Beads for Alaskan Rainbows/Char

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Andy, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

    Posts: 845
    Columbia River Gorge
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Where can I find those single egg beads that are so popular in Alaska for rainbows and char?

    How far up from the hook do you put the bead?

    How do you secure it?

    What size hook do you use below it normally?

    What is the meaning of life?

    I hope someone has a few answers to my questions.


  2. Miller Member

    Posts: 285
    North Bend, WA.
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I dont think there is a right answer for what you are asking, just a matter of personal preferrence. But here is my .02, As far as getting your beads, try craft stores or cabelas, but buy a lot of them, in at least two colors, from there you can always paint them. I try to peg it with in 4-5" above a nymph, slide it on the line and peg with a toothpick, use what ever hook or nymph you want below the egg. Some people love this setup some people hate it. I dont really care either way. AK fish and wildlife says it reduces the mortality rate of released fish over using glo-bugs, because the fish don't inhale the hook. As with everything else in flyfishing it's all about personal preference. As far as the meaning of life....spend as much time on the water as possible and you are bound to figure it out.
  3. Scott New Member

    Posts: 111
    North Bend, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  4. maluce New Member

    Posts: 36
    Puyallup, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The Alaska regs require the bead to be within 2" of the hook.

    Extracted from the Alaska Sport Fishing Gear Section:
    b) An attractor (bead), when used with a fly, lure, or bare hook, must be either fixed within two inches of the bare hook, fly, or lure, or be free sliding on the line or leader. For the purposes of this subsection, a bead not attached to the hook is an attractor, not a fly.

  5. Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

    Posts: 845
    Columbia River Gorge
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    sweet info guys
    I just picked up 5 bags of trout beads from Anil at Puget Sound Fly Co.

  6. cmtundra New Member

    Posts: 514
    Tacoma, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I still have some beads from my last float trip in AK. I hope you got a variety of beads. The best way to go is buy your beads in AK, IMO. There are a lot of different sizes and shades. The best ones of course, will "match the hatch" so to speak. The local shop owners usually can tell you what works best at that time. The key is to try and match the size/color for whatever type of salmon is running. You also need to consider how fresh the eggs would be. Say, if the sockeye run pretty much dwindled down a week ago, those sockeye eggs have changed tint since then. So, often a muted/faded orange works better than a bright orange, or red, or etc.
    Not everybody knows much about the "bead" scene, but it has grown in popularity the past couple years, mostly because it's been effective. So, you'll have to find the right people to talk to.
    When I was there, the general rule was three finger-widths above the hook. Of course, if the rule is 2", then you won't want to go beyond that. Most people attach the bead with a round toothpick, broken off flush with the egg. At one time fastening the egg to the line was considered illegal, but I'm not sure it is anymore. You'll have to check on that one.
    Pass your line through the hook eye and tie onto the hook shank. I'm sorry I don't remember the hook size. I know we used mostly Gamagatsu's, the kind that are painted orange except on the point. If I remember correctly, they were an egg-type hook & I'd estimate the size of the gape to about a size 8. That was for Kenai River trout though.
    Most fly guys I knew bounced the bottom with 2 or 3 small split shots 1-2 feet above the hook. I know that's not the purists way, but I'm just lettin' ya know what we did...and it worked well. I learned about beads on my first ever float trip when I was just getting my feet wet in fly fishing. I finally tried them when my buddies in the boat were hooking into way more fish than I was with my egg sucking leaches and flesh flies.
    Hope that helps. Wish I were going. :beer2
  7. Miller Member

    Posts: 285
    North Bend, WA.
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Don't forget about snelling eggs, if you bring a large variety of colors of egg yarn you can accurately match anything that is spawning, both size and color. Just a thought. Best of luck.
  8. Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

    Posts: 845
    Columbia River Gorge
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I bought 5 different 40 packs of beads, and I still have "glo-bug yarn" in just about every color imaginable from back in my gear fishing days, so between the beads and the glo-bugs, those trout dont stand a chance.

    Tight Lines

  9. Coho Member

    Posts: 149
    West of the Whistling Buoy
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Beads for Alaskan Rainbows/Char -

    The ultimate Bead source of info is a guide and flytyer named Craig Ziegler of Tidewater Techniques. You can reach him at or at 503-738-7353.

    Craig guided for years in AK and has done extensive research on matching beads to the natural eggs of various species; coloration, light refraction etc. In fact he is as close to a genius on anadromous flyfishing as I have met in my 25 years of FF. Craig sells beads to many of the lodges and guides in AK.

    Taking a tour through his business is quite a learning experience!

  10. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,036
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +710 / 0
    Alaska Dept of Fish and Game regulations vary by area and sometimes by river and lake- be very, very careful about where you are going and how you rig your flies, hooks and beads.
  11. Joshw Tamer of Trouts

    Posts: 432
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Use different colors of hot glue to form the egg, and then put some CDC in front of the glue egg and wallah....a great looking egg pattern!!
  12. dheike New Member

    Posts: 194
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Was in Mahaffey's on the Kalama swapping "truths" with Dave Orzel and a young kid (23-24 y/o maybe) came in with some new flies to show him (Dave said the kid ties for him regularly). He had one purple and one navy blue (blue on had some crystal flash in the tail) size egg sucking leach size on 6X long streamer hooks. He used red hot glue for the eggs, each in clusters of 3. Had a pic of a nice bow with the blue leach in its lip.
    Never caught a Steel with that patter myself but everyone suggests it when I ask em' for advice.

    As for the meaning of life? Whew, that is a whole book by itself!

    Tie one on!
    Darrin ><>

    You know, all that and I looked and realize you just asked about beaded patterns:hmmm Just kinda went off, sorry;)
  13. akflyrod Banned or Parked

    Posts: 43
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    just an fyi,
    the adf&g prohibits the use of beads on some bodies of water. the russian river(trib of the kenai) is one that comes to mind, so double check your regs. re: the hook size - i use #10 caddis hooks and they seem to work well. not my favorite way to target bows but can be effective. fyi, don't ignore tried and true natural trout patterns. i've been having great days with a #8 rubber leg stimi pattern with any #16 bh nymph as a dropper. remember to switch techniques when targeting bows you know have been either caught or fished hard for.
    i've had some real pigs hit that were fooled because no one had tried something different on them. ak bows are like all trout, they associate certain techniques and patterns with pain. so they will learn to ignore beads and traditional ak flies until someone throws something entirely different at them. just food for thought. good luck, akflyrod
  14. Scope Dope New Member

    Posts: 1
    Anchorage, Alaska.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The use of beads isn't wholly prohibited on fly-fishing only water like the Russian River. They just have to be attatched to the hook. To get around it you just affix the beads with thread and some white marabou prior to going to the river, or you can melt the bead on the hook when you get to the river if the ones you tied aren't matching the hatch.
  15. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Living in AK I say go to craft stores to get a basic assortment the one in anchorage Black Elk Leather, has beads 100 for a dollar where fly shops sell em for about 5 cents each, if you are fishing for trout DON'T use orange, I made this mistake for a while and never did too god, switched to dull rootbeer color, light pink, darkerpink, and cream remember if the egg is not covered in gravel it is dead and thus cream colored. Also match size, wich IMO is more important then color, king chum and pink eggs are about 8mm and sockeye and coho eggs are about 6 mm. To peg them push a toothpick into the bead and clip the end off with the wire cutters on pliers, then push the rest of the tooth pick in with the pliers, remember anywhere in AK the beads can't be more then 2" above the hook. In fly fishing only waters take the beads and heat a hook up in the vice with a lighter then push the bead onto them it works great, I caugt a 24" bow at the russian a cuple of weeks ago on one, very nice fish. The melted bead works good underneeth a pegged bead.

    Good Luck