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GF Pin-Ki

The Pin-Ki (Pink Killer)

The pattern for migrating rainbows!

There are some patterns who are definitely better than others. The Pin-Ki is one of them. No other fly pattern has caught more migrating rainbows in the Alpine Rhiver Rine System than the Pin-Ki. Meanwhile it can be found in US literature on top fly patterns Pin-Ki.

A unique Pattern

There was a lot of talk about this pattern. I developed the Pin-Ki in 1990 for fishing for large rainbow trout migrating from Lake Constance into some of the tributaries at the start of the fishing season. The special colour combination of the Pin-Ki makes the trout go crazy. Within a time of eight years it was only given to special friends, but was not published. It was not till 1998 that this pattern was made known. Meanwhile the Pin-i is found in many fly boxes of fly fishers around the world and the fly was published in Beet magazine in the nineties. article of Pin-Ki in Beet

The Pin-Ki is fishing absolutely excellent for rainbow trout (especially migrating ones for which it was developed) and occasionally grayling in fast flowing alpine rivers in Europe and the Steelhead pattern has become an insider pattern in B.C. and Alaska for steelhead as well as for other pacific salmon species. The Pin-Ki is known for having not only caught numberous fish, but also really large ones. Sometimes it still catches fish when all other patterns are not worth a try.

It is a UV-pattern and I have been experimenting with UV colours for more than 25 years. The colour for the Pin-Ki is unique and only one certain pink is better than any others. The interesting fact about this is that you do not recognize any difference of some pink chenilles at all unless you use an UV lamp. I explain this in my book on nymph fishing and that is the reason I always take an UV lamp with me when buying fly tying material.


Pin-Ki for rainbow trout


Hook: TMC 100 or similar or Dohiku Jig(see picture) size 6-16
Head: silver or golden bead head,
Body: Orvis or Umpqua fluorescent pink or fluorescent orange chenille(medium/fine)
Hackle: white, brown or grizzly saddle hackle palmered and saved with a loop or silver wire(counterclockwise)
Tag: Pearly (slightly pinkish), Crystal Flash or Flashabou (irisee)


Pink-Ki for Steelhead


Hook: TMC 700 or similar, size size 2-6
Head: cone head, silver or golden bead head or without weighted head
Body: Orvis or Umpqua fluorescent pink or fluorescent orange chenille(medium)
Hackle: white, brown or grizzly saddle hackle palmered and saved with a loop or silver wire(counterclockwise)
Tag:  Pearly(slightly pinkish), Crystal Flash or Flashabou (irisée)

When to fish the Pin-Ki

The Pin-Ki fishes best, when the light conditions are not the best or when the sun goes down. From one minute to the next it may start to catch fish like hell because the material is UV active. At that time the UV rays get deep down into the water and the trout can locate the pattern when all the other patterns are hard to locate for the eyes of the fish. Because of the fact that fish can see the UV waves of the UV-active material even under bad light conditions this pattern is fishing extremely well at that time. You can also fish it when the sky is coverd with heavy clouds or when the water is some sort of coloured.  If you fish the pattern under the wrong conditions(e.g. full sunlight) it will not catch any fish at all.

Because it is tied in an "aggressive color" the trout like this pattern best before and after spawning. I usually don't fish it during the rest of the year except in coloured water. Before you fish this pattern, please always think of one thing:

It is sometimes really difficult to catch fish, but it is always very easy to kill them.

Please limit your kill or release them!

Of course the Pin-Ki fishes best in waters supplying not that much food, but you will get fish in completely different situations as well. Sometimes it is perhaps because the trout have just never seen such a nymph before.

Pin-Ki saltwater variant
Pin-Ki saltwater variant

A Pin-Ki Story

I once fished Slough Creek in Yellowstone Park with Bas Verschoor in 1995. It was a wonderful warm and sunny day. After having caught a few nice fish with small flashback pheasant tails, suddenly a huge cutthroat was catching my interest. It was a 5-6 pound fish laying in a 6 ft deep, slow turning pocket water, having been seen by hundreds of fisherman during that season and quite a lot of them had fished for it on this particular day. This fish didn't even move after having seen me. It seemed to be really self assured. Bas told me, that he had already tried to get a take with some of his specials, but, as all the others, he wasn't successful. I thought I might have perhaps got a tastier pattern with me and gave it a try, too. I tried several nymphs always with the same result - no reaction- after half an hour I thought to have seen the trout glimpsing with her eye every single time my fly passed her in order to tell me: "Forget it, greenhorn!"

Suddenly I had the idea to tie on a Pin-Ki on and told it to Bas. Up to that moment he was fishing very concentrated, but one of a sudden he started to laugh. "You are not in Austria", he said, "we are fishing for some of the best taught fish in the States, having seen thousands of different patterns in their lives". No chance for Bas to blow up my idea. I tied on my Pin-Ki, made one false cast and the nymph was sinking to the ground about one feet in front of the trout. A short pull and what happend next was unbelievable. This obviously "sleeping" fish started one of the fastest attacks I have ever seen. It was so quick and unexpected that I really stroke far too hard especially with a fish of this size and a 6x tippet! The line broke, the huge fish swam slowly into the current, shook its head and gave my Pin-Ki back to the wonderful water of Slough Creek in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming.


good Pin-Ki trout

Copyright © Günter Feuerstein