Active Member
Well some of you have been waiting for 2 years…
The Humpies are here. It’s been a little weird this year. They started earlier than usual, which seemed to get everyone’s hopes up. Unfortunately they trickled by in spurts and starts until recently. They may not be in huge numbers everywhere but you can find them in most of the usual spots now. Here are a few tips for those of you new to the beach fishing game or those of you struggling still.
1 Fly selection: Bright flies are almost always more productive (particularly anywhere near the Puyallup outflow). Pink is obviously number 1 but don’t be afraid to throw Pink/Chartreuse or even all chartreuse. If the fish are being picky, think smaller.
2. Fly lines: Intermediate lines work better day in and day out. Even when you see fish jumping or finning on the surface, the bulk of the fish are almost always 3’-10’ deeper.
3 Depth: See tip #2. Let your line/fly sink. You almost always catch more fish when you do.
4. Retrieve: Slow it down. We use a slower retrieve for Pinks than any other local saltwater fish. Slower than Cutthroat and much slower than Silvers. These fish are not as aggressive, plus the slower retrieve keeps your fly in the strike zone longer (see tip #3).
5. Rod selection: 5-8 weight rods, with 6’s or 7’s being the preferred compromise. Lighter rods can be fun to fight fish on, but Humpies are ‘bulldog’ fighters and having more backbone can help you land them quicker. Also, you are distance casting for hours. A six or seven allows you to cast farther than a 5 weight, but is still light enough to not tire you out.
6. Use your local shop: We get at least 10 fishing reports per day. For that reason, we usually know where the fish were last night, this morning and sometimes 15 minutes ago.
Good Luck,

Tacoma Red

Active Member
Yeah número 6. Peninsula Outfitters for me but I really like spending time in any fly shop, as well as a used book store (zipping straight to the fly fishing books). Thanks Anil for sharing your wisdom.


Active Member
Thanks Anil. Great info for a first timer on pinks like myself. Sounds very similar to the stillwater steelhead fishing I've been doing lately a in a Columbia river trib mouth. Type I intermediate line, small flies, and sloooow retrieve.


Topwater and tying.
Caught 2 in a row the other day on the swing from the boat. Floater with a six foot leader and weighted fly. Both times it was just a little after the line snugged up and started its swing toward the back of the boat. Also both times it was while I was daydreaming and not really paying attention :rolleyes:.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Hooked a nice one yesterday, but lost it at my feet as my friend landed his! Probably about 6 lbs. We hooked up about the same time so had a double on.. Fish were jumping, but still not in numbers near the beach we were at. Overall the five of us were probably 4 for 8 and watched a couple of the boats slaying them!
Thanks Anil! I threw out the outbound short yesterday with the new strip basket. Didn't hook up but could definitely cast much further. I've been stripping pretty fast so I will try slowing it down. Thanks again!