Just Keep Beading Them in the Head by Ryan Young

Just Keep Beading Them in the Head

Thank you Canadians! Without your creativity I would not be the successful trout fisherman that I have become. Do not get me wrong I understand single egg fishing has been around since the beginning of fly fishing with tiny tied yarn balls and beads pushed onto tiny hooks. But, the new bead fisherman/ fisherwoman can safely release the fish because nine times out of ten the fish is hooked right in the money spot, on the edge of the jaw. Float fishing with a long noodle rod followed by a float, weight, bead, then hook was discovered in good Ol’ Canada.

This style of fishing has become very deadly for steelhead. It has become a staple in my bag of tricks. Any egg eater will pick it up and go on a mad dash giving you that heart thump that we all know so well. I have had multiple species pick up my bead. Anywhere from shiners and herring to 40lb king salmon. When I started bead fishing you either painted your own beads from the local craft store and raided the wifes nail polish supply or bought from a supplier with only a couple of colors to choose from. Now this style of fishing has exploded and the secret is out. There are multiple companies out there producing beads and egg hooks. One of the leaders and first to supply this gear is Trout Beads.

They do not only carry hundreds of bead combinations they have everything you need and explain to you exactly how to set it up. Then the greatest part is that it is not going to break the bank. You can get set up for a few bucks or sell the house and buy every color and combination. Either way you will be screaming, “Fish On!”

Ideally a float rod, aka noodle rod, works best but is not needed. You could start float fishing with a bead right away with any rod that can handle the fish you’re going for. Many guys use center pin reels although a spinning reel works just fine. My favorite setup is a 12′ rod with a shimano symetre2500 spinning reel. I spool it with 15 lb braid and a florocarbon leader. The actual setup of the rig is pretty easy.


I will slide on a stream float then tie on a swivel. This saves me money on line and floats. Next tie fluorocarbon to the swivel, slide on your favorite bead and tie on a hook. The smaller the bead the smaller the hook. I use rubber pegs to secure my bead about 2 inches up from the float. Length of fluoro and weight will change with conditions. The hook needs to be small and strong. Trout beads make a quality hook also. Now that you know the secret rig it is time to land the big one. I have seen steelies travel multiple feet to slam a bead. It’s so easy that my two year old can do it.


The last trip I made to Oak Orchard I was having a problem with the browns. They did not want to touch my offering. I switched my natural looking egg bead to a crazy polka dotted chartreuse bead and continued to repeatedly bounce it into their head. Angry browns know how to slam a bead. I cannot get enough of that fight! It is also pretty impressive looking when a 12′ rod is bent over hauling in the big one. On the days when you can see the run happening and they have lock jaw, mix it up and bead them in the head. I wish you all easy hook ups!


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