given time of year?
A: I admit that I had to do a little research on this one. After talking to a bunch of folks and looking back at what I had personally seen this is what I came up with.
Brown trout eggs are approximately a ¼” and bright orange. Rainbow Trout Eggs are 3/16″ and have a more translucent yellow color to them. Brook Trout eggs are 1/3″ and range form pale yellow to orange red. My advice, as far as matching the color of egg flies to the appropriate spawning species, is that matching the “egg hatch” can be a very effective strategy in catching trout when fishing those waters that have a population of reproducing trout. There have been plenty of times that I have been fishing yellow eggs with no success and it wasn’t until I switched to an orange egg that I started catching fish. If the river you are fishing is a stocked stream, sticking to the appropriate natural color eggs isn’t as important. I have caught plenty of fish on blue and purple eggs as well as green eggs, which I am pretty sure don’t exist anywhere in nature.
Don’t forget though, that the most effective egg pattern is one that is well presented with a perfectly dead drift.
David Grossman ~ CWO Professional Fishing Guide