Once considered a pest the European grayling Thymallus thymallus is currently enjoying favour amongst fly fishers, especially those who seek to extend their season. Remaining active throughout the colder months, can provide us with memorable sport even in the depths of winter.
Once considered a pest the European grayling Thymallus thymallus is currently enjoying favour amongst fly fishers, especially those who seek to extend their season. Remaining active throughout the colder months, grayling can provide us with memorable sport even in the depths of winter.
If blessed with kind weather then flurries of Large Dark Olives or small Stoneflies should keep grayling looking up during November. Now, slender CdC dressings or parachute patterns will score. As for those preferring wet flies, look no further than a brace of waterhen bloas and perhaps an orange partridge, or snipe & purple.
However, when faced with extreme cold, or high water, their movements are often restricted to only handful of key places. For example; the inside bend of a river offers perfect protection from a raging flood. Equally, a streambed depression/hole provides sanctuary in either a spate or freezing conditions. With this and the fact that insect hatches generally ebb away during colder months, grayling initially seek food close to the streambed, weighted nymphs are likely to be our saviour. Such heavy bugs are best presented using rods of 10 feet and even longer, as these afford superior line control over the business end of things.
Fairly widespread, grayling can now be found in many UK river systems. However, those worth trying north of the border include the Earn Annan, Tweed and Teviot. Those lucky enough to spend a day on the southern chalkstreams will often find grayling in a receptive mood as more stable water temperature promote longer feeding periods for this graceful fish.
You can now book your next days grayling fishing on the FishPal website.
Tweed grayling courses can be found here
Annan grayling days in 2015 can be found here
Thank you to Fin Wilson, Martin Stewart and Mike Allen for the photographs attached and Paul Procter for his grayling feature,