Bead Fishing In Alaska for Trout & Char Species
Written by guest author Dennis Musgraves of Alaskan Salmon Slayers
Many colors and sizes can be readily found in most fishing shops. A small 'kit' like this can be very useful for changing tactics to achieve your desired 'look' when bead fishing. Bead color selection is closely tied to what eggs look like which are present when you’re fishing. Before I even cast a line, I survey the slack water areas for any signs of salmon eggs and do my best at matching the color pattern of the eggs already present in the water. Salmon eggs tend to be brighter when freshly deposited and get lighter in color as they stay in the water longer, turning mottled with uneven color tones, eventually fading and turning more solid in tone and color. If I can’t find any salmon eggs to match, I start fishing by using orange mottled or pink mottled tones of colored beads, which closely match fresher deposited eggs. If it’s late in the spawn I go with more faded solid colors. My preferred colors are tangerine and peach in mottled patterns, however, carrying a good selection is the best choice. Pegging a Bead Rigging a bead, or “pegging” a bead, for dead drifting is fairly simple. Although there are a couple different techniques you can use when fixing a bead to the line, I will be keeping things simple and explain the basic procedure I normally use. I like using a 10 lb test fluorocarbon leader between seven and nine feet in length. I begin by threading the selected bead on the leader running end and sliding it on the line. The next step is attaching an appropriate hook; I use short shank hooks in sizes 4, 6, and 8 matching the bead size and I prefer using an improved clinch knot. Once the hook is secured to the end of the line, slide the bead into a position about two inches just above the hook. Insert the tapered end of a toothpick into the bead hole, pushing in on the toothpick and wedge the line between the toothpick and bead hole, this will secure the toothpick like a “peg” in the hole of the bead and lock the bead into a fixed position on the line. The final step is cutting the excess remaining toothpick outside the bead hole with a clipper so it appears flush.
'Pegging' a bead for bead fishing Some companies have developed plastic pegging material which substitutes for a toothpick. It does have certain advantages by being less abrasive on the leader and can also be colored to match the bead color. Carrying a few split shot may come in handy also, as small sized split shot may be added as needed to the leader assisting the bead to sink in the water column and provide a good drift in deeper holes. The use of an indicator on the line can also be useful though not necessary. The concept for fishing the bead is to cast it upstream at about a 45 degree angle from your target area, and mend the line to allow the bead to dead drift naturally in the current (very similar to executing a nymphing technique). Be patient and make sure to run the bead more than a few times over your target area. The fish will strike hard and fast. Try to avoid letting the current put drag on the line, or swinging the line like a pendulum, and allow the current to “dead drift” your bead as naturally as possible. Changing the color and size of your bead may improve fishing also.
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I usually hit em in the head with a rock to stun them for a better Facebook pic. Then I just throw up in the weeds after. Bear gotta eat too. Haven’t been ticketed yet.
AND once again, if you are in C&R waters, leave your fish in the water for your photos!!! http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.release
Learned this technique a few years ago and was "hooked:. Fall is my favorite time of year now for fishing with beads on the flyrod.