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Thread: 2008 Pinks

  1. #1

    Default 2008 Pinks

    What gives with pinks showing up in big numbers primarily on even numbered years? I thought that applied to only the Kenai pinks, but just read in the latest issue of Fish Alaska that this is the case in other parts of the state as well. Just curious!
    Jim
    PS----when do they begin to show up on the Kenai in catchable numbers?
    I'd rather be catching reds, but anything on the end of the line is welcome!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It mainly applies to Cook Inlet pinks, though other areas may have slightly larger runs of pinks in even years. Their life cycle is 2 years (the shortest of any pacific salmon), so they're very predictable in this way.

    They'll start showing up in early to mid July, and usually peak around the last week of July or first week of August. The Kenai itself is not the best river to target pinks in. If you specifically want pinks, Hope is hard to beat. Additionally, any of the small streams in Prince William Sound or across Kachemak Bay from Homer will allow to to catch a pink on practically every cast. Casting for them in the salt is fun as well, and they're pretty decent eating fish if caught in the salt.

    You can also find plenty of pinks in Bird Creek and Ingram Creek south of Anchorage, in addition to all of the Parks Highway streams (Willow, etc.) north of Anchorage.

  3. #3
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    humpies show up in august in the kenai I believe.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  4. #4

    Default pinks

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    humpies show up in august in the kenai I believe.
    Yes, figure the peak to be the 2nd to 3rd week of August for pinks.

  5. #5
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Generally, pinks exhibit a strong cycle every-other-year. In some areas it's on the even years, while in other areas it's on an odd year. And, some areas don't exhibit the extreme strong/weak cycle. Why? Go figure. I haven't seen any solid rationale. They just seem to work that way.

  6. #6

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    Thanks guys! I'm not after them specifically, but we did go to Hope last year for a few hours and had a blast! We did keep 6 pinks and I ate them throughout this winter, nothing wrong with them at all. I got a 6 wt. flyrod from Cabela's and I'm thinking that would be great at Hope; I am going to try it for Kenai reds, but I have an 8 wt. for them specifically. I actually had a more difficult time catching pinks in Hope than was anticipated; used the typical coho flies and split shot like in sockeye fishing; is there a better method or more specific tackle to use for pinks? Everyone says they're way easy to catch, but I saw lots of folks fishless at Hope the time we were there.
    Jim
    Last edited by Big Jim; 02-10-2008 at 21:57. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default Mouth

    I used to go toward the mouth at high tide, and just throw spinners or spoons. Those fresh humpies can be pretty agressive. Im sure you could throw on some extra weight with a bright colored fly, and they would be all over it.

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    any fish in shallow, clear water will be tough to entice... find deep water or fish at high tide and cast spinners.

    Oh yea, and as for pinks showing up every other year... this is the theory I got: Their life cycle is exactly 2 years, unlike other salmon that generally have a range (i.e. 2-7 years for kings, etc). Other fish have strict life cycles, but don't show the same odd or even year runs though. A professor at Oregon State U told me that most experts believe it is likely a result of some climactic event that kept them from returning to spawn in one particular year. As a result, no fish spawned one particular year and wiped out that cohort. It happened recently enough that other "straying" pinks from other rivers haven't had a chance to establish a formidable population on odd years as of yet. Supposedly, after thousands and thousands of years there will eventually be a strong run every year. That's the story I was fed anyways.
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  9. #9

    Default Kenai Pinks

    Like other species of fish in the Kenai river, Pinks run very large compared to other water sheds. Ressurection Creek Pinks are small in comparison. Try fishing Cunningham Park in August with #5 Vibrax Spinners. You also have a good chance of catching Reds & Silvers.

  10. #10
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    Generally, pinks exhibit a strong cycle every-other-year. In some areas it's on the even years, while in other areas it's on an odd year. And, some areas don't exhibit the extreme strong/weak cycle. Why? Go figure. I haven't seen any solid rationale. They just seem to work that way.
    Hatcheries...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Hatcheries...
    No, not hatcheries. Resurrection Creek in Hope is not supplemented by hatchery fish. Nor are Montana Creek, Willow Creek, any of the Yetna tributaries, the Kenai River, Ingram Creek, etc. etc. etc. Hatchery augmented runs like those in Prince William Sound do not exhibit the even-year phenomenon. Natural creeks do.

    The scenario painted by markx3 above is plausible, and the one I've most often heard from those educated in such issues.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Oh...I just realized that you might have been saying that hatheries are the reason why some areas don't exhibit the cycle. If so, sorry about the unneeded correction.

  13. #13
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default odd / even years?

    I have fished for pinks in salt and fresh water from Valdez, Mat-su and Kenai. I have never personally seen fishing numbers better on a even vs odd numbered year.

    I have watched for evidence of this phenomenon in my fishing experiences for pinks year to year, have never seen it to be the case.

    Maybe my Jedi mind skills in an unfair advantage (the ability to mentally will a salmon to my offering)? Personally for me its an old wives tale. I am sure someone can produce statistics to prove my theory not logical. Just personally never experienced it, I guess others have.

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    cast a vibrax into a slow hole on the kenai this august, then do it again in 09... you'll see the difference. i don't have the stats in front of me, but pinks literally come into the kenai by the million on even years, and only a few thousand on odd years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JediMasterSalmonSlayer View Post
    I have fished for pinks in salt and fresh water from Valdez, Mat-su and Kenai. I have never personally seen fishing numbers better on a even vs odd numbered year.

    I have watched for evidence of this phenomenon in my fishing experiences for pinks year to year, have never seen it to be the case.

    Maybe my Jedi mind skills in an unfair advantage (the ability to mentally will a salmon to my offering)? Personally for me its an old wives tale. I am sure someone can produce statistics to prove my theory not logical. Just personally never experienced it, I guess others have.

    TSS
    Go to the F&G website and check the stats for the pink runs on the Deshka weir for the last 6 or 7 years. You will see the difference.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    cast a vibrax into a slow hole on the kenai this august, then do it again in 09... you'll see the difference. i don't have the stats in front of me, but pinks literally come into the kenai by the million on even years, and only a few thousand on odd years.
    I have observed what are are saying. It does happen, and it has to due with the life cycle of pinks not living any longer than 18 months.

  17. #17
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    There's a reason I bring my kids to the Kenai every even year. Let's just say they'll be there this summer terrorizing the lower river the first 10 days in August.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    any fish in shallow, clear water will be tough to entice... find deep water or fish at high tide and cast spinners.

    Oh yea, and as for pinks showing up every other year... this is the theory I got: Their life cycle is exactly 2 years, unlike other salmon that generally have a range (i.e. 2-7 years for kings, etc). Other fish have strict life cycles, but don't show the same odd or even year runs though. A professor at Oregon State U told me that most experts believe it is likely a result of some climactic event that kept them from returning to spawn in one particular year. As a result, no fish spawned one particular year and wiped out that cohort. It happened recently enough that other "straying" pinks from other rivers haven't had a chance to establish a formidable population on odd years as of yet. Supposedly, after thousands and thousands of years there will eventually be a strong run every year. That's the story I was fed anyways.
    Interesting story but pinks in lake superior do the same thing so it would have to be a climatic event that affected Michigan and the great lakes as well. Neat trick since pinks were originally stockers in that neck of the woods.
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