I’ve heard a lot of rumors about how well beads worked; I had never used them but had always been interested. These rumors were coming from Alaska, on low pressure rivers with fish that run in who knows how many more numbers than they do here in Michigan. Last year a friend came across some beads in a store and started playing with them. He used them in a non-traditional way by slipping them on a mono loop and tying them onto a hook and adding a yarn veil, let me tell you they WORKED! Checking with the DNR to make sure they were legal here in Michigan, we here at Bass Pro Shops decided to carry them. Once we received them in the store it didn’t take me long to purchase them and try them on the river.
Rigging beads is VERY easy. The problem is there are two ways to rig them, the way they are “suppose” to be rigged is the ILLEGAL way to run them in Michigan. This method runs a bare hook under the bead. Per the DNR hooks MUST be baited so running a fly underneath the bead is LEGAL. Think of it this way you can run 2 beads and 2 nymphs and now you have twice as many offerings as you would if you were to run the illegal bare hook method. To rig beads all you need to do is slide one on BEFORE you tie your fly on. Once your fly is tied on all you need to do is peg the bead with a peggz or a tooth pick, trim the excess and shove what little material that is left father down the bead with the side of your nippers or pliers. Then slide your bead about one and a half inches above your fly any father you run the risk of snagging the fish.
When fishing beads there is no different technique. You can fish them under an indicator, on your chuck-n-duck rig or under a center-pin. There are multiple colors so you can “Match the Hatch” to what the natural eggs in the river are looking like. Remember the longer we go into the season the paler the eggs are going to look. So it doesn’t make sense to use a Tangerine egg in the middle of December, try something pale like Peachy King or Apricot.
Bobbers, floats or indicator depending on whom or how you fish with depends on what you call them. All I know is that some work better than others. Sheffield floats met the standard for many fisher-people. The nice thing is they are highly visible up top and clear on the bottom making them pretty darn close to invisible underneath
These floats are easy to set up and tell you WAY more than you ever need to know. To add them to you line you need to add two of the small rubber band like doughnuts that come with them to your leader, then add you hollow core lead (if that’s your preference) then add a barrel swivel (I like using the Offshore Angler™ Barrel Swivels Double XX Strong due to how small they are). From there run your leader from the swivel to your flies and to you second fly if you would like. Once rigged you can slip each end of the float into its respective doughnit, colored end on top (towards the reel) and then clear end on bottom (towards the flies). Setting Depth, if you know how deep the run is set it so you are just above the bottom. If you are fishing new water I tend to shy on the side of caution and set the float high and set it lower 6 inches at a time until I hit bottom and then raise it up. Setting it low to start will lose more flies and make you frustrated, unless you like tying knots!
Back to the floats telling you what’s going on. If you float is running high and you’re not detecting any strikes or not sinking when you snag bottom you need to increase your weight. If your float sinks right away your weight needs to lighten up. Watch the top, whatever direction the top is pointed your flies are drifting in the opposite direction, meaning if your top is pointing downstream your flies are running behind the float and drifting slower than your float add a mend to slow down the drift (remember water on top flows faster than on the bottom due to
friction from the bottom of the stream). If the top is pointed at you, the flies are drifting on the other side of the float away from you. If the top is pointed away from you the flies are between you and your float. If the float disappears SET THE HOOK! For Additional Steelhead tips you should check out Egg Pattern Fly Fishing Egg Pattern Fly Fishing.
Good Luck To All
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