Like it or not, no Alaska fly box is complete without a selection of egg patterns. Rainbow trout throughout Western Alaska rely heavily on salmon eggs throughout the back half of our season and those who choose not to imitate this natural occurrence are ignoring one of the most important food sources for Alaskan trout of the entire year.
When fishing for trout, in order to imitate these eggs, we prefer to fish beads (pegged onto a leader approx. 1-2 inches above a hook) as opposed to the glo-bug style egg ‘flies’ of old. Not only do we find them to better imitate a real salmon egg, but we also find beads to result in safer (and more effective) hook sets as well, which is an all around win as far as we’re concerned.
To rig beads, the majority of our guides at Alaska West have been reaching for rubber pegs due to their ease of rigging (and re-rigging) without any damage to the leader. They work really well, and we highly recommend them, but one thing we’ve found is that some anglers have a tendency to rig them incorrectly, such that the peg hangs out each side of the bead (see photo below).
This occurs from fixing the bead in place before trimming the excess with nippers or pliers both below and above the bead. Most nippers aren’t able to trim the peg flush against the bead, leaving a nub of peg hanging out each end. Sure, there’s a good chance that the bead shown above will fool a trout here and there, but if imitating the natural is your intention, its far from ideal.
Instead, try this little trick. Trim the thick end of the peg first and pull the peg through the bead until it is flush against the bottom hole of the bead as shown below.
Then, trim the top of the peg with your nippers. That will leave you with less peg exposed and ready for the largest and most discerning trout in the run.