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Beadheads and wild trout

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2007/1/31 20:39
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Do beadhead nymphs typically work when fishing for wild trout?

I have occasionally fished a wild brown stream in North Carolina with a buddy of mine who is a guide there. He always told me that at this particular stream, the trout will never hit beadheads.

Since I moved to PA, I've been trying to keep the majority of my fishing on wild Brown/Brooke streams (Valley Creek, Saucon and Devils Hole have been the only places I've gone). I've tried using beadheads several times, but have yet to have any luck.

Am I doing something wrong, or is it common knowledge that you shouldn't use beadheads when fishing for wild trout?

Posted on: 2007/2/1 17:21


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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I wouldn't say never. I have a very experienced friend who never uses attractor patterns (including flies with bead-heads) for wild trout. However, I haven't seen a huge difference. Besides, a bead may add extra weight to get the fly down to the bottom where a ton a wild fish hang-out.
I do find myself useing more realistic patterns (minus the bead) on the wild streams around me (Fishing Creek, Spring, Slate run).
I have also been told and read from reliable sources, that presentation is the main key to catching fish.
Sorry for all this gumble, hope it makes sense.

Posted on: 2007/2/1 17:53
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Re: Beadheads and wild trout
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I think very bright gold beads are not advisable on picky wild trout. That said, in the infertile creeks with brookies that are not picky, it doesn't matter as much. For some reason, it seems to me, that the more natural food is available to the trout, the more they look for a reason not to strike at something. I would take some non-beaded flies and also tie some with a muted bead such as the bronze-colored ones that you sometimes find or black or brown if they are available. Having said this, I would add that the caddis emergers tied with the bead behind the soft hackle would probably look more natural and would fool even the "smartest" wild trout.

Posted on: 2007/2/1 19:51
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Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Beadheads work very well on wild trout, including wild browns on limestone streams. In fact that's mostly where I use them.

I have noticed though that on heavily fished streams trout are more wary of them than they were when beadheads were the new thing.

After a rain, when the water is a little chalky is a good time to use them. When the water is low and clear, you're better off with realistic nymphs.

It may seem hard to believe , but there are still a few limestone streams around that aren't fished hard and on these streams beadheads still work very well.

I've had the best luck with just a bead and Hares Ear fur. And beadhead pheasant tail. And more recently I tried a bead with a body of bright green synthetic yarn, and that was also very good.
I use both the bright gold beads and the duller colors, which I believe they call copper or brass.
I have never really tried the silver ones.

Posted on: 2007/2/2 9:40


Re: Beadheads and wild trout
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Dude,

I’ve caught many wild fish from the Valley and Saucon, as well as other wild trout streams on bead head nymphs mostly, small BHHE & BHPT and thread midge pupa. I tie them a little differently than most of the BHs you would buy. I use a bead a lot smaller (1.5-2mm) beads, in mostly in copper and black for size 18-22. The copper bead adds a little flash and weight, but is not overpowering. The black bead with natural or olive hares ear dubbing looks a lot like a free living caddis larva when tied slim, and tied bulkier with soft hackle resembles a caddis pupa and/or a mayfly nymph. Also small beads work well on thread bodied midge pupa patterns with a wire rib. I also wind a few turns of .010 lead wire and tuck it into the bead for added weight on some patterns. A curved pupa hook like the TMC 2457 or 2487 work well for these patterns and allow you to use smaller beads with these wider gap hooks.

I would rank the fly pattern used as the third most important thing for success in catching spooky wild trout. Number one is stealth – if you spook them you have no chance. Number two is presentation - a drag free drift or properly controlled movement of the fly without spooking the fish is also essential.

These bead head flies work for me on wild trout, and are actually my go to flies for a good part of the year.

Posted on: 2007/2/2 9:44


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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I can second the thread midges. From what i've always gathered, the bead can actually help to make the fly look more natural in this case due to the air bubble effect.

My favorite is the old Charly Meck zebra midge. I've caught more big skittish trout on that fly than any other. Especially in the winter.

Posted on: 2007/2/2 10:14


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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2006/9/9 16:33
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I use only the dark beads instead of the bright brass ones. I think the bright ones will frighten the fish. Often times w/ a beadhead I will not need any shot.

Posted on: 2007/2/4 19:41


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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I quite often use a copper beadheaded peacock micro-ice chennille woolly bugger as a search pattern on the Codorus in cold weather. In warm weather try a parachute royal coachman wild browns love 'em.

Posted on: 2007/2/4 23:17


Re: Beadheads and wild trout
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2006/9/9 19:16
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Quote:

flyman wrote:
I quite often use a copper beadheaded peacock micro-ice chennille woolly bugger as a search pattern on the Codorus in cold weather. In warm weather try a parachute royal coachman wild browns love 'em.


Wow, that's a mouthful!......get it?

Posted on: 2007/2/5 8:47
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Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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2006/11/15 10:49
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A friend who manages a fly shop in CT has said that in heavily fished waters, trout have learned to associate the bright flash of a gold bead with getting stuck. He, like other posters here, has moved to dark bead colors and tungsten. Mostly, though, he has done away with the bead altogether and instead weights the fly with non-lead wire. He believes that, due to teh influence of the knot and the tippet material, an unweighted fly, while most closely reflecting the actually weight of the nymph, does not drift as naturally as a fly with weight because the weight couteracts the stiffening effects of the tippet on the drift. Something to ponder.

Also, he won't use flashbacks where fishing pressure is heavy, though I don't know what effect they would have on a place like Valley or Saucon. Valley, the fish are so skittish I feel like they wouldn't have the opportunity to associate flash or goldbeads with getting stuck hahaha.

Posted on: 2007/3/28 15:34


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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2007/4/8 20:22
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Dude,
I catch plenty of fish on Valley on beadheads. I only fished the Saucon a couple times, but I'm pretty sure I did OK on beadheads there. At times I feel like I am more likely to catch small fish on beadheads but there have been several large exceptions to the rule. Regardless of whether there's metal at the front of the fly, get it down there with a good drift. If it doesn't work for 10 minutes or so, switch to another fly. If you're on Valley or another small stream, make sure you're not casting a shadow over the water, and stay low when you feel like you have to. Looking back, afishinado has said a lot of this already.
I suspect that a lot of the behavior that's being attributed to trout in this thread would not stand up to science, but I'm not going to get into that.
I'm on my way to Valley tomorrow to catch some trout on some bead heads!

Tight lines,
Chris

Posted on: 2007/4/18 20:08


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

Joined:
2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
Posts: 441
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I've also caught a lot of wild fish with beadheads on Spring and Fishing Ck. in Pa. Also, on the dreaded Special Regs. section of the Little Lehigh; which sees a ton of pressure. As mentioned above, when the water is a little murky after a rain, your chances will go up greatly. Personally, I favor copper, and on the smaller sizes (18 and down) clear, or pearl. An old timer showed me a no. 18 PT with a pearl bead several years ago, and a variation of that is still one of my pet flies. This was on Valley Ck., and it still works there. The clear beads are going to present a more natural look, as they can represent a bubble rising from an emerging insect. They won't get down as well, but do make excellent droppers. Tied with a little weight, these babies can wreak havoc under you favorite Sulpher dry during a hatch.

Posted on: 2007/5/16 19:35


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

Joined:
2006/11/7 8:32
From South West FL
Posts: 260
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Last time I was out west I was fishing a 3 fly tandem rig. I had 1 beadhead fly among the other 2. Bead Head never got touched but works wonderfully in PA. It was interesting.

Posted on: 2007/5/21 13:31


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

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2007/1/31 20:39
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In answer to my own question, I do use beadheads with wild trout from time to time, but I now tie them myself. I use either the copper ones if I'm tying pheasant tails or brown stones, and the black ones if I'm tying hares ears, black stones, or scuds. I have luck using them with wild trout, but I will never use the shiney gold brass ones, because I believe they take away from the realistic look of the nymph. At least for wild browns, I have never had luck with the gold shiney ones. Maybe if I fished more brookies I wouldn't have to worry about the trout being so picky.

Posted on: 2007/5/21 17:19


Re: Beadheads and wild trout

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13629
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Quote:

CaptMatt wrote:
Last time I was out west I was fishing a 3 fly tandem rig. I had 1 beadhead fly among the other 2. Bead Head never got touched but works wonderfully in PA. It was interesting.


That's funny...I was living out west when I learned to tie and fish them...they kicked a$$. I guess its a timing thing.

Posted on: 2007/5/21 22:55



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