Beads are the Best

October 31, 2017


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 . . .

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. . . 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.  . . .

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Read the full article at Hatch Magazine

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky


What do you think?

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Alex Argyros

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.

Sparse Gray Soft Hackle

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… Read more »

Domenick Swentosky

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.

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