Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

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Ron Eagle Elk
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by Ron Eagle Elk » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:21 am

I used to hate bead anything flies. One day fishing a PMD flymph on the Lochsa River of Idaho, I was doing pretty well, pulling some nice Cutthroat up from a fairly deep hole. I was quite content until I watched a guy just downstream a bit just slaying them. Fish after fish fell for his fly. I walked down and watched for a while and when he left the river I asked what he was using. Turns out it was a fly very similar to mine, with the exception of a small brass bead at the thorax. He gave me two to try, in case I lost one. My catch rate went up immediately. Instead of pulling the fish up, the bead fly got down to where they were. That evening I bought some small beads and tied a few PMDs with them.

Beads, like every thing else we lash on a hook, needs to serve a purpose. In my fly box I have six of each fly, tied without beads, next to them are six more, with beads. Just in case.
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by ForumGhillie » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:52 am

I never use beads on my soft hackle patterns, I just don't like the appearance.

But while buying my Idaho license at Trout Hunter a few years ago, one of the guides handed me a size #18 PMD PT nymph with a small black bead buried in the thorax. Later that day when the wind picked up on the HF the fly saved the day, until I lost it in a freight train trout. The trout were still feeding on the PMDs under the surface and this had just enough weight to get the fly a couple inches underneath the "waves". Of course, you still had to wait for the wind gusts to slow down before casting and hope your fly drifted in a trout's feeding lane. I have tied some patterns that way ever since.
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chase creek
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by chase creek » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:03 am

Ray said - " wondered if the choice of a silver bead would be a better representation of an air bubble surrounding the thorax."
I would fish a silver bead during the day, and a gold bead later - during what photographers call the "golden Hour". (When the light has a more "golden" glow.) Just before Sunset.
Just my thoughts. :shock:
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by Bazzer69 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:51 pm

If you look at most brass beads they have a larger hole at one end than the other. The original use for this was to slide a bead onto your tippet when extra weight was required, the larger hole going over the knot and eye of the fly. Still a very useful way of turning any non beaded fly into a beaded fly. All you have to do is carry a few beads in your tackle bag. I still do this when I feel the need for beaded nymphs such as a Birds Nest, Prince Nymph etc. I’ve never used it with soft hackled flies but there is no reason why you shouldn’t. I personally find the use of beads in the construction of flies ugly. If you know how to cast and drift a fly you should be able to get a fly deeper without the necessity of putting a bead on. Casting and mending correctly is something I don’t see being done very often. Frank Sawyer cast his nymphs upstream with a long lead that allowed the fly to hit the surface with a plop attaching fish and getting the fly to penetrate the surface film quickly.
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DUBBN
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by DUBBN » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:18 pm

Bazzer69 wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:51 pm
If you look at most brass beads they have a larger hole at one end than the other. The original use for this was to slide a bead onto your tippet when extra weight was required, the larger hole going over the knot and eye of the fly. Still a very useful way of turning any non beaded fly into a beaded fly. All you have to do is carry a few beads in your tackle bag. I still do this when I feel the need for beaded nymphs such as a Birds Nest, Prince Nymph etc. I’ve never used it with soft hackled flies but there is no reason why you shouldn’t. I personally find the use of beads in the construction of flies ugly. If you know how to cast and drift a fly you should be able to get a fly deeper without the necessity of putting a bead on. Casting and mending correctly is something I don’t see being done very often. Frank Sawyer cast his nymphs upstream with a long lead that allowed the fly to hit the surface with a plop attaching fish and getting the fly to penetrate the surface film quickly.
Barry
All that wire in the construction of his PT didn't hurt in getting the fly deep either.
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by Bazzer69 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:34 pm

Copper wire or a little squished lead foil underneath the thorax is perfectly acceptable in my book. Certainly does not add “bling” unless your fishing for pike or bass.
Last edited by Bazzer69 on Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by DUBBN » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:49 pm

For me copper was the original "bling".
Image

In The Riffle Sawyer PT
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by Bazzer69 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:18 pm

DUBBN wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:49 pm
For me copper was the original "bling".
Image

In The Riffle Sawyer PT
Not quite a FS tied them, but good enough to fool the same number of fish. ( I’ve got some FS originals)

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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by Johnno » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:48 pm

The PTN variation with the exposed copper thorax as per above is the most common and most used variation in New Zealand. It’d be a toss up between that and a Hare and Copper as to which fly catches the most fish..
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Re: Bead Thoraxed Soft Hackled Nymphs

Post by Old Hat » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:29 am

letumgo wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:46 pm
I've got a silly (and yet serious) question. Do you think there would be any noticeable difference in effectiveness between gold beads, versus silver beads? I tend to use gold beads most often, but have wondered if the choice of a silver bead would be a better representation of an air bubble surrounding the thorax.

Anyone have an opinion on this? :geek:
My initial thoughts on this Ray would be "no noticeable difference". You are dealing with substrate reflections and anything shiny is going to slightly take on the reflective color of the surroundings. There is not enough difference between the gold and silver to matter here. Now if you were to put on one of those bright red beads or the rainbow beads you might see a difference in more or less takes depending on what the fish see and want.

Joaniebo - I'm not a bead guy either on wet flies. But these are very nicely done and some of the best tying I've seen incorporating beads into the thorax.
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