Pinks for Pinks – Island Fisherman Magazine
Pinks for Pinks

Pinks for Pinks


There is an old adage that puts fly fishers and gear chuckers in good stead when chasing pink salmon: “pink for pinks.” I have fished pink salmon with flies for years, and year-in and year- out pink flies outperform other colours most of the time. Standard high-producing flies, such as the Pink Handlebar and Cathy’s Coat, are likely the main ammunition for most fly fishers. But I was once badly out-fished by a fellow, so much so that I asked him what he was using. He said pink. I was astounded, since I had been working the fish over with a handlebar all morning, and although I had some success, he was out-fishing me at least three to one. But then he came over and handed me two of his flies. I’d never seen the pattern before and was impressed with its simplicity. I went back to camp that evening and tied up a few for my wife and I to use the next day. To make a long story short, our production increased, especially when the bite turned off for others. Here is the pattern I call the Pink Fluffy—very basic and very effective. I think it’s the marabou that increases its attractiveness, but to be sure you’ll have to ask the fish.

Pink Fluffy

The Pink Fluffy

Hook: Mustad 34007 #6
Thread: Fluorescent pink 3/0 monocord Tail: Fluorescent pink marabou, 3⁄4 shank length
Body: Fluorescent pink 3/0 monocord wrapped to form a football shaped body

 

Tying Instructions

  1. Wrap on tying thread at the eye of the hook. Wind back to near the head.
  2. Secure the marabou in place, and then wrap the thread down to the butt to secure the marabou.
  3. Wrap the thread back and forth with more wraps in the centre until you build up a football shape.
  4. Wind to the head, whip finish the head, and cement.

Sometimes the pinks will turn off the small, compact flies like the handlebar. When this happens, I’ll switch to something bulkier to entice them with bigger bites. I was reminded of the Cathy’s Coat for this purpose, but I wanted to get away from the vivid plastic appearance of Lazerwrap and Edgebrite. So, I invented the Pink Vayda, named after my first granddaughter. The fly worked very well. Give it a try.

Pink Vayda

The Pink Vayda

Hook: Mustad 34011 #6 Thread: Chartreuse 3/0 monocord
Tail: Pink bucktail with 4-6 strands of pink Crystal flash Body: Pink Diamond Braid
Wing: Pink bucktail with 4-6 strands of pink Crystal flash

 

Tying Instructions

  1. Wrap on tying thread at the eye of the hook. Wind down to the butt.
  2. Secure the tail and then add the Crystal Flash, then tie in the Diamond Braid, then wrap the thread back to the head of the fly.
  3. Wrap the Diamond Braid forward, making an even body, and tie off.
  4. Tie in a clump of bucktail over the back and top it with 4 to 6 strands of Crystal Flash. Trim the excess.
  5. Whip finish the head and cement.

Once in awhile the fish will be taking pink flies, but not steadily. I designed a fly with a variation of colour in the body that seems to get a more consistent reaction when other anglers are just sort of doing OK. This fly has outperformed the rest at those times. I named it after my wife, since she was with me when I designed it. She likes to use it, and she does very well with it.

Purple Susan

The Purple Susan

Hook: Mustad 34011 #6
Thread: Black 3/0 monocord
Tail: Pink bucktail
Body: Wine or purple small chenille Rib: Flat silver tinsel
Wing: Pink bucktail

 

Tying Instructions

  1. Wrap on tying thread at the eye of the hook. Wind down to the butt.
  2. Secure the tail, making it about the same length as the hook shank. Wrap it down with the thread. Wind the thread back to the bend of the hook.
  3. Tie in the tinsel and then the chenille, then wrap the thread back to the head of the fly.
  4. Wrap the tinsel forward to form the body and tie it off.
  5. Wrap the tinsel forward forming an even rib and tie it off.
  6. Tie in a clump of bucktail as an overwing, making it same length as the tail. Trim the excess from the head.
  7. Whip finish the head and cement.


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