With the onset of yet another cold winter spell the chances of good sport from most fish species is still looking very unpromising. However one of the few fish that feeds readily in icy cold temperatures is the Grayling. By cold this can mean temperatures way below freezing with ice forming on the rod rings and thick snow on the banks.
The Grayling is now a relatively common fish, and it is thriving in rivers such as the Wye and tributaries, Taff, Rhymney, Dee, Severn, Eweny, and many more rivers throughout Wales, all of which can be fished on relatively inexpensive day tickets. The Grayling season is open until 16 th of March so there is plenty of time to get out for a few hours and catch some of these beauties, which are in peak condition at this time.
Grayling can be caught with a number of fly fishing methods, the most effective of which is called Czech nymphing. This involves the use of very heavily weighted flies such as in our packs of Airflo Di bugs, combined with a long sensitive fishing rod like our purpose designed Airflo Streamtec XT 10’ #4/5.
The technique involves pitching the flies slightly upstream on a very short line and letting them drift back bumping and rolling across the riverbed. The long rod helps control the drift. We do a hi vis Czech nymph polyleader to complement this technique, which greatly helps with the bite indication.
Another very effective method is the use of a pimp indicator with a team of smaller nymphs such as copper johns, fished on a longer line dead drifted through likely looking runs and riffles. On warmer days they can also be tempted with dries such as klinkhammers.
One very important thing is to keep warm with modern hi tech layered fishing clothing. We have a good selection of thermal garments such as the new thermo skin underwear and bib and braces, which provide comfort in freezing conditions. If you combine them with a pair of neoprene fishing waders such as the Airflo Alaska’s you can be pretty much immune from the cold all day.