The Nuke Egg is a pattern I have been hearing about for several years. I believe this is Pat Dorsey’s favorite egg pattern and his weekly fishing reports often feature this fly as a good bet. Coming into fall we have spawning browns, brookies and whitefish running rampant on both the tailwaters and the freestone rivers, making an egg pattern a good bet. It never fails to amaze me how many “patterns” there are for a simple round ball, but I think I have three or four other egg patterns listed on this site and can probably think of at least a dozen others off the top of my head. Whatever works for you… The Nuke Egg is different from the usual in that it features a veil of Egg Yarn enveloping the egg. This veil imitates the connective goo that holds the eggs together in a clump, and adds a bit of a halo to the fly. There are a few tricks to tying this one, so pay attention to the details. You can also just skip the veil and just tie a small clump of yarn to the hook as shown here and have a perfectly acceptable egg pattern that can be tied quickly and simply and down to very small sizes. Go get ’em!
Hook: TMC 2457 or 2488H #14-18
Thread: GSP 50 Orange
Egg: McFlyFoam, color of your choice
Veil: Conventional Egg Yarn, not McFlyFoam, in white or pale pink.
Start the tying thread right behind the eye and build a smooth thread base to the center of the hook shank. Leave the thread hanging about one-fourth of a shank length back from the eye, in the middle of the the thread base.
Pull a small clump of McFlyFoam from the bundle. You want a clump that is about the diameter of a pencil for a #16 fly. Tie this clump to the hook with three tight turns of thread, one right over the top of the other. This clump is tied right on top of the hook, nothing tricky about it. I have pulled the ends of the yarn tight in this picture to show the thread wraps.
Here’s what it looks like when you aren’t pulling the McFlyFoam tight.
Pull both ends of the yarn up above the hook and trim them straight across. The amount of yarn between the hook shank and the scissor blades determines how big the egg will be…closer for smaller, farther for bigger.
Here’s what you should have after trimming the McFlyFoam. No, it’s not round just yet…but it will be!
Fluff the McFlyFoam a bit with your fingers and it will spread out nicely into a loose ball. You can whip finish and clip the thread right here and have a great little translucent egg pattern, or continue on and make it into a Nuke Egg.
Bring the thread to the front of the egg ball. Clip a small clump of regular egg yarn from strand. You want this piece to be about twice as long as the hook shank…it should be very short.
Peel a FEW fibers from the egg yarn clump and drape them around the egg portion of the fly. You want this veil to be very sparse and the ends to be somewhat ragged…not all clipped evenly. To straggle them out a bit, pull a bit on each end of the clump to make the ends uneven. This will contribute to the sparseness of the veil.
Pinch the egg yarn down tight right behind the hook eye. Do this with your thread hand. You want the fibers to encircle the hook so twist a bit on the yarn so it spreads out a little. Make two tight turns of thread over the egg veil right behind the hook eye. These turns of thread will help to distribute the yarn evenly.
You should now have something that looks a little like this.
Use a CFB Dubbing Brush to comb the front facing yarn back over the egg portion of the fly. Using the brush instead of your fingers will keep you from pulling all the yarn to the top of the hook. The brush spreads everything out a bit and allows for that very thin, milky veil look we are hoping for.
See? Just get the front ends of the yarn leaning toward the bend of the hook…
Make several tight turns of thread right behind the eye, not so much on top of the folded yarn as just building a wedge in front of it. This wedge will hold the yarn back smoothly and the GSP thread will build very little bulk here.
Whip finish and clip the thread.
Here is the Nuke Egg after a swim. see how the veil makes a milky film over the darker center of the egg? I have to admit, this fly looks damn good when it’s wet and really looks good to me…let the trout be the judge.