Is pink the best fly color? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it’s up there as one of the most productive colors for many fly fishing species. Pink flies are mostly associated with pacific salmon around Alaska, but the color works great for tons of other species too!
Not only is pink a productive color, it’s also fun to tie with. Standard shades of pink can be found in most tying materials. Like all tying enthusiasts will tell you, you’ll also need materials in hot pink, shell pink and cerise too!
What Fish like Pink Flies?
Seriously, pink works great. Trout anglers use pink on parachute dry fly patterns (like parachute Adams) for its high visibility. Pink San Juan worms and mop flies are in every angler’s box. Saltwater species like wahoo and tuna crush pink and white Clouser Minnows. Triggerfish love pink crabs and shrimp patterns. Striped Marlin and sailfish guides almost exclusively use pink in their flies!
Top 10 Pink Flies
Pink Alphexlo Crab
Triggerfish, Permit and Bonefish can be picky eaters. Sometimes they just need to see something different to get them to feed. That’s where this deadly pattern comes in handy. The Aphlexo Crab is deadly in pink and deserves a slot in any box. Remember, fish don’t have hands so sometimes grabbing ‘unusual’ things with their mouths is how they do their inspections.
Pink Crazy Charlie
The Crazy Charlie needs very little introduction. Originally tied in the Bahamas by the late, great Charlie Smith, this pattern is a staple for bonefish. Tied in pink, this color resembles a spawning shrimp on the flats and is used across the world. It stands out great on turtle grass and white sand flats, making bones race towards it!
Pink Clouser Minnow
Clousers are one of the most versatile flies in existence. They’ve caught everything from Arctic Grayling to the mighty Tarpoon. Clousers tied with pink or cerise are particularly effective for salmon in Alaska. In fact, a pink clouser might just be the ultimate fly for silver salmon.
Pink Sigler Billfish Tube Fly (tandem hook)
Fly fishing for Marlin and Sailfish requires heavy tackle and big flies. Cam Sigler has famously produced his legacy Billfish Tube Fly for the pelagic anglers of the world. Marlin flies are often tied in pink, and range between 8″ to 12″ in length! Billfish aren’t too picky when it comes to eating flies. The important things are that the fly is large and easy to see.
Pink Starlite Leech
In Alaska, there’s no pattern with as much clout as the starlite leech. It works for trout, arctic grayling and every species of salmon. With the large dumbbell eyes, the fly jigs beautifully as it’s stripped in. Every color variation of the starlite leech works great, but the pink variation is the number one seller for a reason!
Pink San Juan Worm
The San Jaun Worm is often considered a dirty pattern because of its effectiveness. Tied in pink, it imitates an annelid (aquatic worm) and trout everywhere will eat it! The pattern is particularly effective when tied with a tungsten bead to help it sink to the bottom – where the worms live. Try this pink fly in dirty or high water conditions and you will not regret it.
Muskie Flies Pink
Fly fishing for muskie is not an easy task. The anglers that preserve often attribute their success to their exceptionally tied flies. Flies that are multi-colored and bright seem to get the best results. So it’s no surprise that pink flies are some of the most productive for muskie! White and pink or chartreuse and pink are favorite combos.
Alpine lakes across the western United States are often inhabited by freshwater shrimp, also known as a scuds. Scuds are usually olive or gray, but orange and pink scud patterns fish exceptionally well.