6 Recommended Grayling Flies for the West Country
When it comes to Grayling fishing in the West Country, Pete Tyjas has it covered, including 6 Recommended Grayling Flies that are sure to catch fish all over the country.
Heading into the Westcountry you can either go the scenic route on the A303 through the chalk streams of Hampshire, past Stonehenge into Wiltshire and eventually find yourself, with a slight detour, on the Frome but this time, we’ll head from the M4 onto the M5 in search of grayling.
Before we join the M5 though there are a few small streams around Bristol and Bath that hold grayling in them. I have fished a few and although the casting can be challenging the rewards can be great. Short rods and equally short casts are the order of the day and at times you’ll be fishing to sighted fish.
Leaving Bristol behind we’ll rejoin the M5 and pass over the River Tone just before the Taunton junction just getting a glimpse of the river. It appears more of a home for chub than trout or grayling but head upstream of Taunton and you will start to find grayling. The Tone, that gives Taunton its name (Tone Town) rises on the edge of Exmoor and the headwaters of the Tone are collected in Clatworthy reservoir essentially making the Tone a tail water. The river is full of shrimp, a pattern the grayling can’t resist.
Rejoining the M5 we pass over the border of Somerset into Devon. Taking the turn for Tiverton we’ll pass over the Exe another grayling stronghold along with some of its tributaries. The Exe always feels a different river to the others in the county to me, more akin to it’s lower levels to some of the streams of Wales I have fished. Of all the Westcountry grayling I have caught I find the fish here the most free-rising.
For the last leg of our trip we’ll get back on to the M5 and at its end join the A30 heading for the Tamar. This is about as far as the grayling reach in the South West. Grayling will nose their way into some of the tributaries making some great alternatives if the main river carries too much colour. Some of the tributaries can be crystal clear and sighting grayling can be hugely exciting.
There have also been reports of grayling in the Otter too and I have seen proof of them in my home water, the Taw, as well but am yet to catch one myself. Perhaps one day.
Grayling fishing during the winter can be a hit or miss affair depending on the water levels but pick it right and you might just get lucky! 6 Recommended Grayling Flies, 6 Recommended Grayling Flies
Here are my 6 Recommended Grayling Flies:
Duracell Jig – A brilliant all round pattern that fishes well on the point of a team of flies. Designed by Fulling Mill Ambassador, Craig Mcdonald, this pattern is making inroads all over the world, catching everything from Grayling in England to Brown trout in the USA.
Freshwater Shrimp – Designed by Oliver Edwards, this freshwater shrimp offers an extremely realistic pattern for targeting picking grayling. Fish singularly or with a team of flies.
Red Tag – A brilliant Grayling pattern that no angler should be without. Designed by Kieron Jenkins, he say’s “This pattern has quickly become one of my favourite fly patterns over the past 5 years, offering movement and attraction, two things Grayling can’t resist”.
Pink Hotspot – The ultimate winter fly pattern. Many anglers fish two of these flies with a French Leader set-up. Fish them in fast runs and riffled pockets for best effect.
Red Collar Leggy – Pressured Grayling absolutely love this fly. The leggy movement coupled with red collar allows for attraction in a subtle way.
Rubber Grub – Fish this fly on the middle of a Czech nymph set up with heavier flies either side. This will ensure the grub gets close to the bottom and present itself just like the real thing.
Pete Tyjas is a fly fishing guide based in Devon: www.devonschoolofflyfishing.com