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Pettis Unreal Egg


Jim Pettis is an independent guide who specializes on the Lower Sacramento River at Redding. I’ve known Jim for many years, and have fished with him a number of times. Jim is a creative fly innovator, who has several successful, proven patterns to his credit. You will find the Pettis Unreal Egg in any fly shop, bar none. There are a number of variations on the single egg pattern, including his Unreal Roe, which is a cluster arrangement on the hook. He also has created deadly caddis patterns, such as the Pulsating Caddis, and the Pulsating Caddis Emerger. Personally, my steelhead fly box always contains the Unreal Egg in a number of sizes and colors — I wouldn’t be without them. Jim fishes the egg pattern under an indicator, often with his Unreal Roe pattern as a trailer. His leader is long, often reaching 12 feet beneath the indicator. Jim’s theory is that the yarn will catch in the fish’s teeth when they strike, giving the angler a bit of extra hook-set time. For some good pictures of the tying techniques for this fly see Tying Glass Bead Flies, 1997, Joe Warren (Frank Amato Publications, Inc.).



Tiemco 2457, Daiichi 1510, or other egg hook, #12


Red 6/0


Dark orange or red silver lined glass bead


Glo Bug yarn, or McFly Foam in peach king, champagne, apricot, pink, red, or other colors

Tying instructions

  1.  Slip a bead onto the hook, place the hook into the vise, and cover the front third of the hook with thread.

  2. Cut a small bunch of yarn about ” in length. Slide the end of the yarn over the hook eye so that the yarn surrounds the hook and partially covers the bead. Secure the yarn there with tight thread wraps.

  3. Push the bead forward and into the yarn butts and run the thread under and behind the bead. Take 4 or 5 wraps there to secure the bead in place.

  4. Tease the yarn outward in a circle using a small brush.

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.