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Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

 

For those who’ve yet to fish for grayling, the recipe to success is relatively straightforward. For anglers with spinning gear, a light or ultralight rod spooled with six-pound test is ideal, although you have to be prepared to lose the occasional lure. You may even lose occasional grayling, when one of the lake trout that often share their waters decides it likes what you’re offering. Small spinners, including those by Mepps or Panther Martin are favourite lures, though small spoons and jigs have taken more than their fare share of grayling over the years. I can’t recommend a specific colour or two as being any better than the rest, though I’ve tended to enjoy great success with spinner blades in gold, yellow and black.

Another alternative for the hardware fisherman is to use a casting bubble above a fly. This allows the non-fly caster to enjoy the same visual thrill of a fish smashing a bait on the surface that fly anglers live for.

For the fly fisherman, the ideal rig is a four- or five-weight rod, though I’ve used six- and even seven-weight gear when northern winds are blowing, as they often seem to do. I prefer to fish dry flies whenever possible, and grayling are generally amenable to a well-presented caddis or mayfly imitation in sizes 10 - 14, particularly in stream habitats. My favourites include the elk hair caddis, Goddard caddis, humpies in red or black, Tom Thumbs, stimulators, and Adams’. The black gnat, though technically not a dry fly in the truest sense, has long-earned a deserved reputation as a favourite of grayling fishermen and should not be ignored. In lakes, or when they’re not rising in flowing water, I’ll often turn to nymphs such as the gold-ribbed hare’s ear, Prince’s, or San Juan worm, or even a small wooly bugger or zonker streamer pattern.

In rivers, look for grayling at the heads or tails of pools, in eddies, riffles or through slicks. It’s not unusual in the gin-clear waters they prefer to have the opportunity to watch them rise from their lie on the streambed or from behind a rock and take your offering. What is difficult, however, is resisting the urge to set your hook before a fish has actually taken your fly. When fishing lakes, search around rocky shorelines, where grayling will congregate in water that is typically less than 12 feet deep. Remember, arctic grayling forage naturally on a predominantly insect-based forage, so microhabitats productive for invertebrates will usually attract these fish.

Grayling are a gregarious species by nature, so where and when you catch one fish, it’s unusual to not find more. I’ve taken as many as a dozen grayling from a single pool on more than one occasion.

Though not big, grayling are scrappy fighters, and tussles usually feature modest aerial acrobatics as they attempt to shake your hook. They are a rather delicate fish where handling is concerned however, bleeding easily, so make every effort to be gentle when removing your hook. This can be a considerable challenge at times, as few fish wriggle and squirm in the hand as profusely as do grayling.


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) The Roll cast

(2) Fly-fishing for Pike

(3) Walleye Tip

(4) Mountain Lakers

(5) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(6) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(7) Local Advise

(8) It's A Pink Year

(9) Ice Fishin Safety

(10) Third World Travel

(11) Casting Angles

(12) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(13) Using Sinking Leaders

(14) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(15) Walleye Tips

(16) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(17) The Right Tool For The Job

(18) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(19) Approach

(20) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(21) Do It Yourself Excersions

(22) Shots

(23) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(24) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(25) Swinging Caddis Flies

(26) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(27) Pike Angling Retrieves

(28) Detecting The Strike

(29) Unmatch The Hatch

(30) Off The Grid Air Travel

(31) Practise

(32) How Deep Are They Biting?

(33) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(34) Texas Travel Tips

(35) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(36) Be the Last Man Standing

(37) Water Temperature & Trout

(38) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(39) Stillwater Stratagems

(40) Those Crazy Cohos!

(41) Leaders & Tippets

(42) Big Water Strategies

(43) Small Stream Stealth

(44) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(45) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(46) Travelling Angler Tips

(47) Choosing The Right Fly

(48) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(49) Fishing at Night

(50) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(51) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(52) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(53) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(54) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(55) Wading Safely

(56) Double Your Fun

(57) More About The Red River

(58) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(59) Hook Sharpening

(60) Going Light

(61) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(62) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(63) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(64) Three Flies to Live by

(65) Reading Rise Forms

(66) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(67) A Fly for All Seasons

(68) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(69) Effective approaches to working small streams

(70) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(71) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(72) Road Trips

(73) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(74) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(75) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(76) Depth and Light

(77) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(78) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(79) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(80) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(81) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(82) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(83) Fall Primer for Pike

(84) Packing Tips

(85) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(86) Hunt them Shallow

(87) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(88) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(89) Know Your Knots

(90) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(91) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(92) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(93) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(94) Catfish on the Fly

(95) Get Your Backswimmer On

(96) Reading the Sonar

(97) Insect Identification Made Easy

(98) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(99) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(100) Fishing Drop Offs

(101) Stay On Fish

(102) Landing The Big One

(103) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(104) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(105) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(106) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(107) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(108) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(109) Fishing Journals

(110) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(111) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(112) The Bait of Choice

(113) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(114) Getting Started on the Ice

(115) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(116) Brookie Season

(117) River Fishing is Heating Up

(118) Become a Better Angler

(119) The Forgotten Pike

(120) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(121) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(122) See You at the Show

(123) Red Hot Whitefish

(124) Staging Walleye

(125) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(126) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(127) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(128) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(129) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(130) River of Gold

(131) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(132) Small Stream Fun

(133) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature
for Early Season Fish

(134) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(135) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(136) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(137) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(138) All I Want For Christmas

(139) Staying Warm on the Ice

(140) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(141) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(142) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(143) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(144) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(145) Prime Time for Lakers

(146) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(147) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(148) Catching a Big Pike

(149) Purchasing a Rod

(150) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(151) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(152) Gearing Up For Pike

(153) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(154) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(155) Fish Where They’re Biting

(156) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(157) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(158) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(159) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(160) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(161) Beginner Baitcasting Tips