Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently attended the Sportsman show in Puyallup, where I watched a demo by Denny Richards. He tied some patterns and discussed his theory about beads. He suggested that bead heads cause the overall fly to ride in a unnatural position in the water. He proposed that lead or lead-free wraps was the better technique. He suggested that most patterns(the exception being chronomids) are tied with a bead head t oattract the fisherman rather than the fish. I personally use them quite often, and was wondering about all of your thoughts on this topic.


CCW
 

·
Sculpin Enterprises
Joined
·
3,461 Posts
Hi CCW,

I was also at Rickards' presentation. Man, talk about a guy who never learned that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. But he had some interesting ideas about flies and lakes. I agree with him that the weight of a beaded fly is not balanced. His point is that baitfish, the models for the seal leach and other patterns that he was demonstrating, are primarily horizontal; other orientations are unnatural. That may be true of a healthy baitfish, but sick/injured fish often do move erratically and adopt unnatural positions. These are the vulnerable fish that predators often key on. The strip / pause retrieve is likely to produce a darting motion to the fly - jigging the fly. If one is simply trolling a fly, the pull of the leader on the nose of the fly should be sufficient to have the fly ride horizontally. Frankly, I'm often using a bead-head fly to add depth to a trailing fly, often a black bead-head PT ahead of a glass-bead damsel nymph. But he does have a point; real baitfish don't have beads on their noses and a lead underbody leaves the nose free for a more natural silhouette. I bought some of his flies to use a models.

Steve
 

·
Member
Joined
·
2,880 Posts
It's amazing how many fish don't realize that beads are unnatural. Even fishing chironomids, I often find fish wanting bead head flies as opposed to beadless. Beads may put off the pickiest of fish with the unnatural motion, but the average fish likes them just fine.
 

·
Capt Kirk
Joined
·
764 Posts
I don’t tie a nymph without a bead, usually a gold tungsten. I believe that the turbulence of the water is moving around quick enough that it still "tumbles" naturally. I think it is more important be on the bottom of the river in the fish zone. If you are swinging a nymph you are fishing it incorrectly. Plus I like the extra flash of the gold bead as well at the resemblance to an egg.
 

·
Sculpin Enterprises
Joined
·
3,461 Posts
In fairness, Rickards did say that the bead situation was different in rivers, for exactly the reason that the captain stated. His presentation focused on lake flies. And he emphasized the importance of presenting flies at the depth where the fish were holding.

Steve
 

·
Confrimed Reprobate
Joined
·
275 Posts
First off, Denny Rickards is an excellent tyer and one of the most knowledgeable of stillwater fishermen I know. I tie with him at many expositions and have listened to his lectures many times. Some things I have a mild disagreement or questions (probably due to less experience), but overall his presentations provide extremely valuable information for all to consider. You can criticize his ideas about beads but only if you remember his presentation is strictly for still waters and not rivers, which is a whole new ball game.

Back to the original question, however. My first response, which still remains, is why not tie both ways and use the flies that catch the most fish? In still waters I don't use beads on heads of flies except for chronomids...note the use of "heads". I have found that either wrapped weight or beads in the center of the body will provide some needed weight in some instances.

Just tie what you like and on which you can catch fish....that's the whole idea behind fly tying, isn't it? Tight lines.
 

·
Proud to Be Alaskan
Joined
·
3,214 Posts
I usually throw coneheads in lakes, because I like the extra weight and I like my flies to kick up as much turbulence as possible, without moving all the way to a spinner... I wouldn't fish a bugger in a river without a cone head for sure, not sure I've even caught a fish on one. I also like lead eyes in lakes for bouncing on the bottom like a jig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
One of the interesting things about beads is that their decade-long popularity happened organically,
without attachment to any high profile fishing personality name. Magazines want us all to worship
the small group of advertising heroes who help funnel revenue from our bank accounts to the magazine publishers.
But in the beadhead case, it happened by remote control. There was no such beadhead article written by anybody.

I remember guiding on the Yellowstone River in the early 1990s. Fly bins had a few beadheads back then.
But not many and nobody used them much. A decade later they are the dominant wet fly. They work, and they
work well. The word got out. People tried them. And got good results.

It's possible spreading the weight out along the shank (rather than concentrating it at the eye) would
work even better. But I doubt it.

....ok, this is a subsequent edit. I just noticed the (above) anti-bead argument was a still water argument.
And I'm not a still water fisherman. But I do have a buddy who is. He's not only a still water fisherman,
he's the only guide I know who specializes in still water. His boxes are filled with beadheads.
The other guides in the shop he works out of are often jealous--because he (and his customers) catch so
many more large fish than anyone else in the shop. I wouldn't be surprised at all if shank-weighted
flies work just as well. But I would be surprised if it turned out they work better.
.....guess I'd have to give it a try to really find out, however.

Even though I like to tie a lot of screwball stuff myself, I do it because I like to, and not because I think it makes a huge difference.
I think the fisherman makes the biggest difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,941 Posts
Over the past few years I've become more of a stillwater guy. Denny knows his lakes. If you want to fish the way he does (did you notice his obsession with presentation of the fly?), you don't want a bead on your bug.

Obviously, there are many ways to catch fish in lakes. For example, I put beads on almost all my chironomids and several other patterns as well that I want to sink fast and hang under a bobber, which is another way to get into the zone. But I agree with Denny that fishing intermediate lines in shallow is best done with a shank-weighted or unweighted fly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the great information. There is no dount that Denny has it down. He is a great tier and great fisherman. His presentaion was one of very few that I have watched that kept me interested. I was not trying to question his ways by any means just simply wanting the opinions of others, and to see how his theories matched up with other stratigies and waters. Sorry if I confused anyone but I think I recieved a ton of great info from all of you...
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top