Trout Beading for Trout and Char – (Late Fall & Early Winter Tactics)

Trout Beading for Trout and Char – (Late Fall & Early Winter Tactics)

Egg-cellent Fishing…

Got the river blow-out blues? Don’t be sad. We like to look on the bright side of things and that is the high, turbulent waters have dislodged a smorgasbord of salmon eggs from the fall spawn. Trout and char are picking off these tasty morsels as well as the odd chunk on rotting salmon flesh…mmmmm. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get out there and partake in some trout beading!

They say timing is everything and this fishery is no exception. You can almost guarantee after the middle of November these trout and char have begun to swim from stream to stream in search of these salmon eggs as a food source, and will continue to feed right through until the end of Winter.

There are a couple helpful hints and techniques that will make you a better egg fisherman. Hint number one is to learn your river or creek system you plan on fishing. Know when the peak of the Salmon spawning is in a particular system as this will give you a probable chance of feeding fish being in the area. Of course, this is not the only time your targeted species will be in the river as these fish could very well stay all Winter long and continuously feed, but having that upper hand will help. When wondering where to start, look for the spawners (spawning Salmon). Many of the trout and char you want to catch will be hanging out directly behind spawning salmon, so if you can see them, cast between them and hope the indicator drops. Next, your drift you want to maintain must be PERFECT at all times. The perfect drift in this fishery is like any other drift with a float set-up – drag free and flowing downstream as natural as possible. Making sure you have a good high quality floating line or floating head is key as a cheaper or older floating line will usually slowly sink in current causing it to drag through and across the run. Eggs do not flow continuously sideways in the river, remember that. In a lot of scenarios casting upstream will allow you to maintain this drag free drift, stripping in a bit of your line as you follow your set-up downstream. You will often need to throw an upstream mend as the indicator passes directly in front of you, giving you ideal line to rod connection for the perfect hookset. 

Now what water types do we fish with eggs or troutbeads? Well there is really no right or wrong way within reason, as fish will feed on eggs in water types from big deep mega pools, to fanning tailouts, and even fast shallow pocket water. Like we said, within reason is key. Feeding trout and char are going to be sitting in water they are comfortable with, but also will be sitting within a travelling lane of the easiest meal. In the late fall and early winter months, it is a guarantee salmon eggs are being taken by the current, and is one of the easiest meals for these fish. Fish can often be considered as lazy, so take this into account when fishing. If you come to a spot where you have a fast outside edge, a medium middle seam, and a slow inside trough, chances are the fish will be within the inside trough and middle seam.

One last thing to remember when you are targeting these fish is the water temperature and water level. As a general rule, water temperatures will really cool down quickly as the days progress into early winter. A lot of times we also see water levels drop quite a bit as most precipitation falls as snow in the mountains, thus creating less run off of water into the streams. As water levels drop and clear, and as temperatures drop and get cooler, fish will be tucked under structure such as deeper riffles and slow chop, or tucked under or behind big boulders and logs.


We highly suggest using a faster action rod for this type of fishery for a number of reasons. It requires a tremendous amount of line control in a very short window of time to fish this method correctly. Being able to mend your line perfectly and being able to turnover indicators and small weights will make for less frustration and more fish catching. The main reason is getting proper lift and hook-set connection from your bead to the tip of your rod. Once that indicator goes under, you will not want a slow action rod to set the hook. Having a faster action rod will allow you to pull your floating line straight up and off of the water, giving you the best hook-set possible.

Single Handed Rods

  • 9′ – 10′ Single Hand Fly Rods (5-8weight)

Rods we suggest:

  • 590-4 Sage Method
  • 10′ 6 wt Dragonfly Kamloops
  • 790-4 Sage Response
  • 10′ 6 wt G-Loomis Pro 4X

Double Handed Rods

  • 10’6″ -11’9″ Double Hand Switch Rods
  • 12’6″-13′ Double Hand Spey Rods

Rods we suggest:

  • St. Croix Imperial 11′ 6wt
  • Dragonfly Excalibur 11′ 6wt
  • Sage ONE 11’6″ 4 wt


You will not need anything to special for this fishery. Match the correct size of reel for your rod and you are set. We would recommend a large arbor reel for good line capacity and quick line pick-up.

There are many affordable reels on the market that are perfect for this kind of fishing.

Here are some options:

  • Dragonfly Expedition L/A 7-8
  • Echo ION 6/7, 7/9, 10/12
  • Sage 2200 Series
  • LOOP Multi Series
  • Galvan Rush Series
  • Galvan Torque Series


You will want to use a good quality full floating line or floating head for this fishery. You will also need a line capable of turning over an indicator set-up. Maintaining a perfect drag free and natural drift is key, and if your floating line is not fully floating, it will cause your indicator and egg to sweep through the run, versus straight down and naturally. There are no sink tips needed.

Single Hand Lines

• Rio Grand
• Rio Indicator
• Rio Outbound
• Scientific Angler GPX
• Airflo 40+
• Wulff Ambush

Switch Heads/Lines

• Rio Skagit MAX Short
• Rio Switch Chucker
• Rio Outbound
• Airflo Skagit Compact
• Wulff Ambush

Spey Heads/Lines

• Rio Skagit MAX
• Airflo Skagit Compact

Terminal Tackle

• Indicators (various sizes suitable to river conditions and size)
• Leader Line (monofilament and Seaguar fluorocarbon)
Troutbead Peggz
• Swivels (size 12-14)
• Micro Split Shot
• Split Shot
• Troutbeads! (size and colour to match what you’re imitating)
• Hooks (octopus or bait style)


1. Run a section of 4-6ft of 15lb monofilament straight from your floating line depending on the type of water you are fishing.
2. Run your indicator on your section of monofilament.
3. Tie on a swivel at the end of your monofilament section.
4. Tie a leader line of Seaguar Fluorocarbon to the other end of your swivel. It should be about 16-24″ depending on the water type you are fishing.
5. Slide your Troutbead on your fluorocarbon leader, and tie on a hook below.
6. Grab a TB Peggz egg peg and peg your Troutbead about 1 – 1.5″ from the hook.
7. Place your split shot on your leader lines accordingly.


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