alevin and fry patterns

Kevin always enjoys checking out the recommended fly patterns for his area in magazines, shops and visitor’s fly boxes. The three basic nymphs are always well covered in every size and color combination, lots of eggs, streamers and usually a couple mouse flies… even if it’s a winter steelhead trip. However, some of his most productive patterns are often overlooked: alevin and fry.

After fish hatch from eggs they live for a few weeks to a few months as alevin: tiny, immature fish attached to the yolk of the egg from which they draw nutrients and energy. In late spring and early summer the alevin mature and leave the nest, developing parr marks and feeding on their own in the river. This is the fry stage.

Kevin reports that right now the Muskegon, Manistee and Pere Marquette rivers are bursting with one inch long salmon fry. The first steelhead are just starting to wriggle out of the gravel with many more on the way. And while it is the very high numbers of salmon and steelhead that make these rivers so productive, the suckers, minnows, darters and daces also contribute their share of the river’s protein in the form of immature fish.

Brown trout and resident rainbows go absolutely crazy for these immature fish and late steelhead are also a good possibility. Kevin uses these patterns swung and drifted as wets, worked slowly just under the surface around cover, stripped with a sink tip and, his favorite method, stripped quickly two feet behind a large attractor streamer. He claims that you would be amazed as your favorite, go-to streamer is out fished ten to one by the little fry patterns following behind.

Be sure to click on the images below to enlarge them.

salmon fry alevin fly pattern
salmon fry alevin fly pattern
salmon fry alevin fly patternsalmon fry alevin fly pattern

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