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Author Topic: Alevin Patterns  (Read 1951 times)

RalphH

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Alevin Patterns
« on: February 02, 2021, 10:29:09 AM »

Just a month and a half till spring and if you chase trout or char on the south coast it's a good time for Alevin Patterns. Alevins are the near larva like initial stage of baby salmon after they have broken out of the egg;



The prominent feature of Alevins are the eyes and the egg sacks.

 I have had good luck with these from late January into March. On interior streams like the Adams, that are open they will be effective into April. They do not feed but get nourishment from the sack and as the weeks go by the sacks diminish until it may appear just like a red mark on the forward part of the belly. Alevins remain  buried in the gravel of the redd . Still they do become available to trout possibly when shifting gravel exposes them to current and sweeps them downstream.

The first well known commercial pattern, at least the one I knew was the Egg and Eye thought to be derived from the Yolk Sack pattern tied by Tom Brayshaw. It must date back to the early 50s as the name comes from The Egg and I, a Rom/Com movie released in the late 40s.

 

Itís a simple pattern but forms the basis for many of the patterns below:

Hook: wet fly #6 to 10
Body: rear 2/3 silver tinsel front 1/3, red wool (or chenille)
Wing: Mallard flank
Eye: painted black on yellow

While Alevin patterns are now used throughout North America, it is truly a BC derived pattern. I basically stick to a variety of patterns based on tinsel style bodies, mallard flank wings in natural or dyed wood duck, brown olive with stick on or painted eyes.



The egg sack can be various types of yarns, including cut egg yarn, various fibres or chenille. The example in the upper right of the photo has an egg sack made of furled chenille. Colored resins or hot glues are also popular.

Beads are often used to add weight:



Patterns by other tyers use bodies of furled yarn, fibre stuffed tubes or white vernille (ultra chenille).

Alevins are unable to swim or at best very weak swimmers. Fish them deep like nymphs.


clarki

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 07:11:39 PM »

Thanks Ralph.  Thanks for sharing the patterns and the suggestions how to fish.

I'm having a devil of a time learning how to tie in mallard flank. It invariably winds up looking like a mayfly hackle and not a sleek curved wing. :)
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RalphH

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2021, 01:31:58 PM »

There is a number of ways to tie in Mallard and other waterfowl flank and breast feathers. I've tried them all and found folding a whole feather is the best combination of ease to tie and looks. Basically pick a symmetrical feather that more or less matches the length of the hook after it's been stripped of the lower fluff etc. Roll between your thumb and forefinger to loosen up the fibres so they will bundle. Measure it slightly longer (ie past the bend) and then pull  the fibres below that away from the tip (you could clip them off). Tie it in with 1/4 inch or so of the lower fibres over the hook eye and the balance of the top of the feather forming the wing section. If you now slowly  tug back on the bit sticking out over the hook eye so the tip more or less is over the hook bend it should gather & bundle the fibres a bit. Wrap the thread forward, clip the excess and then wind more thread to cover any bits that show. Whip finish. To get the feather to set lower over the body grip the feather near the head between thumb and forefinger push it forward lightly. That should hump the feather a tad and orient the tip lower over the body.

Here's Davie McPhail doing the same thing. Cutting a V in the tip is up to you, sometimes that looks better.


https://youtu.be/Rfa9SJTJa0M?t=352

he ties a number of flies in this style on his you tube channel.

here's another method using paired segments from 2 feathers much like using duck primary quill, which I have found produces a somewhat less reliable result - both at the vice and in use & you have to have a 'matched pair' - but it is the traditional method:

https://youtu.be/VnxCkfBTaXM?t=627

you'll notice it took the tyer 3 attempts to get it to the point he was satisified  enough to finish the fly. He also noted it would all split apart and move on it's own in the water.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 05:42:33 PM by RalphH »
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clarki

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 10:04:10 PM »

I've not tried whole feather yet. I've been cutting/pulling the barbs from the rachis and tying in a clump trying to get it lay down and curve nicely. II have previously watched that Friday Night Flies Mallard and Silver a couple of times for inspiration :)

I'll play around with the whole feather method next.

Thx
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spoiler

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 06:29:28 AM »

lick your fingers before rolling the feather really helps shape it.
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RalphH

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2021, 11:55:14 AM »

A nice cutty caught on an Alevin pattern with a furled chenille egg sack. The fly is on the net handle in the far right left


« Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 06:44:10 PM by RalphH »
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Fish Assassin

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2021, 02:00:10 PM »

You mean far left ;)
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clarki

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 06:10:20 PM »

Nice fish, Ralph!
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RalphH

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Re: Alevin Patterns
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2021, 06:43:24 PM »

You mean far left ;)

sorry I was standing on my head as part of my daily yoga routine when I wrote that. 8)