A single salmon egg on a hook catches plenty of steelhead. Even imitation single eggs catch steelhead. That little round shaped bait fools some very large fish.
It is for that reason that many of us continue to experiment with ways to process a real salmon egg so that it stays on a small hook, “milks” scent onto the water, and retains its original color and shape. No easy task.
I had success processing raw single eggs. I fished those eggs and caught plenty of steelhead. My challenge was repeating the successful process. When my first batch was gone, I did a 2nd batch using loose salmon eggs, water, acid and soak time equal to the first batch. Those eggs were not the same.
I never seem to get a consistent color. At times, the eggs go from translucent gold to opaque white as soon as they enter the acid bath. Adjusting to a weaker solution, improves color retention, but at the expense of the “hook holding” toughness. Just so you know, when the eggs are cooked too long, the inside turns to a juice-less gel.
I published a “how to” video for processing single eggs that is worth viewing. You can learn how to cook eggs, acid used, the things to avoid and a suggested solution mix and bath timing. I can no longer endorse the mix/soak time figures. Keep in mind that mix and timing information needs to be adjusted by you.
My new experimental process designed to “cook” the perfect single egg is now concentrating on a double-dip method. A weak, lengthy acid bath, good rinse and back into the fridge. The second dip in a stronger acid mix to set the egg skin and improve the hook holding properties while maintaining some of the original color. The jury is still out on this method in regard to fish catching success, but as you can see from this video, the results look good.