Beadhead vs. Non-Beadhead

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by scottflycst, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    When fishing subsurface in lakes do you find beadhead flies more effective than non-beadhead flies?

    Are there atmospheric conditions that enable one type or the other to be a better choice?

    I'd appreciate your thoughts and experiences on this matter. Thanks in advance.
    Scott
     
  2. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    I like to add beadheads to my chironomid patterns to help them sink a bit faster. Many times I add a beadhead to generic "trolling" patterns as well, such as leeches, buggers, damsels, etc.
     
  3. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

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    really depends on how you want to present your fly. a bead head of the right weight should give you more of a jigging action over a lead underbody. i suppose it could look like some sort of eye which might help trigger strikes.
     
  4. barbless

    barbless Member

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    iagree

    I have not noticed a difference. To my way of thinking, a bead is just another way to add some weight to the head of the fly - ala spring creek special.
     
  5. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

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    I generally prefer non-weighted patterns in the still since I tend to use a sinking line most often. Usually a weighted pattern on a fast sink is too much of a good thing…just don’t think the action is right. I like weighted or beaded flies for shallow retrieve off a floating line or as a dropper from a dry fly.
     
  6. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    beadheads for more vibrations
     
  7. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

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    Bead heads on floating lines, non weighted on sinking lines. I weight some of my nymphs with lead, but it is hard for me to remeber which are weighted and which aren't some times, but a bead head is easy to remember.

    Wayne
     
  8. Pat M

    Pat M Chasing Tiger Trout

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    I usually fish flies without beads. The one thing thats has worked well for me in the past is run a couple of orange troutbeads up your leader and than tie in a leech pattern. When you strip you leech in the 2 beads will bang against each other. Its somewhat of an attractor for fish to come and investigate. It has worked well this past summer and fall. Give'r a go.:thumb:
     
  9. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    When I use a lead underbody I wind the ribbing and/or palmered hackle in the opposite direction than I normally do. A compartmented box keeps them seperate from the other flies.
     
  10. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    I don't tie beadheads because I don't like their unnatural appearance. I use underbody wraps of a lead free wire instead. I prefer an unweighted fly whenever possible because I think it has a more natural action in the water.

    To aid in identifying weighted from unweighted flies in your box just use a different color thread on the weighted flies.

    TC
     
  11. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    iagree

    When I returned to flyfishing in the late 1990s after a 25 year hiatus, one of my mentors told me about an annual fishing trip he and some friends had made Chopaka several years earlier. The use of beadhead nymphs had recently become popular and eager to try them, he and his friends incorporated beads into some of their favorite patterns.

    They found two things in quick succession. First, that the beadhead nymphs initially caught more fish. But second, they very soon after stopped producing. Baffled, they tried other patterns with little success before switching back to their original weighted but non-beadheaded patterns. They soon started catching fish again and kept catching them as long as they stayed with the non-beadhead versions.

    Comparing notes around the campfire, they theorized that the fish initially were attracted to the beadheads by their unusual appearance. But after their initial encounters, the fish learned to associate the bright, unnatural 'food' with an pain in the mouth and a scary experience and began avoiding them.

    My friend tried the same experiment at different lakes that year with similar results. He hasn't tied a beadhead nymph since.

    K
     
  12. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

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    thats interesting, i wonder if a duller beadhead maybe something that would blend with the fly would solve that problem.
     
  13. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    My friend gave up on beads altogether and returned to wrapping lead (or lead-free) wire around the hook shank before tying the pattern. That said, I've seen black beads that might reduce the 'unnatural' appearance of the fly.

    As a direct result of my friend's experience, I've simply stopped using beads for nearly all of the nymphs I tie. The most effective nymph pattern in my box is a gold ribbed hare's ear with no bead, flash or other stuff except for a skinny tinsel or wire rib.

    K
     
  14. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    I use a lot of clear beads mid body (thorax) to simulate gas bubbles trapped against the critter.

    I use white beadheads too quite often for chiro's.
     
  15. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    I appreciate all the good info, your shared experiences help us learn more about fish behaviour. I've noticed some days beadheads work great and other days they don't. Wondered what might be some of the reasons for that. Atomspheric and water conditions certainly play a big role in feeding behaviour. I'm always curious to learn if some of our "improvements" to time proven fly designs work in the manner desired (assumed) or like the third tailight on autos the effect is short lived. Whatever the answers, sure makes creative tying and fishing fun!
    Scott
     
  16. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    There are more third tailights in fishing than you can shake a stick at, (pun intended).
    They have always been there and with just a little bit of perspective they have always been worth a chuckle if not an outright guffaw.

    Today's tail lights are in many ways no different than those of 100 years ago. Designed to catch the fishermen not the fish. Catch and release, Catch the fisherman and release him of his hard earned cash with a promise of more, bigger and of course better.

    And thats what its all about isnt it.

    TC
     
  17. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    TC,
    10/4, The only salvation for my garage is the fact that my wallet controls my passion!
    Fish on.
    Scott
     
  18. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Clearly you haven't discovered bamboo rods yet.

    When you do, there'll be no stopping you. Like a meth addict, you'll loot your savings account, your 401k, your son's piggy bank, and sell everything you own to support your new-found habit. House, marriage, family, job. They'll all be a small price to pay.

    Pray long and hard you don't hear cane's siren song. ;)

    K
     
  19. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    I tie both beadhead and non-beadhead chironomids. I will fish two or three flies if legal and will often mix a larger beadhead and a smaller nonbead chironomid (or two). The beadhead carried the mix down to the depth that I want to work. The nonbead fly is tied off the bend of the former and is freer to bob up and down in the subtle currents.

    Steve
     
  20. theworm

    theworm Member

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    95% of the time in the still water I go without a bead. I have a hard time understanding the sink rate with a bead. I think I read somewhere that a beadhead flys looks unnatural when being stripped.

    On the other hand, I think that they are an effective way to get your fly down on the skinny water. Also if I were a chrony guy, I would definitely use them.
     

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