Grayling are far from difficult to catch, in fact, when you get it ‘right’, they can be pretty aggressive in their feeding habits and large numbers are often recorded. But, do you feel as if you put a lot of effort into catching grayling for very little reward? Here’s a quick guide on how to catch more grayling this winter.
1. Presentation; dead drift your flies.
Grayling prefer a fly to be presented as natural as possible and dead drifting your flies is essential. If a fly is moving faster than the actually current, be it on top of the water or beneath, it’s unnatural. Keep your flies moving at the same pace as the current by casting upstream and imparting mends into your line where possible. Keeping your rod high and holding any slack line off the top will lessen the chance of drag.
Catch more grayling this winter with an indicator:
A stick on indicator is a great way to present your flies flawlessly, as well as a take, any unnatural movement can be detected. If it’s skating along the surface faster than any bubbles or leaves, your flies beneath are moving at the same speed.
2. Don’t be afraid of bright colours…
…because Grayling certainly aren’t! Pinks, oranges, greens, and flash are all favourites of the lady of the stream. Red and Pink tag Jigs, Grayling Pinky’s, Pink Shrimps and Hotspot patterns are devastating in cold and clear water.
The French Leader Technique is a great way to fish these patterns, cast them into fast flowing water and trundle them along the bottom for best effect.
3. Go big or Go home
Grayling, especially large ones, often live in very fast water and getting down to them can be a struggle. Small patterns are often lightweight; don’t be afraid to use flies as large as a size 8 with a lot of weight to get down to the bottom. The New Fulling Mill Jig Hook sizes comfortably hold Slotted Tungsten beads up to 5.5mm!
4. Fly Size and Weight
As easy as Grayling can be to catch, if your flies aren’t fishing in the correct zone, you can struggle. It’s always worth carrying a variety of flies in various sizes and weights, experimenting with different fly sizes and depths can have unexpected results.
If you’re looking for a general all-round fly selection, our Premium Chalkstream Fly Selection features 24 Chalkstream specials that have been tried and tested on Grayling all around the United Kingdom.
5. Location, Location, Location.
Grayling will show up in most parts of a pool – they don’t tend to prefer one section more than others, although the faster, riffled water is where insect life will be most active. It’s worth starting at the head of a run and working your way down the pool until you find them. Generally, you want to be fishing water that is 1-4ft deep, they aren’t regularly found in very deep water, in my opinion, they don’t like it and there is noticeably less food in such areas. Catch more grayling this winter.
Occasionally throughout a hot summer and low water levels, you will find grayling in deeper pools and slacks. Late-Autumn to Spring Grayling are commonly shoaled up – once you’ve found one, you’ve often found a shed load.
6. When to fish for Grayling?
Catch more grayling this winter by fishing at the best times. Early mornings from around 9am – 2pm tends to be the best feeding times to target Grayling, any later and the temperatures drop considerably knocking the fish off the feed. Any rise in temperature (often 11am-1pm) in the winter can bring on a hatch of fly, for an hour or so before a hatch, the grayling will feed hard on the nymphs, and if conditions dictate, they will rise to a well presented dry fly. Believe it or not, catching Grayling on dry flies through the winter is a common thing.