2015 Pink Salmon Season Ends and Fall Begins

 Posted by on September 25, 2015 at 10:37 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Sep 252015
 
Male pink salmon with growing hump

Male pink salmon with growing hump

 

The end of the 2015 pink salmon run in Puget Sound is a harbinger of fall and the return of the rains. In most Septembers, I’m not quite ready to give up the sun and warmth of the typical Northwest summer. But, after the drought and extreme low water flows in the rivers this summer, I’m welcoming the needed replenishment of our local waters.

Pink salmon taken on the fly on the Green River

Pink salmon taken on the fly on the Green River

I know that the pink salmon season is almost over when many of the bucks I catch have started growing humps in anticipation of spawning. Days to weeks later, they die so future generations can live. Hopefully, the recent rains came in time so that these fish have not died in vain.

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Pink Salmon Fever Returns to Puget Sound, 2015

 Posted by on September 16, 2015 at 9:39 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Sep 162015
 
Line of fishermen at Lincoln Park, West Seattle

Line of pink salmon fishermen at Lincoln Park, West Seattle

Pink salmon fever had been epidemic in the Puget Sound for a few weeks now and it shows little signs of dissipating anytime soon. Tackle shops have seen a big run on pink lures and flies, parking lots next to fishing holes have been jammed with cars, and fishermen have no immunity to salmon fever.

Pink salmon, having spent two years out in the ocean, return to Washington waters every other odd year to spawn and die. On their journey to create new generations, they must pass a gauntlet of hazards, including hungry sea lions, walls of eager fishermen, and low river flows due to this year’s drought.

Male pink salmon just starting to grow a hump

Male pink salmon just starting to grow a hump

Although I have witnessed many pink salmon runs, I am amazed and in awe every time I see them running up the rivers with every ounce of remaining strength as their dying bodies morph into reproductive machines. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have such a pure and simple goal in life!

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End of the Pink Salmon Run on the Skykomish River

 Posted by on September 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Sep 262013
 
Pink salmon dying in the Skykomish River

Pink salmon dying in the Skykomish River

It was a beautiful sunny day today, so I went to check out a new fishing hole on the Skykomish River near Monroe WA. As I suspected, the pink salmon run is over in this river and most waters in Puget Sound. Overall, the 2013 pink salmon run has been usually slow and disappointing.

There were lots of fish in the Skykomish today but they were all spawning or decomposing at the completion of their life cycle. It was sad to see them clinging to life and gasping their last breaths. Spawning pinks, like the recent chilly Seattle evenings, are a harbinger of autumn and the impending wet season in the Northwest.

 

 

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Pink Salmon Fishing on the Stillaguamish River

 Posted by on September 13, 2013 at 8:26 am  Outdoors  1 Response »
Sep 132013
 
Pink salmon from the Stillaguamish River

Pink salmon from the Stillaguamish River

 

 

After a couple of unsuccessful outings for pink salmon, I decided to  fish the Stillaguamish River with a friend yesterday. It was a sunny, warm day and I was optimistic about our chances since recent fishing reports were positive. When we arrived at our fishing location, however, our optimism quickly turned south as none of the approximately 20 fishermen  had a hookup.

Within the first 15 minutes, however, I landed my first pink salmon of the year on a pink comet fly. The second fish was just as bright and fiesty as the first.  My friend later reported that they were great table fare.

It has been a strange year for the pink salmon run in the Puget Sound. Normally, the run is robust and pinks are plentiful and willing to bite in both salt and fresh water. Not so this year. Many of my fishing friends have been disappointed in the 2013 run so far. When the fish are around, they have not been as active as in past runs. It’s anyone’s guess why this is.

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