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Thread: Willow bead fishing

  1. #1

    Default Willow bead fishing

    Heading up to Willow Creek this afternoon after work to drift some beads if anyone wants to join.

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    Man, I wish I could of. I will be making a trip up there in the near future. You will have to give an update!

  3. #3

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    Caught a few chums, no Rainbows. Others said they caught fish. Probably something I was doing wrong as this was my first time bead fishing. I was having trouble keeping the indicator from drifting too far downstream due to the split shot bouncing on the rocks etc. Even with aggressive mending it was still a problem.

  4. #4
    Member EMoss#83's Avatar
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    I floated the willow yesterday and got skunked targeting bows
    "f/64 and be there"

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMoss#83 View Post
    I floated the willow yesterday and got skunked targeting bows
    Sorry to hear that. I don't feel as bad now though lol

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    We fished Upper Montana and Upper and Mid Willow the past 2 days...Caught 3 total bows on those waters. Very frustrating. Hadn't fished those rivers yet, but plenty of experience with beads, flesh, and dali lamas in other waters. The good news is that Troublesome was good to us on the way down and the way back home. And decent size too. At least half dozen 22-23" slabs.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    We fished Upper Montana and Upper and Mid Willow the past 2 days...Caught 3 total bows on those waters. Very frustrating. Hadn't fished those rivers yet, but plenty of experience with beads, flesh, and dali lamas in other waters. The good news is that Troublesome was good to us on the way down and the way back home. And decent size too. At least half dozen 22-23" slabs.
    Sorry to hear about your luck on Willow and Montana. I went last night and chucked big gawdy streamers at Chums with my 7wt and had a blast. It was actually quite relaxing and a nice break from the frustration of chasing the bows with beads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArrowSlanger78 View Post
    Sorry to hear about your luck on Willow and Montana. I went last night and chucked big gawdy streamers at Chums with my 7wt and had a blast. It was actually quite relaxing and a nice break from the frustration of chasing the bows with beads.
    Chums have been cooperative. My daughters and I hit Montana late thur morning and wore ourselves out. A purple/black sleech was just devastating in the sunshine. Only saw a couple of silvers landed.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sibir View Post
    Chums have been cooperative. My daughters and I hit Montana late thur morning and wore ourselves out. A purple/black sleech was just devastating in the sunshine. Only saw a couple of silvers landed.
    Yeah, I hit the water around 7:30ish and they were chasing and eating my flies pretty consistently, but once light started waning they shut down and wouldn't take anything. I snagged a few, not intentionally, and the drag on my fly reel got quite a workout, and some knuckle busting and burnt palms to go along with it haha!

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    I had my lamson reel fly apart on one chum. The inner bearing housing came apart letting the spool and bearing fly off into the water. I had to get both out of the gravel with a fish still hooked. Forunately, the chum just sat there until I got the reel put back together. He bolted the second I snapped the spool back into place. Kids were laughing the whole time. Great way to spend a day.

  11. #11
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    I honestly had an epic evening Again last night fishing beads. I must have the right color/size dialed. I'm headed back in an hour and plan to do it again tomorrow eve. Not sure how long my luck will last so taking full advantage. See ya on the creek!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I honestly had an epic evening Again last night fishing beads. I must have the right color/size dialed. I'm headed back in an hour and plan to do it again tomorrow eve. Not sure how long my luck will last so taking full advantage. See ya on the creek!
    That's great man! Glad the fish are cooperating with you right now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I honestly had an epic evening Again last night fishing beads. I must have the right color/size dialed. I'm headed back in an hour and plan to do it again tomorrow eve. Not sure how long my luck will last so taking full advantage. See ya on the creek!
    I don't get it man. I used 6, 8, and 10mm beads...pink, washed out, tangerine, natural roe, mottled, painted, EVERYTHING. Very frustrating considering the number of salmon in the water...but especially frustrating with your reports!! Jealous.

    Totally appreciate your pm advice though! What's weird is I was also getting text messages from a friend who's buddy nailed them on 8mm when you were talking 10mm....seems like they shouldn't have been quite as picky for us but that's fishing.

  14. #14

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    My girlfriend and I went today. We had a blast! Definitely not on full fire yet but we did well. Had to really fish under the snags and sweepers. Lost a bit of gear for sure. Water is super low and fish are spooky. Another week or so and it should be red hot trout fishing. Love this time of year! Its about to be really good North and South! Yeehaaaaw!
    Piscor Ergo Sum

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    I don't get it man. I used 6, 8, and 10mm beads...pink, washed out, tangerine, natural roe, mottled, painted, EVERYTHING. Very frustrating considering the number of salmon in the water...but especially frustrating with your reports!! Jealous.

    Totally appreciate your pm advice though! What's weird is I was also getting text messages from a friend who's buddy nailed them on 8mm when you were talking 10mm....seems like they shouldn't have been quite as picky for us but that's fishing.
    The simple answer is that if you're not losing gear - due to snags & hang-ups - you're not fishing DEEP ENOUGH. If the strike indicator isn't bouncing down stream (as the split shot drag across the uneven bottom - you're not fishing DEEP ENOUGH. When trout are feeding on eggs & flesh, they are looking at the bottom of the stream. If your bead floats over their, 9 times out of 10, they don't see it. If its bouncing off the stones, they will see it.
    I've been fishing both Willow & Montana the past couple of weeks (10mm beads ONLY) and have had no problems catching (and missing) trout. Kings are spawning NOW, hence the 10mm beads. Chums will start soon - I'll start mixing the 10mm's with some 8's then. I hardly ever use 6mm's even during pink & red spawns - I just have more faith in the 8mm beads, and have seldom been unhappy with catch rates. I really think size of the bead is the last thing to worry about when bead fishing - as noted above, drifting along the bottom is the first thing to worry about.

  16. #16
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Get down. Get deep. Get under. Get snagged. Fish on!

  17. #17

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    I fished beads on Saturday morning and got a Dolly, grayling and a rainbow within 10 drifts. Downstream later that morning I landed a 20" and lost one equally as large below a king redd.

    The only 2 fisherman I saw all morning were coming out when I arrived at 10 am. They had fished everything from leeches and flesh to eggs but only hooked 1 small. They left frustrated. This was my first time fishing the upper Willow and although it was not "hot", the fish I caught were beautiful and it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. Next time I will leave my 4wt at home and bring a 6 wt because the big one I lost I could not get it out of the current with the 4 wt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    The simple answer is that if you're not losing gear - due to snags & hang-ups - you're not fishing DEEP ENOUGH. If the strike indicator isn't bouncing down stream (as the split shot drag across the uneven bottom - you're not fishing DEEP ENOUGH. When trout are feeding on eggs & flesh, they are looking at the bottom of the stream. If your bead floats over their, 9 times out of 10, they don't see it. If its bouncing off the stones, they will see it.
    I've been fishing both Willow & Montana the past couple of weeks (10mm beads ONLY) and have had no problems catching (and missing) trout. Kings are spawning NOW, hence the 10mm beads. Chums will start soon - I'll start mixing the 10mm's with some 8's then. I hardly ever use 6mm's even during pink & red spawns - I just have more faith in the 8mm beads, and have seldom been unhappy with catch rates. I really think size of the bead is the last thing to worry about when bead fishing - as noted above, drifting along the bottom is the first thing to worry about.
    Ya, I've been fishing beads for trout for a long time with lots of success....I understand the whole tap-tap-tap of the bottom that must be there....maybe my split was too far up the leader for those waters at about 18"? I lost lots of gear under the log jams and on the bottoms. Not trying to be difficult or resist advice, just sayin'. Obviously, IT'S ME. I'm just trying to figure out what the problem was and I appreciate your suggestions.

    Like I said, I traveled 50 miles up the highway and caught 2 23s on Troublesome on the first 2 casts, within sight of the bridge, fishing the same exact way with the same exact set up.

  19. #19
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Some days we catch nothing put the bottom of the river. Other days the planets align and it seems every cast is a winner. That's why we keep going back to the river eh?

  20. #20
    Member AKnook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    Ya, I've been fishing beads for trout for a long time with lots of success....I understand the whole tap-tap-tap of the bottom that must be there....maybe my split was too far up the leader for those waters at about 18"? I lost lots of gear under the log jams and on the bottoms. Not trying to be difficult or resist advice, just sayin'. Obviously, IT'S ME. I'm just trying to figure out what the problem was and I appreciate your suggestions.

    Like I said, I traveled 50 miles up the highway and caught 2 23s on Troublesome on the first 2 casts, within sight of the bridge, fishing the same exact way with the same exact set up.
    Your not doing it right! It happens man. I feel your pain. I know this isn't a bead fishing example but the same none the less...Last year and even this year there was a day were I just could not catch a sockeye even with them right in front of me. I know how to catch them and have done it many many times but there are just times were it just ins't your day. Another day and I would slay them. Extremely fraustrating, but you got to keep doing it.

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