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Monday Top 5 - Grayling Fishing

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Monday Top 5 - Grayling Fishing

Have you ever caught ‘the lady of the stream’? Probably the most beautiful of all British fish species, and an awesome target for the autumn and winter. Grayling are perfectly wild fish that inhabit running water; they can be caught on a variety of methods (where rules allow) and are awesome fighters on rod and line. Here are a few tips to help you target grayling…

Location As with all fishing you need to target the right venues. Grayling are found in rivers, usually in higher reaches where game fish are prevalent. They prefer clearer, faster, cleaner waters, such as chalk streams. Grayling are prevalent in numbers on the rivers Test, Eden, Avon and the Itchen to name but a select few. Use the internet and the old fishing grapevine to find likely spots and you’d be surprised how close these beauties are to you.

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Trotting Where it's allowed, trotting is a devastating method for targeting grayling. Using maggots and sweetcorn as primary lines of attack, you can search the river's clear, fast runs and feed to keep a shoal coming to your landing net time and time again. Any grayling is special but there’s something magical about trotting for them on a cool crisp autumn morning. Simple stick float fishing tackle with 2.5lb line and ‘shirt button’ style shotting pattern with a barbless hook to reduce mouth damage and to aid an easy release is all you need. For an even more special ‘Mr Crabtree’ purist feel why not use a centrepin reel for the job?

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Hit and Run Don’t just rely on one spot; grayling can spook easily. Have three swims baited, and then work between the three areas throughout the day to keep catching. It’s a simple case of catching a few, resting the swim whilst baiting the other spots and then flitting between each zone along with the shoal of grayling. Don’t discount the values of feeder fishing for grayling too; liquidised bread and sweetcorn in a feeder is a deadly way of catching them, as well as any other river specimens such as chub or even barbel that may take a fancy to your bait.

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Specimens Any grayling over a pound is a true wild river specimen. To single out a specimen try using sweetcorn or other larger baits. Due to the small mouth a grayling has, the small fish simply can't fit larger baits in their mouth, allowing you to be selective. You can also do this by sight fishing for the specimens in the shoal on the clear rivers, this can be done with bait or on the fly.

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On The Fly In my opinion there's no better way to catch grayling then on the fly. Try small dry flies such as hare ears, kilinkhammers and sedges, as well as Czech nymphs in the winter, fishing subsurface in those deeper faster runs which the grayling inhabit with the drop in water temperature. Grayling are essentially a game fish, and are so much fun to catch on fly. So give it a go. Make sure if you are wading in a river that you do it safely though.

I hope the following tips help you bag your first grayling.

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