Our Man In Canada
February 25th, 2002

Pinks and Sockeye Above Tidewater

By Robert H. Jones
From Fly Fishing Canada, Published by Johnson Borman Publishers


Both Pink and Sockeye salmon are fair game above the high-tide mark in some river, but one must always check the freshwater regulations to make sure. Oddly enough, salmon running long distances upstream are often in better physical condition than those entering short coastal river. Sockeye over 200 miles (320 km) from salt water in the Fraser River may be mint bright, while those only 2 miles (3.2 km) upstream on A Vancouver Island stream might already show signs of spawning colors.

Both pink and sockeye are school fish, so find one and you find many. It is usually just a matter of searching the pools and tail-outs for signs of movement - polarized glass are de rigueur - but caution is advised as they are easily spooked by looming shapes, clattering rocks and sloppy casts.

They are seldom big fish, so an 8-weight that is suitable for large rivers might be considered overkill on smaller streams. Be warned, however that the similarity in general size and appearance parts dramatically when a fish is hooked. Pinks will put up a grand battle on light tackle, but sockeye are somewhat faster, stronger and have more stamina.

Fly Fishing Canada

In shallow flows, stick with a floating line and weighted flies, adjusting the leader length to suit the average water depth. This reduces the number of hang-ups, provides better line control, and skittish salmon seem less imtimidated by a line floating on the surface compared to one drifting through their midst.

Simple fly patterns incorporating marabou or combed acrylic in pink, red, chartreuse, blue, green or mauve are good prospects. Others are Glennie's Pink 'n' Silver, Polar Shrimp, and Pink Frammus in No. 8 - 2, depending on water clarity. ~ Robert H. Jones

Seared Pink Salmon Steaks with Tomato Salsa
A perfect summer dish
(Makes four servings)

4 - pink salmon steaks

olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

SALSA

3 - tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

1/2 cup - red onion, diced - 125 mL

2 tbsp - cilantro, chopped - 30 mL

1 tbsp - balsamic vinegar - 15 mL

2 tbsp - olive oil - 30 mL

Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Mix salsa ingredients and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes for flavors to develop. (Fresh pineapple or other acidic fruit may be substituted for the tomatoes.)

    2. Sear salmon steaks in a hot skillet until golden brown. Trun down heat and cook through. Serve steaks on a bed of salsa or mound salsa or mound salsa on top of the salmon. ~ Wayne Phillips

Credits: From Fly Fishing Canada, From Coast to Coast to Coast, By Outdoor Writers of Canada, Published by Johnson Gorman Publishers. We appreciate use permission!

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