Trout beads are an excellent choice of bait when fishing for Steelhead. Although they have been around for years, this type of bead (rigged tandem bead-to-hook) has been traced back to the 60’s and perhaps earlier in the United States. With their increased popularity to produce fish throughout their Alaska and the West Coast origin, they are now going main stream in and are gaining popularity in parts of the Great Lakes Regions with the highest demand presence in Up State New York, USA. As many Ontarians Steelheading across the border, and the power of online media and forums, Troutbeads are now quickly gaining popularity in our local rivers, yielding many fish to the bank and at times may out-fish roe.

Since Steelhead and Salmon naturally lay their eggs in Rivers, beads offer an excellent way to imitate one of these single eggs being swept by the current down stream to an eagerly-awaiting steelhead looking for a meal. Beads may also benefit as being the next best alternative bait to natural eggs gained by one having to harvest steelhead and further dampening the ever-depleting numbers in our local rivers.

There is an abundance of different sizes and colors; however we will feature here the brand as one of the most popular main stream bead. Made from high density plastic, these beads offer the best quality and finishes, known under the trademarks Troutbeads, Mottled, Blooddot and Glowbeadz. You can find these in most Ontario tackle shops specializing in steelhead float fishing tackle ranging in price from $2.25 to $4.00 Pkg. To make your selection easy, some popular-best sellers are the Egg yolk, Caramel roe, Orange clear, Peach fuzz, Chartreuse Pearl, Cheese Pearl, Cotton Candy just to name a few.

Trout Bead Rig
A good way to start fishing beads is to simply drift them below your float just like any other artificial or organic bait. Drifting them in faster current seemed to work best for the beads where steelhead may be holding behind boulders and undercuts waiting as it drifts by. You can use the smaller 6 or 8mm size with smaller hooks during cold winter conditions when steelhead are sluggish, not as active and their feeding somewhat slows, looking for smaller size bait. Come Fall and Spring when water levels are up and fish are actively moving in warmer water, they start looking for big meals and you can move up to 10-12mm beads with larger hooks, using bright colors for increased presentation and visibility to the fish. This is not a rule however, and at times any bead will work well and when a particular bead size or color may be thought not be the best selection you may quickly realize it was the best producer that particular day …so it’s a good idea to have a good selection at all time in your vest, as it pays to try different colors in a day’s fishing.

Trout Bead Setup: Stopping the Bead

There are several ways to keep the bead stationary on the line. Some fishermen use a method called “Pegging” by first passing your leader through the bead hole and jamming the point of a toothpick inside the bead hole keeping it on the line where you wanted, and then tying your hook usually about 1 to 2 inches below the bead for best-natural presentation. Another method is to use a “Bead-Knot” and begin by passing your leader through the bead hole then coming around and passing it through again. Once through, you then wrap the line around the loop of the line 7-8 times and pull straight. This causes the wraps to disappear into the bead hole and then finish off by tying your hook below the bead.

Both methods seem to work fine, some thinning may be required to the toothpick to get it deep, as it may sometimes come loose due to limited tension on the line or if too-much tension it’s possible you could damage the line. The Bead-Knot also works fine. Care should be taken not to curl when pulling the wraps tight by lobbing the knot.

Trout Bead Rigging

A new bead rigging tool introduced recently is based on the same concept using a toothpick. The pick itself though is made of flexible silicone called “PEG-IT” available from Top Brass Tackle and a similar product from The Peg-It is probably the easiest way to peg your bead quickly and easy, consisting of a thin-tapered peg, about 11/2” long looks just like a toothpick. Its key-feature is its elasticity …that once you pass your
Trout Bead Accessories

Trout Bead Accessories

line or leader through the bead and then push the narrow end of the peg-it into the bead hole until it sticks out the other end, you then pull it to stretch and jam the peg in the bead hole then clip the excess off at top and bottom sides of the bead keeping the bead securely wherever you want it.

The soft silicone peg will not damage the line and the bead can be moved up and down the line easily, yet hold firm. The Peg-It will also work for other type beads with a larger bore diameter to a maximum of about 2mm.

Packed in 15 or 50 count with a retail price range of $2.95-$5.95 available now in most specialty tackle shops, including in our pro-shop using this link flies.html#troutbeads See you in the river & happy fishing!

Article by: Jim
Special thanks: Cameron