December Fishing with Hints & Tips!

Friday, 3 December 2021  |  Sarah

 
What Is Happening?
What Do You Look For?
What Do You Use?

Answers below!
What Is Happening?
As discussed last month the bulk of our Grayling fishing involves the use of heavy bugs to scour the streambed.  This of course rings true when high water levels prevail following heavy rain.  That said there’ll be periods of high pressure systems when cold and dry conditions dominate our weather. 

With little rainfall now, river levels will drop away and given reduced flows, Grayling will be happy to return to the surface in search of food.  Aside from the odd Large Dark Olive seen fluttering about, these days our rivers contain a decent midge population.  This is due to sediment run off that gathers where flows fall slack, which is the perfect nursery for Midge.  Bear in mind, midges continue to emerge right through winter, even on the coldest of days.
 
What Do You Look For?
As the silt that midge larvae (bloodworms) seek gathers in areas of little flow, our focus should be the slacker parts of a pool, typically the main body and pool tail is our best shout.  Come the early afternoon, here we can expect to see Midge hatching and Grayling dimpling.  Due to poor light on December afternoons and the subtle nature of rise forms, be mindful that feeding fish can be difficult to spot.  It’s best then you’re in the water to scan the surface for tiny pin-prick rise forms, or even midges that are hatching off.
Using a single fly the name of the game is patience now as continued casting on smooth water serves only to alarm Grayling.  Instead, quietly wade up the margins whilst scanning the surface for rise forms. 
Once you’ve located a fish, it’s simply a matter of positioning yourself downstream of the rise and presenting your fly.  Try not to lead the fish by too far, otherwise, by the time your fly arrives at the sweet spot, some sort of drag is likely to have set in. 

As a guide, aim casts so your fly lands 2-4ft in front of a feeding fish.  As Grayling are lightening fast to reject a fly, it’s imperative you tighten the moment a fish takes your fly!
 
What Do You Use?
Naturally, small, dark coloured dry flies are your best chance of success with appropriately sized Klinkhamers, or the Griffith’s Gnat being number one choice.  Where possible, use the lightest line rated rod with a 4-weight being ideal though a rod designated for a 3-weight would be even better.
As small flies are used, ideally ultra fine tippets help them behave more convincingly at the surface.  TEF tippet material of 2.86lb (0.13 mm dia) is suited to this and a 3ft section should be attached to a Wychwood camo mode 5X tapered leader of some 12ft.  This results in a 15ft leader overall that is long enough to facilitate drag free drifts, yet not too long to be managed in a breeze.

The Essential Fly