Grayling in Fly Fishing

In the world of fly fishing, grayling is considered by some to be a coarse fish, and a real pest on a trout stream, although it is truly a game fish. Many believe that grayling competes with trout for food and for comfortable lies in the stream. Consequently, grayling can be seen as something that ruins trout fishing. Which is understandable, if you happened to be stalking a good sized trout with a well presented dry fly, only to have it seized by a small grayling. However, the “grey lady of the stream” is now appreciated as the game fish it truly is, with all of its attendant sporting attributes. It rises to the dry fly and, when hooked, will put up a good fight. Although it may not enter the fray as fiercely as a trout in good condition, it will certainly give an angler a run for his money.

The grayling (thymallus thymallus) was once categorised as part of the salmon (salmo thymallus) family.The common factor between grayling and salmon is the tiny fin to the rear of its back, the adipose fin. However, grayling is now placed in a family of its own. The shape of the mouth indicates that it is fundamentally a bottom-feeder. Its top lip overhangs the bottom lip, and the fish grubs around the bottom of the river.

So, when you are fly fishing, we urge you not to dismiss the grayling, because it will offer you some unexpected sport.

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