Pink Salmon

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

Pink SalmonPink Salmon

Pink salmon, or Humpies as they are often called, occur in the in the Northwest during odd numbered years, i.e. 2001,2003,2005 and appear in Alaskan waters during even numbered years.; There are some populations of Pink salmon which occur every year on Vancouver Island, B.C..; These fish are great sport on fly rods and are readily caught using brightly colored flies in both fresh and salt water.

Life Cycle

Pink Salmon are the smallest of the Pacific Salmon species.; The reason for their small size is due to their relatively short life span.; These salmon only live for two years.; Pink Salmon begin congregating in the estuaries early July to mid-August.; They prefer to spawn close to saltwater.; Pink fry emerge in the spring and, like Chum salmon, immediately migrate to the estuaries where they spend a few months prior to migrating to the open ocean.;

Run Timing

As mentioned above, Pink salmon occur in Washington state during odd numbered years.; During some years, there have been documented pink salmon arriving in some Washington river systems during even years.; In Alaska, the opposite is true and Pink Salmon occur during even years.;

Some populations of Pink salmon begin to congregate in the estuaries in early July while others may wait until early to mid-August.; Like Chum salmon, these fish begin to deteriorate fairly quickly and are best targeted in the estuaries or low in their natal streams.

Approach

These fish are very aggressive towards the fly and appear in large numbers.; Even though they are small in comparison to other species of salmon, they put up such a great fight that they are best caught on 7 weight rods.; It is often possible to find a school of Pinks holding in or near tide water where they can then be targeted with bright colored flies.;

Washington State Fresh Water Record

14.86 lbs., Alex Minerich, Skykomish River, 9/30/2001

Washington State Salt Water Record

11.56 lbs., Jeff Bergman, Possesion Point, 8/25/2001

Copyright © 2001 The Northwest Fly Fisherman