Our Man In Canada
October 8th, 2001

Great Canadian Flies
Alevin, Yolk Sac or Egg 'n' I

By Arthur James Lingren

Alevin, Yolk Sac or Egg 'n' I

"I then got one of 2 pounds 11 ounces followed at intervals by two more of two pounds 15 ounces & 2 pounds 1 ounce all on the same fly: grey mallard wing, silver body 7 badger hackle. In the end I struck a fish & broke, losing my best fly. I had several other rises & played a fish quite a time, later losing it . . .

The fish we caught were full of nymphs . . .also several alevins, some still showing the sac."

So it was that Brayshaw recored in his angling diary entry on april 12, 1939, that the Adams River's fry were still showing the yolk sac. The next day he recorded his success with his newly developed pattern:

"Bright day with breeze from east. Started on left side of mouth at 9 a.m. I soon was into one, a lovely thick fish which I lost just at the edge of the net. We were very cold & I only got one of 2 1/4 pounds before lunch. After lunch on the right side I got four more [2 pounds 5 ounces, 6 pounds, 2 pounds 15 ounches, 2 pounds 12 ounces] and lost one - the first one was on a size 8 and the others all on size 6 mallard & silver with an Indian Crow feather tied in to represent the yolk sac of the alevin."

On the following day he referred to this pattern as the Yolk Sac. But years later on a 1943 day when some of the British Columbian fishing legends of the day - Francis Whitehouse, A. Bryan Williams and Brayshaw - were fishing the Adams River, Brayshaw landed five rainbows totally 17 pounds 15 ounces on a fly he called "Alevin." The dressing for the Alevin is identical to the Yolk Sac but with the substitution of a white polar bear hair wing for the light mallard of the Yolk Sac. Brayshaw often varied his winging material on his silver-bodied creations.

The fragile and now impossible-to-obtain Indian crow throat feather was later replaced with a tuft of sockeye salmon-red wool. This change made the fly much more durable and, with a name change from the Yolk Sac alias Alevin, the Egg 'n' I was born.

Jim fisher of Vernon, in a 10 January 1995 letter about the Egg 'n' I says that for March fishing on the Adams, "the Egg 'n' I is a tough fly to beat." Jim prefers to dress his flies "with an egg sac of hot orange polypropylyne."


Hook:  Number 6 or 8 low-water salmon.

Body:  Flat, silver tinsel.

Throat:  Indian crow feather.

Wing:  Slender strips of light mallard flank feather or white polar bear fur.

Originator:  Tom Brayshaw.

Intended Use:  Wet fly for rainbow trout.

Location:  Little and Adams rivers.
~ Arthur James Lingren

Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren. We thank Frank Amato Publications, Inc. for use permission!

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