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Alex C.

What makes beadhead nymphs effective?

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getting down deeper. I'm sure the flash can trigger a few strikes but the depth is the most important IMO.

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1. The action (when moving the fly)

 

2. The flash

 

3. The weight

 

With the weight forward on the fly, it acts like a jig head. The head dropping as you pause, then rising as you pull on the line. Even in a dead drift, the tail end of the hook, at the bend, will ride higher.

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Id say bowth and the bead at the head of the fly gives the fly a perfect round look to it. I also think it makes a difference as compared to a thread head

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I've also read somewhere (maybe here?)not too long a go, that nymphs actually produce a gas bubble to help rise to the surface. The bead may be resembling this gas. I haven't confirmed this and only just recently started useing them. But I cleaned house with them on the Muskegon a couple times this year when others were haveing less eventful success.

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If you put a gold/silver/copper bead on the fly, only the bead makes it effective!!!

 

My friend was making some experiments last week. He was fishing bare hook nr 14 with gold bead on it. Nothing else. And he caught the same number of fishes as I did with different bead head nymphs.

 

I am interested in your comment.

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Clever heads fish gold heads: Europe leads the way with beadheads

 

 

By Jim Abbs

 

One widespread fashion in underwater flies over the last 10 or so years---for trout, steelhead, panfish or even bass -- is to add a metal bead just behind the hook eye. This bead is in lieu of a head and very often is brass, but not necessarily. Indeed, many conventional sub-surface flies are now available in both a bead head and a traditional version, including famous flies like the Hare's ear, Pheasant tail, Serendipity, the Prince Nymph, Whitlock's red squirrel nymph, the Caddis larva, Wooly Bugger and others. In fact, some hook manufacturers have even started offering hooks made especially to accommodate a bead, with a shape that makes it easier to slide the bead over the hook point and up behind the eye.

 

At first this bead head phenomenon seems like a fad, but it has become very popular among experts and novices alike. Many fly anglers claim bead head flies are simply more effective than an identical pattern tied without the bead. Bead head flies did not originate in North America. The first bead head flies were developed by a well-known Austrian fly fisher named Roman Moser and tested on the Austrian River Traun -- in the 1970's the Traun was famous as a grayling river. Moser called these flies Gold Heads and even coined a saying… "Clever heads fish Gold Heads". The bead heads were first seen in the U.S. in the fly boxes of travelling anglers like Bas Verschoor of Holland, who writes, " I took my first beadhead nymphs with me to Montana and Idaho in July/August 1982. There I showed them to flyfishers and tackle shop owners. They all gave me strange looks, asking me with some disbelief ... 'Can you really catch fish on these?'" "I fished the Gallatin, the Yellowstone and the Madison with them, and. literally 'knocked 'em dead!' I took a 58 cm, (23.2 inch) brown trout on the Madison, between Hebgen and Quake Lake... a fish I'll never forget. Yes, Sir.... I'm a beadman all the way!" says Bas.

 

While the reasons for bead head effectiveness are uncertain, there are of course several "theories". One theory is that the brass-colored bead head adds a critical bit of flash to the fly and it is simply not possible to get that same effect with conventional materials. Indeed, nymph tiers have long used gold tinsel and wire ribbing in their nymph patterns. But how can reflection off a shiny hard spherical head help imitate an insect? Perhaps it is well to keep in mind that the exoskeletons of many insects are very smooth and shiny, composed of a material called chitin. Soft materials don't reflect light, despite their exaulted reputation for looking "buggy". The bead head reflects light in all directions because of its shape, perhaps like the curved and multifaceted surfaces of insect bodies. It also has been argued that the bead looks like the air bubble released by many emerging insects in their final rise to the surface. In fact, even one version of the classic Water Boatman now is promoted with a bead in the back of the fly. Emerging insects are apparently very popular with fish because of their vulnerability and the fact that they simply are more nutritious (because of the impending mating) than insects in earlier stages. Another probable factor in the effectiveness of bead flies is the fact that a bead head offers weight to the fly that is concentrated at one end. The bead head fly thus has an out-of-balance center of gravity, just like a jig. As it is buffeted along with the current or stripped in by the fly fisher, it rocks and wiggles like a living-swimming creature, perhaps in a fashion that makes jigs so very effective.

 

No matter what the reasons, it would seem that most trout and warmwater fly anglers should consider adding beads to some of their favorite flies. This month's fly of the month is thus a bead head nymph, with an emphasis on the bead, including how to tie it in securely, bead color, positioning, material and size.

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This article is nice, but what would the author said, if he would came to one of our rivers full of fish and could not cought a single one with beadhead nymphs? :blink:

Beadheads are great when the water is murky, but in clear water is there better to have nymphs without beads or with black beads. That is what I have noticed throughout the years...

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Just a though for steelhead. I fish bead head nymphs in the winter and here is why. When the water is cold the fish do not like to chase food they will pass up a fly that is bouncing around in the current. If you add a bit of weight to the fly it will bounce less and drift in a straighter line. this will help the fish use less enegry to catch its prey. I have fished this way in the winter for years as soon as the water hits 40 I will change to weighted flies. Even eggs Ill put on a tungston bead and wrap my egg over it so it is not visible. This will help to get the winter fish to bite!!

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I agree with mcmanus. Althoug both flash and wieght make a difference i think the action of the fly is the most important thing. If it was weight than a nymph with a lead underbody without a bead should catch as many fish as a bead. Because it's easier to weight a fly near the eye with a bead than lead i think action and flash is far more important than weight.

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IMHO

 

1. weight

 

2. jigging action on some flies like buggers

 

2. flash

 

In that order.

 

I often use black beads which gives me 1 and 2 without 3.

 

Jay

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