Anglers are facing an increase of rivers that now have a bait ban and that includes scent. There are many artificial presentations from spoons, to jigs, to synthetic replicas’ of roe, worms, and minnows.
Beads are a popular way to catch salmon, trout, steelheads . This techniques originating from Alaska has become very popular especially for angler-facing restriction with bait bans that includes scent products.
I am open minded to any technique that works. Fishing with beads is a prime example. Using other forms of single synthetic soft roe, or corkies I could not understand what the hubbub was about beads. The beads can be produced in amazing various colours, they will sink and hug the bottom and they can be pegged in such a way as not to damage the leader.
The first decision when selecting a bead is to know what is currently spawning and matching the size of bead to their eggs. Salmons have been proven to have eggs in their stomach. They are not eating per say but trying to destroy there competitors eggs and have been observed mouthing the competitors eggs that drift by.
River condition is another factor, as heavy rains will diminish the clarity of the water you have to use a larger presentation so it becomes visible under silt conditions. The speed of the flow you’re fishing in is another factor that will affect the bite.
Early in the spawning season the roe (eggs) are vibrant in colour but as the season goes on they will eventually go a pale white (dead eggs). The contradiction is why other colours get positive responses. Salmon have been caught with purple, chartreuse green, blue, and yellow beads. There are many colour shades that anglers have had strikes on. Successful anglers will have a full range of colours on them to match the bite.
I find 8mm or 10mm beads is a good size for salmon. The beads are avaliable in 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm. So the anglers will carry a full assortment of sizes and colours will have a higher per cent of success.
If the bead rests on the eye of the hook the chances of the hook entering critical areas like gills or deep hook ups are very high. That becomes detrimental if you’re catching and releasing your target to survive another day. The technique is the have the bead an inch or two inch above the hook so when the salmon or steelhead picks up the bead the hook always set in the corner of the mouth.
There are many way anglers have tried to keep the bead in position above the hook. I find knots or loops are detrimental to the leaders strength. One can peg the bead with a toothpick but that also can weaken the line especially when adjusting the bead tighter to maintain position. Today we have synthetic pegs that are tapered and can maintain a pressure without weakening you leader.
This technique of bead fishing can be used bottom bouncing or with a float. I have found using a float allows more control visually monitoring your offering to the location of the flow you want to cover. Positive result can be near the bottom or in the middle of the water column (short floating). Also another positive technique is when the cast reach your target area, as it land on the flow pull back (retrieve) the float toward you a foot or two. This straightens the leader so it does not fold back on it self and gives a better presentation the to fish.