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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey can anybody give me some "rules of engagement" for casting to pink salmon on the Snohomish. Last year I hooked into more of these humpies than I could count but I was ignorant of how to go after them...

I found them "porposing" in a shallow run ( 3 ft of water) I dead drifted pink marabou flies with good success, but unfortunately, I foul hooked a good number of them. How do I prevent that? How do I avoid fishing directly over spawning redds? I released all of these scrappy fighters. Also found some dolly/bulltrout following the salmon.

Will pinks rise to a dry fly? Please clue me in

-Piscean:dunno
 

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I've been tying most of my maribou's with bead chain eyes lately...

They ride nicely upside down and will foul hook less that way.

When i'm fishing for steelhead or salmon, i sharpen my hook lots. With the humpies, i let it dull a bit and don't sharpen it so much.

You should be able to feel a few of them, when you feel the line riding up on their backs, let a little slack by mending upstream so there is less tension.

You should of titled this thread, "How to hook less fish"...what a concept, huh!

Less than 2 months away....tons of fun!
 

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Piscatorial predilection
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First of all, don't target them in slack water, you'll foul hook'em a lot if you do, same with chum.
Stay in the faster curent and work the seams, right where the fast and slower currents meet.
The fish you'll find there will be brighter and fresher which means that they will be the kind you want.
Don't be setting the hook every time you feel something at the end of your line, wait till you actually feel the fish take the fly.
And if you want to target the dollies/bulltrout and the SRC's and white fish that lay in behind these salmon then use small hooks and "egg flys" they will hit those with abandon once the salmon start spawning.

LB
 

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Pinks & coho should be in the Sound by mid August. Lower rivers shortly after. Good numbers up in the rivers September. Believe me, by mid October you'll be asking "When do these pinks STOP spawning!!??" The massive numbers make SRC and steelhead fishing tough.
 

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Les Johnson
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Don't wait for pinks to hit the rivers before you go after them. Pinks will be running very close to shore along the west side of Whidbey Island (one of many good spots in the salt) with easy access from Bush Point to Lagoon Point. These will be chrome bright fish, some of which are still actively feeding.
Go with small flies, 6-10 such as comets tied with Flashabou. Euphausids in the same size also trigger strikes. Use pink or cerise. These will be very edible salmon either smoked or on the barbie.
When they've cleared the salt pinks will usually be worth keeping while they are still in the lower reaches of our rivers.
Les Johnson
 

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Les Johnson! I assume you are the same Les Johnson that wrote the book on Sea Run Cuts. What a great pleasure to have you join the forum. I had the opportunity to run into you on the Stilly, and by coincidence I had just purchased your book. You were very helpful and you gave me two of your reverse spiders. I still have them as templates and I have tied up many of them. I will look forward to seeing your comments on the Forum.
 

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Holy cow! Les Johnson, the God of fly fishing puget sound? I have most of your books and have learned a great deal from them. Maybe some day we'll meet on the water. You wont be able to miss me. I'm the only guy out there with a 12' 6wt Sage spey rod tossing Leland's popper.

Matt

"Everyday that you wake up and decide not to go fishing...is one less day you'll go fishing." Forrest Maxwell
 

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Searun/Les -

I'm going out to fish the West Side of Whidbey on Monday (7/7). I've never done very well there this early in the summer on the salt for pinks. Usually I seem to have more success about the middle/end of July and on into August. Just wondering in your experience how early you have seen the first pinks straggle in to the west side of Whidbey. (I'm going to go anyway but was just curious what you've seen). Thanks in advance - Tom.
 

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I have not fished for pinks or SRC in the salt before. I have been voraciously reading all the threads on this topic and am anxious to get out an try it. We will be camping on the Northern end of Whidbey in mid August and it sounds like that would be a good time for a first trip. Are there any spots that someone can suggest and does the time of day make any difference or is fishing more driven by tide. Also how far out do you need to cast.

:dunno

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Wazoo

:beer2
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Early september I found them in the lower Snohomish. It was an even year so the run was "puny" compared to an odd year...But there were plenty in there to cast to...

Most of my Humpy flies are upside down dumbell eye patterns...But the tip about dull hooks and being slow to set the hook are helpful. I found a current seam and as mentioned that is where the takers were swimming...

Thanks for the on topic responses...as for the salt digressions that another thread folks....

-Piscean
 

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Wazoo,

searun gave good advice above when he said Lagoon Pt. to Bush Pt. for access.

But if you are on the northern part I assume you will be close to Deception pass. You may not have to go far to find fish at that time right where you are camping. Maybe even Cranberry Lake Beach and Deception Pass St. Park beach areas. A lot of fish go in through Deception Pass heading up the Skagit. You will also find fish mixing in that area going to the nothern rivers. Anywhere you can get to the beach should be good.

Here is a good tip for the north. Find Troxell Rd. on your map, go east and access Skagit Bay looking at Hope Island from Jones Road. Very nice spot inside Skagit Bay.

I think a few should be going thru that early but the outside of Whidbey is probably where you should be at that time.


Mark
 

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Les Johnson
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This bulletin board is loaded with good information and nice people. It is on a par with Dan Blanton's Bulletin Board and that is a compliment.
Pinks usually arrive in mid to late July along Whidbey's west side as I recall with some slipping through Deception Pass at about the same time. Small flies are the answer in the salt...and sparsely tied. They will hit both wet flies and surface rattlers like Miyawaki's Beach Popper.
If you have a decent boat famous Humpy Hollow south of Edmonds is a good spot. It can be a festival of boats but you can find room to cast a fly and at times you see small schools of pinks swimming just under the surface.
In fresh water I've never found the need to go deep with heavily weight flies. It snags far too many fish. My wife Carol and I have fished pinks at Blue Stilly Park using floating lines with clear, intermediate sinking tips and have taken a good many pinks -- fairly hooked in the jaw. Our flies are not very far under the surface and we experience virtually no foul-hooked fish.
I think that working some kind of dry fly that kicks up a bit of a wake is well worth trying, particularly if you can get it over a school of fish that haven't been pounded too badly with heavy gear or lead-loaded flies.

Les Johnson
 

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Thanks for the information on the timing of pinks along West Whidbey. That's pretty much been my experience there as well. I'll give a report back on Tuesday about how it went......unless I hear a good report from the Hansville area between now and then in which case I'll have to make a minor adjustment in locations!
 

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Thanks for the tips Searun. If the pinks are as thick at humpy hollow this year as they were to years ago, I'm going to have to kill the motor, and switch from white flashers and pink hootchies to my fly rod. Let the kids cast spoons and see what happens. Before I had my flyrod, I've fished the mouth of the stilly down by warm beach, but couldn't get any to bite pink jigs / buzz bombs.
 
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