Grayling are now recognised as a game fish. They are a salmonid along with salmon and trout, however they breed at the same time as coarse fish (i.e. carp, roach and chub). In the past they were deemed a pest, and many fisheries tried to eradicate them, believing them to be a lesser quarry for fly anglers and detrimental to trout fishing, especially in the chalk streams of southern England.
Thankfully attitudes have changed, and to catch a specimen grayling of 2lbs or more will be on the bucket list of many fly fishers. Grayling are affectionately known as “The Lady of the Stream”.
We anglers can fish for them during the autumn and winter months when we cannot fish for trout or salmon in the “close season”. So keen anglers can enjoy their hobby year-round.
I caught this lovely fish, with a large colourful dorsal fin in October 2023 on the Welsh Dee near Llangollen.
Grayling can be caught by fly fishing or by “trotting” a small worm below a float. Either technique requires much skill and the concentration required is what makes angling so thoroughly absorbing and relaxing!
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