Pinks and Humpies are two different fish. The first are petite little salmon that are loads of fun on light tackle. They are graceful and aggressive and are a hard fighting smaller version of all the macho big fish stuff that is so prevalent in Alaska. Break out the five weight with out risking the big “break”!
Then they Mr. Hyde on us. Their once nickel bright streamlined bodies change into something not from this world. They become flat as a pancake and a horrific hump of fat forms on the males. Their jaws arch into grisly death masks strewn with long, razor sharp teeth, that seem to jump out and draw blood from even the most experienced hand. Their once shiny exterior is now a mottled white, green, purple and brown and more closely resemble a bad meat loaf than a salmon. These dragon fish really do look mean and when they use their flat bodies against you in the current, they battle!
For reasons God only knows (some say it is because they have a more advanced brain than other salmon…really) pinks return to rivers in Western Alaska in great numbers on even-numbered years (in a calculated effort at protecting the species from extinction due to an in-river cataclysm).
So whether you call ’em pinks, stinks, or humpies from hell, they are a cool little salmon. They offer a fun break to the muscle straining action and they make for great shore lunch fare as well.
Fly Tackle for Pink Salmon
6 to 7 weight fly rods work best.
To match rod, with light to medium drag system.
Floating lines are most commonly used. In some situations, slow sinking 5 to 13 foot tips may be used.
6 to 10 pound monofilament.