Beads are the Best

by | Oct 31, 2017 | 3 comments

 

Hatch Magazine published my article, “Beads are the Best,” with some candid thoughts on when, why and how beadhead flies work.

Here’s an excerpt . . .

— — — — — — — — — —

. . . I’m not trying to catch all the fish on all the days anymore. More often, I’m just trying to learn something new out there. So I’ll swap out a killer fly simply to see what else doesn’t work. There’s some measure of rebelliousness to that, I guess. It’s like staring down the fish and saying, “I don’t give a shit. I’ll screw this whole thing up on purpose.”And I like to do it when the fish are really turned on. Yeah, I’ll sabotage a good thing with a bad fly, just to see what happens.

I have a lot of thoughts about why trout eat things. Yeah, I’m open minded (perhaps to a fault), but I also know what works on the water, and I usually have a theory about why they do. It’s all based on lots of fishing and years of trying to experimentally screw things up.

So when I say this I mean it. Beads are the best.  . . .

— — — — — — — — — —

Read the full article at Hatch Magazine

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Dry Fly Fishing — The Forehand and Backhand Curve

Dry Fly Fishing — The Forehand and Backhand Curve

Learning to use the natural curve that’s present in every cast produces better drag free drifts than does a straight line.

It takes proficiency on both the forehand and backhand.

I’ve seen some anglers resist casting backhand, just because it’s uncomfortable at first. But, by avoiding the backhand, half of the delivery options are gone. So, open up the angles, understand the natural curve and get better drag free drifts on the dry fly . . .

Stabilize the Fly Rod with the Forearm

Stabilize the Fly Rod with the Forearm

A steady and balanced sighter is important from the beginning, because effective tight line drifts are short. But there’s one overlooked way to stabilize the sighter immediately — tuck the rod butt into the forearm.

Here’s how and why . . .

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Tracking the Flies

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Tracking the Flies

Regardless of the leader choice, angle of delivery, or distance in the cast, every tight liner must choose whether to lead, track or guide the flies downstream. So the question here is how do you fish these rigs, not how they are put together.

Good tracking is about letting the flies be more affected by the current than our tippet. Instead of bossing the flies around and leading them downstream, we simply track their progress in the water.

Tracking is the counterpoint to leading. Instead of controlling the speed and position of the nymphs through the drift, we let the flies find their own way . . .

Thoughts on Rod Tip Recovery

Thoughts on Rod Tip Recovery

Rod tip recovery is the defining characteristic of a quality fly rod versus a mediocre one.

Cast the rod and watch it flex. Now see how long it takes for the rod tip to stop shaking. Watch for a complete stop, all the way to a standstill — not just the big motions, but the minor shuddering at the end too.

Good rods recover quickly. They may be fast or slow. They may be built for power or subtly, but they recover quickly. They return to their original form in short order.

Here’s why . . .

A Simple Slidable Foam Pinch-On Indy

A Simple Slidable Foam Pinch-On Indy

One of the joys of fly fishing is problem solving. There are so many tools available, with seemingly infinite tactics to discover, it seems like any difficult situation on the water can be solved. Perhaps it can. For those anglers who search for answers in tough moments, the prospect of solving a puzzle builds lasting hope into every cast. And after seasons on the water, the game becomes not how many trout we can catch, but how many ways those trout can be caught. Then, when presented with conditions that chase fair-weather fishers off the water, we rise to the moment with a tested solution, perfectly adapted and suited for the variables at hand.

There is not one way. There are a hundred ways. And the best anglers are prepared with all of them.

One of them is the slidable foam pinch on indy . . .

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: How to Lead the Flies

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: How to Lead the Flies

Leading does not mean we are dragging the flies downstream. In fact, no matter what method we choose (leading, tracking or guiding), our job is to simply recover the slack that is given to us. We tuck the flies upstream and the river sends them back. It may seem like there is just one way to recover that slack. But there are at least two distinct methods — leading and tracking.

Let’s talk more about leading . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

3 Comments

  1. At times, I think that trout take beaded nymphs for small eggs (focussing on the bead and ignoring the rest). At other times, I think that the bead just looks interesting and is one of many things floating by that trout will nibble at. And then there is the possibility that a bead just exaggerates something natural, like a head and thorax. But, I do agree with you that beads work.

    Reply
  2. Honestly I used to use beads exclusively and now I hate them. After fishing an ultra spooky creek where most of the fish have been caught and released several times I realized that very few people were tying their own flies, and most anglers were relying on what the shop sold them as standbys and hot flies…i.e., beads, beadhead hare’s ear, pt with bead, caddis larva with black bead, “guide’s choice”, tungsten everything, copper john with bead. I went back to old books and old patterns or ultra realistic patterns, rarely tied and used in this country/region, and began catching fish, I think primarily because the fish hadn’t seen them. I can take fish, for a while at least, in the creek now with all-thread nymphs with lacquer-coated thorax, stuff with snipe or grouse feathers instead of partridge, etc. “What an interesting turn of events.” – George Costanza

    Reply
    • Ha! Love the Seinfeld quote. George is the best.

      I too have moments and days when no bead is better. I have a half box full of those patterns. They are also unweighted or lightly weighted, and I fish them with shot.

      I’ll say though, I still usually better with beads on most days.

      And when I think fish are shying away from bright beads, my first move is to a black bead. I really don’t think they reject a black bead much. Gotta love the game, though. Never a sure answer.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Pin It on Pinterest