OK, Mike. No harm done. No offense taken.
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Posted 29 December 2018 - 05:12 PM
Appalachian streams are fairly high gradient with swift runs
I'm not sure beads help sinking much in swifter water, upstream maybe but they don't seem to sink on the down/across or on the swing. At least not for me, even cone heads on buggers swim at the top much of the time in the runs, unless loaded with the normal amount of lead.
Haven't tried tungsten, so, don't know if it helps or not, I was disappointed with the beads I tried with no added lead.
Yes, you have to cast upstream, and you should try to lift your line off the water. We used to call it "High sticking", but now it's called by other names, as if it were something new.
That works with out the beads, if beads help, I haven't noticed it, yet. And yes the wheel gets reinvented every few years, before it was high sticking it was just nymphing. I was out there with a spool of Cortland Cobra a few times, if you remember that stuff.
I, so far, would rather load the body with wire or fish an unweighted fly with a shot on a dropper, so that the fly stays near the bottom but not on the bottom.
Posted 29 December 2018 - 07:07 PM
Didn't we just have a thread about this?
I don't put weight/beads on most of my flies, since the places I fish are either still water or shallow, or both.
This is Poll on "to bead or not bead
This is why I prefer unweighted nymphs.
Posted 30 December 2018 - 09:45 AM
Posted 30 December 2018 - 12:34 PM
In some of our local Colorado tailwaters split shot will spook fish. You can see them shy away from shot during a drift. The solution(s) I've found via trial and error as well as advice is to either have the split shot about 18+" above your first fly or to weight/tungsten bead the fly to get it down. Personally i like tungsten beaded or weighted flies for getting the rough initial depth. Then Mojo mud to fine tune the depth. I've also found, in some of our local tailwaters that if you are going to bead the fly a shiny bead will spook fish, matte or natural finish beads are much more effective. Here in CO we can legally fish 3 flies. I like to have one of those flies weighted to achieve proper depth. The other two flies are usually unweighted for that "natural" drift. Jusy my $0.02
Posted 30 December 2018 - 02:44 PM
As a warmwater fly fisher I have patterns with no beads and beads of different sizes on nymph patterns.
Some days the rate of dropping and depth make a great difference.
Posted 30 December 2018 - 03:56 PM
Silver creek that is an interesting linked post. I'm not sure about the validity of what it says but it is intriguing enough for me to explore further. Learning is fun ain't it! I only say this because the Prince nymph is one of my go to flies for trout. I simply don't like lead on my leader and the little bitty shot don't get the nymph down quick enough for me. I heavily weight most all of my nymphs and I use a bead. Now in fairness I only trout fish in the spring time when flows are higher and swifter but I will fish princes in all the different waters encountered. My trout fishing is done on major streams as compared to little dinky brook trout type streams so I think the amount of weight needed is more location based then a standard rule.
Here are 2 browns I took out of the same "hole" that was too deep in the fast waters of the Madison River for a bead head to get to the bottom. I used 16 ( that right, 16 size B ) split shot to catch these 2 fish. Note the lack of hook scars indicating that these fish were not often hooked even though the hole was about 8 feet from the bank. The first fish has a eagle or osprey scar on it's back. I was barely able to fit the second fish in my net.
The point I am trying to make is that there are many trout that hold in places that most, if not all, of the fly fishers cannot or do not effectively fish. And if they do, the trout are too selective to fall for a fly that is not drifting like a natural.
I caught these two fish in the $3 bridge area which is heavily fished every day of the season and I see fly fishers fish this exact location every year I am on the Madison.
I believe that the largest fish are the most selective and most difficult to catch. I also believe that if you are not fooling some of the larger fish on rivers such as the heavily fished Madison that hold larger trout, then you are (1) either not reaching the fish; or if you are reaching the fish, your presentation is lacking, meaning the fly is not drifting naturally.
A bead head drops like a rock but also drifts like a rock. Tie some unweighted nymphs ON DROPPER TAGS (not in line) and fish then with enough lead to get them down!
Here is my hand for scale
Posted 30 December 2018 - 09:29 PM
I don't like split shot at all - just a personal aversion to using it. I found success using a tungsten bead #18 or 20 zebra midge with an unweighted trailing nymph.
So to answer the OP's question, I use both beads and non-beaded nymphs as conditions and "style" dictate.
Posted 05 January 2019 - 06:38 PM
I go bead in Spring when the fish have not seen a fly for a while. No bead later in the year once the fish are seeing beads every day and the water is clear, or go with a dull or hidden bead. I have found that fish that like a flashy wire rib also like a bead, the ones that don't like the wire rib usually get spooked by a bead as well. My thought is that if a split shot is going to spook them, so is a bright bead. Shops can charge more for the tungsten bead flies and they make finishing the fly easier which is the real reason I think they are always pushing beadheads.