As with any type of fishing various tactics, locations and even species drift in and out of fashion. To be a grayling fly fisher is still a relatively new thing, whilst there are those who have fished for this wonderful species all their life for the majority it has only grown in popularity over the last 15 years or so.
On the 1st October each year I lose the trout focus that has gripped me all summer and prepare myself for the colder winter grayling season ahead. The focus is generally on sub-surface fishing tactics but do not be fooled there can be some amazing dry fly fishing to be had in these cooler months.
I, like many other grayling addicts, spend the long winter nights at the fly tying vice concocting the next deadly pattern to try in the chilled waters, searching for the lady of the stream. Whether sight fishing on my local chalkstreams or prospecting the larger freestone rivers of Wales, northern England and Scotland; I find the hunt for grayling an exciting task.
Five flies to try this winter:
- Foam Dun (2882) – even in the winter months short hatches of olives can stir the fish into a feeding frenzy.
- 2. Tungsten Andrzejs Hi Vis (2056) – This fly is like a red tag on steroids, it can be a great choice when there is a slight tinge to the water colour.
- Freshwater Shrimp (2720) – when targeting spooky fish in crystal clear waters, it pays to carry a few realistic patterns without too much weight.
- Tungsten Pink Tag (2710) – Pink is still a firm favourite when fishing for grayling, this is a great fly for rivers carrying colour.
- Tungsten Hot Butt Nymph (2884) – the combination of a silver bead, a touch of UV and hot spot seems to drive the fish crazy.
I hope these suggestions bring a few more grayling your way this winter.