Some of the most fun fishermen have in the Winter is chasing the ‘ladies’. Now, this can be taken one of two ways – but I think we’ll stick to the fishing sense.
It is fair to say that winter is fast approaching, October has been the impact of Autumn with leaves falling from the trees and the steady but very noticeable decline in air temperature. With the development of seasons it’s lead to us changing out fishing quarry. Moving away from the Brown and Rainbow trout which inhabit the rivers and lakes, onto the shoals of Grayling of the runs, riffles and glides.
Grayling are predominately a bottom feeding fish, with the down turned mouth making it easier for them to feed from the small and juicy morsels of the river bed. Although, I’ve had some of my best fishing with Grayling on dry flies!
Most angling gear used for river fishing would no doubtingly suffice for Grayling. Tippet strengths will vary with methods, something like 5-6x nylon for nymphing, and 8x for dries.
One of the most important pieces of fishing tackle for Grayling in my opinion is the fishing rod. A hard, fast actioned rod will be a great casting tool for the heavy nymphs, but unfortunately will result in countless numbers of lost fish.
Grayling, big ones especially, like to burrow down onto the bottom, stick their sail like fin up and kite through the flow ‘nodding their heads’ trying to free themselves of the hook. Usually with a stiff rod, the hook will pull out. A softer rod has more play, more forgiveness if you happen to pull to hard, and eventually will tease the fish around into the net (not to say they don’t come off!). A fly rods in the region of 3/4/5 weights will have enough ‘give’ to play the fish easily and allow you to hold the rod out at arms length to get maximum distance with ease whilst European Nymphing.
Recommended Tackle & Flies
One of my most favourite fishing rods for the river in general is the Airflo Streamtec XT Fly rods be it a long 10ft rod for all styles of nymphing, or a shorted 8 or9 ft version for the Dries or Klink and Dink.
Written by Kieron Jenkins