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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I the only one disgusted with seeing pictures of massive trout and char from Alaska in particular that are missing mandibles from being beaded? Who knows how many times these fish have been caught, it really takes away from the whole 'Last Frontier' thing... Beads are being fished regularly in Montana now, what a shame. There are nymphs and baitfish to imitate, but if you must use an otters soft egg or glow bug.
Maybe their mandibles are worth the sport, but I dont believe so.
Lets hear it folks, I am curious to see what everyone thinks...
 

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I fished beads once up there for a couple of hours. The entire setup was a drag to fish. I didn't cast as much as I flipped the mess into the river. Went to swinging flesh flies and caught as many fish as anyone else.
 

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I am really sick of the whole Alaska trout scene in general. It really isn't sporting at all. Although the bead rig is probably responsible for a lot of those mandibles so are other flies and streamers as well. It's the insane amount of fishing pressure on a relativly small population of trout that is the problem in my opinion. Those fish get the living shit kicked out of them. I have personnaly seen the same trout get caught by three anglers in a row one day. Who knows how many times a season they get caught. Pure gluttony. Pretty pathetic. It's the furthest thing from "wild" trout fishing there is in my book. I made a personnal decision not to fish the bristol bay region anymore because of the bullshit around it. On a side note, in my experience glo bugs and otters eggs are far more lethal to trout than beads. In fact I have killed trout with nymps, streamers, dries, bait, gear......but never one on a bead.
 

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I don't think it's the beads that are causing the loss of mandibles or maxilarys on trout. I agree with Rick that glo bugs are likely to be taken more deeply and therefore more likely to be lethal. I think the missing mouth parts are due to fishing with barbed hooks and poor fish handling techniques. And most likely, some of these trout are just being caught too many times.

Sg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
that is true, no more mandible is better than no more trout. I guess if they will eat the same thing over and over with out wising up, then that is their problem. Mandibles on the kenai are like yellowstone cutts on the upper madison, once in a blue moon.
 

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I think the issue is far more complicated than suggesting beads damages fish. I have fished all over Alaska and fished the Upper Kenai for the first time last Sept. Heading up there for 12 days next Friday as well. Will be fishing beads because that is what they are eating. Last Sept I fished with about a dozen folks over 10 days and never saw a fish caught on anything but beads. When talking about the Kenai, the fishing pressure is ridiculous. There are more folks fishing that river than any river in Alaska. Folks on the middle are back trolling, pulling plugs, egg sacks, and everything else. That is damaging to any trout. The dollies and bows I got on the Upper Kenai last Sept didn't have any damage. Spent 10 days floating that section and never got a damaged fish. Not in the way you speak of at any rate. Do they exist, surely, but not as common as the replies here suggest. I usually do remote float trips for 10-14 days. Often in NW Alaska and one trip in SW. Never seen a damaged fish and have been doing this yearly since 2004. Don't confuse the Kenai with Alaska rivers in general. The amount of pressure on that river is crazy. Fish getting caught over and over and over. Also, this is where every idiot with a fishing rod goes. Access is too easy, campgrounds all over the place, raft rentals, road right beside it offers bank fishing. It is not what I think of when I think of Alaska fishing. I am going for social reasons as I am fishing with a bunch of friends. You want to experience Alaska fishing at its best, take a remote float trip. Easier to do than most folks might think. The Kenai is over loved if you will. And on the middle section even worse from what I hear, salmon fisherman are catching dollies and bows on the same hardware. Fishing a bead doesn't damage fish any more (or as much possibly) as a conventional fly. Catching the same fish over and over does of course cause damage. If you saw something that disgust you, I suggest fishing another river. Take your bead box with you if you like catching fish. I too was turned off a bit by the scene on the Kenai. However, it is but a drop in the bucket when one talks about fishing in Alaska.


-Dan
 

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I fish beads on occasion and have never had a fish take it in deep. while i have had fish take a glow bug to the gut. I think the the probability of a jaw hookup is higher with a bead. if they go to spit the "egg" the hook ends up in the jaw. then again it really isn't fly fishing either. I really only do it to catch Chinooks in the cda river which im going to eat anyway. Caught a stocked rainbow on a dry day before yesterday and hooked the poor bastard in the eye. I have hurt way more fish with traditional patterns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
umm, well the only way a fish is hooked when consuming a bead is on the outside corner of the mouth, depleting the mandible. It is impossible to take them "deep." Of course the wilderness rivers that get float 5 times a year are untouched. Unfortunately I have heard the stories of fish getting repeatedly caught on river that are NOT the kenai. Pretty much any river with a lodge on it... Look up pictures of big trout and dollies from our gallery or the internet in general. I fished the Kenai for 5 days in August, and yes I caught fish on beads. The smaller fish, anything under 20 inches, didnt have a whole lot of missing lips likely due to the fact that they havent lived long enough. But the big ones that had been in the river for years were more often than not missing their mandibles. For trout, beads are fished 10 to 1 to anything else, and flesh flies are a distant second. Those fish pound sculpins too, which are pretty much entirely unfished.
Alaska isnt really my thing, unless we are talking about wilderness pike or maybe some steel. Everyone knows he kenai is $h!t show, what is foggy is rivers/lodges that require a plane to get into. Once you get in there, you go and catch the same 25 inch rainbow that Joe Blow from Missouri caught last week. Fatality rate is really low or nonexistent, so we should be happy about much.
 

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Dan, Dude, you said you were disgusted with pics of Bows and Char from Alaska missing their mandibles due to bead fishing, but you just got back from AK (in August) and you fished beads.
I'm confused.
I would have to agree with you about the Mandibles missing, it's sad. I have fished beads (with no success), but i'll likely not throw mine away.
 

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Dan - I have a couple pictures in my gallery of steelhead hooked on a bead. Do this pictures support your hypothesis?




Seems like they are hooked on the upper jaw but far forward.
 

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i fish any way i can to catch fish but i do like to swing with a 10 foot rod. i think if there is a possibility of releasing a fish it should be barbless! i was just to the madison river and i believe yellowstone park is barbless. mike w
 

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1 steelhead, really? it actually it does support this, umm, fact... the hook is on the outside of the mouth, and very easily could have de-mandibled that beautiful steelie. a 5 minute search in OUR gallery revealed these startling results.
No, it's two different steelhead. And from our gallery. Perhaps I'm not understanding your tone. Don't misunderstand my tone. I'm asking about this issue with an open mind. Not trying to be confrontational. I just remembered I had a couple shots of bead hooked steelhead in my gallery pics and I wanted you to have a look and tell me if that is the kind of hook up you are talking about.
 

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Dan, I know mandible scars/tearing happens a lot in Alaska in bead - heavy fisheries, but it happens all over the place. I catch a lot of trout in the Cedar with missing mandibles. It doesn't seem to harm their health but it does make them look like an MMA fighter who has taken too many punches. Here is an example, right from downtown Renton......



I'd rather catch fish with missing mandibles than the ones I catch from the Cedar with snelled Eagle Claw baitholder hooks lodged halfway down their throats. That happens WAAAYYYY too often, especially in the last two seasons.
 

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Ok, "missing mandibles' is obviously an exaggeration as a mandible is defined as the the bone of the lower jaw.. Can someone explain how a hook fished below a bead is worse for the health of a fish's mandible than a regular fly? I've hooked fish in the throat, tongue, and upper and lower jaws with flies (fish biting, not flossing)- seems like any way they get hooked has the potential to cause damage.
 
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