Grayling fishing tips for this season.
As Autumn starts to feel more like winter and the clocks have gone back it’s even easier to think about a bit of a lie in at the weekend! However you would be missing out on some of the best fishing of the year. For us fly anglers it’s a chance to keep practicing our craft through out the winter whilst giving the Trout the break they deserve and a chance to spawn in peace.
Finding the fish
It will generally be well known whether a water holds a good head of Grayling so your best bet is to ask around to find a Grayling water this winter. The river Decent holds a good head of fish and with the decline of polluting industry some rivers more famous for all the wrong reasons now hold a surprising number of fish. A good example of this is the river Don flowing through Sheffield. A friend of ours recently landed over 40 fishing from one of the Urban sections of this river once described as nothing more than an open sewer!
This really is testament to how some of our rivers have cleaned up their act as Grayling are notorious about only thriving in clean water.
Grayling show a preference for cold, clean and well oxygenated water with lots of dark pools where they can lie. The ideal place is fast shallow streams and rivers with intermittent pools where highly oxygenated water flows.
Unlike the Trout, Grayling spawn with the coarse fish in the Summer months so just about now is when they will have regained their condition to become a fine, handsome, sporting quarry. The great thing about Grayling is they are very much a shoal fish so if you find one then the likely hood is that there will be more waiting to take your fly. They also tend to be slightly less spooky than Trout so the odd splashy cast is less likely to kill the pool than it will when fishing for Trout in the Summer months.
David’s top five Autumn Grayling Flies:
- Sawyers Killer Bug
- Klinkhammer (matched to whatever colour the hatch is)
- Gold Ribs Hares Ear
- Red Tag
- Snipe & Purple
Note: It’s only worth trying a dry fly for Grayling if you can see them rising. You are unlikely to tempt them to the surface when they are not in the mood! Also try fishing a team of 2 or 3 wet flies this way you can search the pools better and find how the fish are feeding.
More information on Grayling fishing can be found at the Grayling Society Website.
That’s all for know. Have fun and hopefully see you soon.
Match The Hatch! - our weekly hatch report will help.