Fly and Photos by Loren Williams

The Sucker Spawn, as the name implies, is an old egg pattern designed to imitate the clumps of spawn from river suckers lavished by trout. As I am led to believe, the individual loops are intended to mimic individual eggs. However, once wet I feel the entire pattern more closely resembles a single egg rather than a clump.

No matter, trout and steelhead alike respond well. I typically use this fly in very large sizes (#8 - #4) for steelhead in the fall since I can get their attention with a large pattern without the buoyant bulk of the glo-bug. I will come back to this pattern on trout streams in the spring when, you guessed it, suckers are spawning.

There is a belief that the rough edges of the yarn get caught in a fish's teeth, delaying it's ability to expel the intruder better enabling a positive hookset. I do think there is some truth to that depending on the material you use. These "eggs" can be tied using just about any stranded material but I choose to stick with two: sparkle yarn and glo-bug yarn. The latter is reserved for those HOT colors I cannot obtain in sparkle yarn.

This is an easy fly to tie and it catches fish so that makes it worthwhile to stock in your box! The color schemes are endless, but I have shown my most successful.


Hook: Mustad CO68 #4-#12
: Hot Pink 6/0
Pale Yellow Sparkle Yarn

Click photos to enlarge!

Place the debarbed hook firmly in your vise.

Coat the shank with a few layers of tying thread, ending back at the eye.

Obtain a length of sparkle yarn and split it into individual strands.  For this demonstration I am using #8 hook so I will use 2 strands of yarn. For #12 and smaller I use 1 strand.

For steelhead versions I will use 1/2 thicknesses of glo bugs yarn.

Catch-in the yarn behind the eye...

...and bind it to the rear along the top of the shank.

For steelhead versions I catch the glo bugs yarn in at the rear.

Form a small loop with the two strands and secure it to the top with 2 tight wraps.

Lift the yarn and advance the thread forward a bit.

Make another slightly larger loop and bind it down.

Repeat the process, filling the entire shank with ever-growing loops that are offset to opposite sides. Secure the yarn behind the eye.

For steelhead sucker spawn using glo bugs yarn I do not offset the loops as the loops will be very wide.

Clip the excess yarn. Whip finish and cut the thread then coat the thread wraps with cement for durability.

A finished Sucker Spawn!

From the top, notice how each loop is offset.