The Grayling - Thymallus thymallus

Grayling Fly Fishing (Thymallus thymallus)

Super sport is provided by this game fish in rivers and the arctic lakes from England to Russia.

Check out our specialist information on grayling in our blog posts below:

Grayling Background

When you catch your first grayling fly fishing or as she is known the Lady of the Stream then grayling fly fishing will really get into your blood. Providing great sport and available in Brown Trout closed season on the rivers over winter, grayling fly fishing is a real pleasure.

The grayling (Thymallus thymallus) is part of  the salmon family widespread throughout northern Europe, from the UK to Russia.  The grayling grows to a maximum recorded length of 60 cm (24 in) and a maximum recorded weight of 6.7 kg (15 lb). Individuals of the species have been recorded as reaching an age of 14 years

The grayling prefer cold, clean, running river waters, but also occur in lakes and, exceptionally, in brackish waters around the Baltic Sea (see the video below for grayling fly fishing in lakes in the Arctic using fishing flies on an ice fishing rod!). Omnivorous, the fish feeds on vegetable matter as well as crustaceans, insects and spiders, molluscs, zooplankton, and smaller fish.

For more information on grayling flies check our specialist grayling fishing flies department or our Winter Grayling Fly Fishing e-guide which is a downloadable 35 Page Booklet which is a an e-guide immediately available on purchase.

Grayling Fly Fishing Tackle

The Grayling - Our Fly Fishing Quarry

There are two different words that we can use to frequently describe the grayling – “stupid” comes to mind frequently, if you are quiet and move gently in the water grayling will come and eat at your boots as you disturb the bottom, indeed gently scrape your boots against the bottom of the water above a winter pool of grayling will ensure that they keep feeding. However“beautiful” is a word we use when the Grayling unfurls its sail and is fighting across the river! You know when a grayling has hit your fly when fishing as its movement is totally different to trout. Indeed Winter Grayling fishing is often more fun than ever can be realised.

In the UK she can be fished for throughout the coarse fishing season (16 June to 14 March), providing thrilling sport on the fly when the trout season is closed. Well known grayling flies include: the witch grayling special, grayling witch, klinkhammers, czech nymphs and 'red tags' along with other trout patterns.

Grayling Dry Fly Fishing

If Grayling are not rising do not expect them to come to the surface ....they simply will not it does not matter what fly you put on your line. If this is the case then you must fish subsurface with grayling nymph patterns. Choosing a grayling dry fly is not difficult if there are naturals simply match the hatch. The grayling is best caught with imitative fishing flies that are realistic to the river try dry flies like Black Magic or Black Magic coloured rib flies like Black Magic Purple Rib which they love with their realistic small fly profiles and of course the Upwing Olive dry fly which is a stunning Olive imitator for those river olive hatches. Of course our Micro Dry Flies department has many small dries which are deadly for Grayling. 

Grayling Wet Fly Fishing

Wet fly fishing with a team of three traditional flies, patterns such as Greenwells spider, Snipe and Purple, Partridge and Orange, Red Tag, Hares Ear or Wickhams Fancy, worked across and downstream is often a sucessfull way to search the water. These patterns are of course mainly suitable for use in the autumn when grayling fly fishing is at its height. Flies tied to resemble small pink shrimps have also been found to be useful.  The Baetis nymph, Rhyacophilia Larva, Hydropsyche Larva and cased caddis are all direct imitations of the most frequently found river nymphs.

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