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Thread: Bead fishing questions

  1. #1
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    Default Bead fishing questions

    So a bit of background....I'm not from Alaska, first trip will be this August. I've never heard of beads before this forum, I have only fly fished with egg pattern flies. I've been doing some reading on beads, and how to fish them, rig them, etc.

    Do beads work better than tied egg patterns? Is there a reason behind why/why not? Why is the hook below the bead instead of against/near it?

    Isn't this technique just "lining" the fish in the mouth and setting the hook? Isn't it also more similar to snagging than catching? From my reading it sounds like trout reject beads almost instantly, and I know most peoples' reflexes will not be able to set the hook fast enough.....so wouldn't you be a lot more likely to injure the fish using this method?


    Hope I don't cause a ruckus, I'm just a newbie and curious and looking to limit the harm I do to any fishery that I visit. Thanks for any responses.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Default My thoughts - certainly no expert

    IMO, placing the bead an inch or two above the hook decreases hooking mortality because you don't end up with so many fish hooked down in the gills and stomach. The fish goes to inhale the bead, but the hook tends to stay on the side of the mouth (or at least father out of their throats). You get the added benefit that the hook isn't visible with the egg, so it's an even more natural presentation, but I think the really beauty of the rig is it reduces deep-hooked fish.

    Of course, some people took that to the extreme and pegged the bead several inches above the hook in order to "hide" the hook. AK Fish & Game recently came up with the regulation putting the maximum distance between bead and hook at 2 inches. I'm thinking the reason for this was to prevent fish getting hooked in the eyes, belly (how common was this actually? I couldn't say.)

    So I think pegging the bead up an inch or two is kind of the "best" option at limiting hook-injuries. (and fish barbless!)

    I glo-bug or moe-egg would probably result in just as many takes under a lot of conditions during prime beading season, but you'll end up with a lot more fish inhaling your fly and getting hooked deep. Remember that when trout/Dollys are really on the egg "bite" they're sucking these eggs down one after the other and there can be a lot of competition in the prime feeding lies.

    Fish reject almost any fly "almost instantly" - bead, moe-egg, nymph, whatever. Hence the strike indicator.

    Fishing beads is nothing like "lining" fish. It's just like nymphing. Just think of the bead and hook as an articulated fly 2 inches long.
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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    oh yeah... and beads are a heck of lot easier to tie than globugs.
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    Do beads work better than tied egg patterns? Is there a reason behind why/why not? Why is the hook below the bead instead of against/near it?
    Beads more closely resemble the size of eggs than tied egg paterns. My understanding is the trout inhale beads. So to keep from hooking them deeply they are fished above the hook.
    Isn't this technique just "lining" the fish in the mouth and setting the hook? Isn't it also more similar to snagging than catching? From my reading it sounds like trout reject beads almost instantly, and I know most peoples' reflexes will not be able to set the hook fast enough.....so wouldn't you be a lot more likely to injure the fish using this method?
    No this is not lining. The trout will chase down a well presented bead. It is nymphing with a bead.
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I find on the upper kenai that the single bead pattern works most of the time. Especially when the reds are dropping eggs in the fall. As the month goes on I switch to other patterns that produce, Egg sucking leeches, flesh flies bunny leaches, etc etc. I peg my bead 2 inches above the hook. Your not lining. The trout will mouth the bead and when setting the hook your pulling the bead out and the hook sets. You do miss fish this way and with a barbless hook you miss more than a few. This is not lining at all. 99.9 percent of the trout I hook are nice hook up in the jaw or corner of the mouth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyo2AK View Post
    IMO, placing the bead an inch or two above the hook decreases hooking mortality because you don't end up with so many fish hooked down in the gills and stomach. The fish goes to inhale the bead, but the hook tends to stay on the side of the mouth (or at least father out of their throats). You get the added benefit that the hook isn't visible with the egg, so it's an even more natural presentation, but I think the really beauty of the rig is it reduces deep-hooked fish.
    I agree with this completely. I would say there is less of a mortality rate as a result of hooking them in the jaw, and not down the throat or gills. Here is a link to a similar discussion on an earlier post. Alot of people disagree with pegging the bead, as you can read on this earlier post. Everybody has a different opinion though.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=44334

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    beads outfish egg flies 10-1 in most situations I find myself in. Only reason I still use em.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Thanks for all the fast replies and explanations. Obviously I've never used or seen this method, so that's why the questions. My experiences are only relavent to Colorado, and I've personally never deep hooked a fish using a fly, any kind, but the fish here don't have an egg buffet quite like the ones out there!

    There's a lot to read in the other thread, thanks for the link

    I don't know if I'll use them much, but I'm gonna make sure I have some 8mm beads for August in a few colors at least. I'd rather do flesh fly and streamer/bugger tossing, unless I can get some dry fly action of course! But some days you gotta give them what they want so this info will help me be prepared!

    It's an interesting method, I'm going to look more into using it this spring during the rainbow spawn here. Don't get me wrong, I don't fish for trout on reds or beds....but those big boy browns sure like to sit about 10ft downstream of the beds!!

  9. #9

    Default Beads

    Ya know...my first year in AK I was like you. Oh I will use streams, flesh flies, nymphs...ect....ect. That was untill the day my buddy out fished me 1-10 using a 8MM peach pearl bead. Only took me about an hour before it came down to "Give me some freaking beads..." I swear by them now. And if you don't like using indecators (IMO why not just tie on a bobber and a worm....learn to dead drift). learning to do a good dead drift is key. But on that note I have had times where I was just letting my line dangle down stream while I was looking for some thing and have had trout come up and nail my bead. God I love beads....


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    Haha I understand, after seeing the responses and reading more and more, I'll have some bead rigs with me for sure. Some days they only want one thing so gotta be prepared.

    Thanks!

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    Default especially in august

    By august there are eggs drifting down nearly every salmon stream in AK and not that other things don't work, but it is a known quantity that beads do more often at that time of year. I try to use other things first and if catch rates are sufficient I stick with it but if I'm getting my butt handed to me on good water, I pull out a bead and work it through to see if it's the day, the fly, or me.

    If you are going for max efficiency, use an indicator.....to throw something as nearly sacriligeous as a bead and then try to purify it with not using an indicator is seriously TURD POLISHING. Beads catch fish and catch them well and at certain times are THE most effective thing out there and as such you use them as a tool to find fish and as such (again) you had might as well go at it like you mean it.

    As to color, it seems the swirly ones work the best, usually in peach, shrimp or orange....it seems none of the "fresh eggs" that troutbeads sells is worth a hoot, the best fresh eggs I've seen have been custom painted but those only made a difference when the fish were extremely full and picky....then I begged one off my buddy....but before that it was neck and neck. For painting ideas, check the other thread...I just mooch from those who know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishnPhil View Post

    Do beads work better than tied egg patterns? Is there a reason behind why/why not?

    .
    Yes.

    Why? Would you eat a fuzzy hot dog?

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  13. #13

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    Something that was kind of touched on was the placement.... If the bead is too close to the hook, the fish could swallow the hook. Too far away from the hook, and you risk the hook getting caught in the gills.

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    Below is some info from the Troutbeads website. Read the "Making a trout bead set up".

    Excerpt...

    "The purpose for pegging the bead began when fish were drawing the bead in too deep and were being hooked in the back of the throat and inside the gill plates. (Common sense plays a big part here). So the pegging distance should never exceed the neccessary distance required to hook your fish on the inside rim of the mouth."

    http://www.troutbeads.com/How_To.html







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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default To Bead, or Not to Bead...

    I actually considered writing an article with that title a few years ago, but someone beat me to the punch. I had to laugh, reading many of your posts. It seems many of us have gone through the same thought process on this. Are beads really fly-fishing in the purest sense? Absolutely not, but they work better than anything else out there when the fish are feeding on eggs. I finally came to the conclusion that I'd rather catch lots of fish on beads than catch one or two on flies. I'll still throw streamers, nymphs and even dries regularly, but I have to admit, I fish more beads on Alaskan streams than anything else. I paint my own, for the most part, and it helps me justify it.

    Fishing in Alaska is very different than the lower 48. These fish eat eggs and flesh, period. Everything else is an exception, not a rule. But doggone it, it's hard to beat a 40-50 fish day with 10 or more over 20 inches isn't it?

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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Legally speaking

    Looking back through this thread (quickly, so I might have missed it) I didn't see anyone mention the regulations for bead fishing. If you're fishing in a fly-fishing only area, beads are not considered flies. You should also keep in mind that in every stream I've fished, a bead must be pegged within two inches of the hook, or be allowed to slide freely on the leader. I like mine an inch and a half to two inches from the hook.

    Pegging the bead definitely increases your ratio of hooked fish. When the fish tries to reject the bead, you have a fraction of a second longer to set the hook, as that 1-2 inches of leader is still in the strike zone. This is absolutely not lining. You can often times sight fish with beads, just like any other fly. I've had many trout shoulder another fish out of the way to take my bead.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post

    If you're fishing in a fly-fishing only area, beads are not considered flies.

    Good point, but remember that tying even a sparse amount of material to your bare hook makes it a legal "fly". Saw some done this way that looked like 7 threads of 1/4" material. From what I read, it does not effect the effectiveness at all and the set up is considered legal. Good to know on fly fishing only waters.

    I am pretty sure it came from the January 2005 "Fish Alaska" magazine. There was a picture of a little thread going from the eye to the point of the hook in the article. This is available for purchase on their website as are most back issues. Great read for anyone that has not heard of it. I subscribed, but also picked up a bunch of back issues. I am pretty sure this is the article...

    http://www.fishalaskamagazine.com/ar...05/105_TOC.htm

    The Egg & I -page 32
    E. Donnall Thomas, Jr. shows us why the main
    ingredient in your tackle box should be eggs,
    regardless of your quarry.


    Just to give an idea, below is a pic similar to what I saw in the magazine...



    Now it is legal...





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    Awesome info guys, thanks! I did read that they are not considered flies, dan that's an interesting idea too, I'll be all over the regulations in the coming months, got to get up to date on all kinds of fish, last thing I want is to be another idiot breaking rules.

    I don't really care about being a purist or whatever, I just want to catch fish plain and simple . It's what I love to do and why I'm coming to AK finally. The tools are just tools, it's the experience and the fun/sport that I care more about.

    Scott, 40-50 fish day with 10 or more over 20 inches would be a good time for sure!!

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    one thing I learned to do is to peg a bead above a bug... it works really well for some reason; I guess because it's like fishing 2 different patterns at the same time. Sometimes they're taking the bug, other times they're taking the bead and getting hooked by the bug. You can do the same thing with any fly really, and I don't think it decreases the effectiveness of the fly at all.
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  20. #20

    Default Pegging

    Okay, guys. What's the best way to peg a bead? I have my opinion but I want to see what others have to say.

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