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Clown Egg Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Clown Egg
1X-short scud/pupa hook (here, a Dai-Riki #135), size 14.
Fluorescent orange, 70-denier or 8/0.
McFlyfoam, Clown Package.
Plunger-style hackle pliers, wire cutters, nail file, bobbin threader.
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Video Transcript:

Why guess what color eggs trout want to eat when you can simply mash a whole bunch of colors together into one fly - the Clown Egg. I also guarantee if you use the correct materials and techniques, these things are an absolute blast to tie.

For a hook, a Dai-Riki #135 in size 14 is a really good choice. Start by mashing the barb, then getting the hook firmly secured in the jaws of your tying vise.

For thread, just about any bright color will be fine, here, I’m going to go with UTC 70 Denier in fluorescent orange. Start your thread on the hook shank a full eye length behind the hook eye and take wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag. Leave your tying thread approximately 2 eye lengths behind the eye.

Plunger-style hackle pliers, that you don’t mind breaking, make an excellent tool for producing Clown Eggs. Separate the back end from the front and pull out the metal innards. Discard these as you only need the front part of the tool. Locate the place where the taper ends and goes into a short flat section behind the tool’s tip. With wire cutters, snip at this point. You should notice that the tool is hollow for its entire length. Use a nail file to round off the edges so as not to fray thread. Ideally, the hole should be 5/64” in diameter or thereabouts. You can check it with an appropriately sized drill bit, if you like.

Other commonly available items such as an extra tip that comes with a bottle of CA glue or the cap of a permanent marker can be cut off or drilled out and will work fine as well.

The real key to this pattern is McFlyFoam, here the Clown Package. It may look like regular egg yarn material, but I can assure you, it’s not. You really need to get the McFlyFoam. Remove the material from the package and separate one or two strands of each color free from the hank. If you have any rough spots on your fingertips, this stuff will get caught on them. Try to be patient and keep everything as organized as best you can.

Once you’ve got a couple strands of each color lined up and in a bunch, squeeze one end tightly and trim the ends off square, like so. Now it’s time to load the material into the tool. Insert a bobbin threader into the tip end of the tool and run it all the way through. Place the squared off ends of the McFlyFoam into the threader’s loop, and then with nice, even pressure, start to pull the material through the tube. You’ll need to use a fair amount of force in order to pull the doubled over end through the small hole of the tool, but this is what you want. Release the threader from the McFlyFoam and then pull the material back down the tube until just a small amount sticks out of the tip. Once again, cut this material off square. You want to be left with about 1/8” of material sticking out of the end.

Lay the tip of the tube against the top of the hook shank and take 3-4 diagonal thread wraps from front to back to bind the material down. Then, go under the hook shank and start making wraps from back to front on the opposite diagonal. Again, 3-4 is all you need. Finish up with a wrap immediately in front of the material.

Pull on the tool to expose about 1/4” of material and kind of angle the tool back and out of the way. This will allow you to easily execute a 3 or 4 turn whip finish. Then, you can snip or cut your tying thread free. While pulling the exposed material tight, use your scissors to snip the segment off square right at its midpoint. You should be left with a nearly perfect multicolored little sphere and the tool is ready to go for the next one.

Although no two Clown Eggs are exactly the same, with some practice, you’ll find you can generate them in fairly uniform sizes. Once you get going, they only take a few seconds to tie.

You can also use the same tool and techniques to produce more common looking eggs with a single yoke or blood dot. I always have a couple of tools loaded and ready to go, stored in a plastic bag. And to think, I used to be scared of Clown Eggs.