The Yorkshire Dales are renowned throughout
England for the Grayling fishing available on the River Wharfe, River Ure, River Nidd, River Ribble and River Swale. All the above rivers hold grayling but in varying
amounts and sizes. Traditionally the River Ure held the biggest stocks of grayling, but in recent years there has been a decline in grayling numbers on the Ure. The river still holds good stocks of grayling, but it no
longer stands head and shoulders above the other rivers of the Yorkshire Dales. Grayling stocks in all the rivers vary from year to year for many reasons. The important thing is reading the river for typical 'grayling water'
(one of my
blog posts covers this).
The Yorkshire Dales rivers provide the perfect habitat
for grayling and grayling fly fishing and they extend the flyfisher's year
right through the autumn and winter. In effect this only gives us 10 days,
from March 15th to March 24th (in North Yorkshire - as seasons vary
throughout England) when we are unable to fish the rivers for brown trout or
grayling. Grayling are caught all year round and a day on any of these
rivers, at any time of the year, will usually result in the capture of a few
fish. The best time of year for grayling fly fishing is from September to December
when they are at their most active and feeding hard throughout the day. The
dry fly fishing during early autumn when grayling are rising to aphids and pale wateries can be simply superb, though not easy for the newcomer to
grayling fishing because of the speed of the rise, but very exciting and
Click Here To View My Grayling Images on
The dry fly fishing tapers off into December when we
need to employ other methods to catch grayling on the bottom of the river.
There is always the occasional day during winter when the grayling will defy
all odds and still rise to a fly, but these days are few and far between.
With the onset of the colder winter weather we turn to Czech Nymphing,
or 'bugging' as it is also known, French Nymphing and the 'duo' or 'trio'
to get our flies down to 'the zone'. We search every pool thoroughly to find
the winter grayling, using rivercraft and experience to determine where they
will be lying, but in all honesty they are not usually too far away from
their summer lies.
Grayling are an ideal quarry for the inexperienced fly fisher as they are
more tolerant of an anglers presence than the brown trout; in broken water they can be caught
almost under your feet! Unlike the brown trout they will not bolt for cover
at the first sight of an angler, but generally move away slowly whilst continuing
you don't catch as many grayling as you think you should, or you want to
learn some of the more 'advanced techniques' to catch grayling why not have a
day's grayling tuition and guiding with me on a Yorkshire Dales river. This
might just open up your own river and make you look at it in a completely
different light on future trips. A day's grayling fishing with me may be
particularly suitable for those anglers who ‘collect’ grayling rivers
(see my blog post for my current
Grayling River Collection).
Please take a look at the relevant pages for details of grayling fishing breaks and
grayling fishing courses.