For The Love Of Pinks

Considered a complete nuisance by most, and something akin to rotting garbage by others, (which pretty much becomes true with time), pinks are at the bottom of the salmon totem pole. In some places they are considered worthy of targeting, but anywhere where there are more majestic fish, such as steelhead, they are a scourge.

As someone who spends most of the year chasing trout, where I am lucky when a fish tops the scale at more than a couple of pounds, I have a different perspective. What trout lack in size they often make up for in numbers. Sure I get skunked my fair share, but most often catching a few is fairly reliable and when the conditions are right, then you can really pad the score. With steelhead it’s different.

Days go by without as much as a peck. Doubt begins to creep in. Are there any fish in the river? Should I change flies? Is my swing too fast…too slow? Why does my rain coat leak? The list goes on and on. That’s when the pinks can save you. When a 4-8 pound fish as bright as a dime decides to grab your fly and confirms that there is indeed life in the river it’s a welcome moment for me. There aren’t many fish like that in Wyoming.

4 Comments on “For The Love Of Pinks

  1. The snobbery there seems to be in some circles around salmon/trout fishing mystifies me. I can’t catch trout to save my life, it seems. Any salmon-like fish on my line makes my heart race. And my stomach growl. Maybe that’s just me being a Midwesterner who doesn’t know any better. Majestic nothing, I enjoy catching lowly channel catfish. If it fights, I like it.

  2. I’m in your camp here, Steve. Fresh, bright pinks just in from the salt are one of my favorite salmon. They’re the perfect size, they fight hard, and in certain situations they require a fair amount of skill and/or luck to catch. What’s not to like?

    Oh, and if my choice for a day on the Dean is one steelhead or one steelhead and ten pinks, I’ll take the pinks every time. It’s all about the grab …

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