27) Painted Glow Beads, Big Hen Oct 29 2016

Broken Barb Hooks Pegging Beads Steelhead

It doesn't  look like the weather is going to be warm enough to be able to report on much for a while.  This fish picture pops up on some searches but is harder to find on the site.  I have not got many fish on beads to report lately.  This year, my favorite spot was closed for most of the spring, I have hooked some very good steelhead on beads but many got off.  

Late October in 2016 I was fishing shallower, faster water than I usually fish.  The river was up somewhat, 2000 CFS flow or higher.  I was fishing spinning tackle with the bobber set maybe a little deeper than 4 feet.  There was a very swift central chute of current running right past the drop off at the end of a shallower bar just downstream of me.  There was a nice current seem over water 5 feet deep where the faster current further out, ran past the slower current nearer to the shore where I was standing in 18 inches of water.  The hot spot was right in that corner, where that current seam met the end of the bar and the slower current was speeding up to get over the bar.  I had hooked 4 steelhead, landed the smaller 2, I think they were 16 and 20 inches.  The hook had not held long on the other 2 normal sized steelhead. 

When I hooked this big hen, she took a lot of line very quickly, down stream and across to the strong current near the far bank.  I was following her downstream, mostly looking down at my footing and missed her jumping a couple of times.  I kept following till I came to the last bar with deeper, slower water below.  She took more line, going further downstream against the steady pressure of the drag.  There was no way for me to force her back up against the current, especially with spinning tackle where you do not have that direct drive, no slippage retrieve like Center Pin or Fly Tackle.  She had run downstream a distance of 150 yards or more and had not been able to escape the constant pressure.  She stopped and after a bit began running upstream until she was in that slower water just downstream of my position up on that last bar.  I worked back to shore, followed the brushy shoreline down until I was able and corral her into a small gap in the bush and hold her there in a few inches of water by thrusting the rod in to shore while I stood between her and deeper water.  I got her picture and got her off the hook. 

She was bleeding from where she was hooked under her chin.  that, and the long fight had left her very weak.  I never took her out of the water, no flopping on the bank, cold water to breath and she got some rest and swam off with a little push after the picture.  I pretty sure she was going to be OK, but of course I can't know how much blood she lost and what result that would produce.  Once the hook was out and not constantly pulling the wound open, I'm pretty sure the bleeding stopped and she had enough reserve strength to be OK.

 Now, the hook I'm using behind 10mm beads is a lighter wire #4 hook that is much lighter in weight and won't drag so low behind the bead and now I'm more likely to hook fish near the side of the jaw.  I'm also breaking off the barb so it does less damage going in and during the fight and then comes out easy with much less damage.  I have actually increased my holding percentage breaking off the barb on this lighter wire hook.  Fish hooked on pegged beads get off at a high percentage compared to fish hooked on other offerings so any help here is a big deal. 

Lighter wire helps a lot when setting these short shank hooks with the force from the line at a wide, indirect angle to the angle of the point.  The smaller broken barb set further forward also sets easier these hooks.


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment