Grayling Fishing on The River Test - Calibre Magazine

Updated: Aug 11, 2019


On a crisp winter’s morning, piscatorial enthusiasts congregated on Orvis UK’s idyllic Kimbridge beat to partake in a spot of grayling fishing.


‘The Lady of the Stream’

Belonging to a cold-water fish family of six sub-species, the grayling – Thymallus thymallus – can be found across areas within the Northern Hemisphere although is absent from Ireland. Proud owners of an adipose fin, grayling are typically smaller than trout though also belong to the salmonidae family.


Grayling tend to spawn in spring in shallower redds and are often referred to as ‘bottom-feeders’, residing closer to the stream bed and favouring deeper, cooler water. Their dorsal fins are typically fringed in red and dotted with iridescent red, aqua or purple spots and markings, making the bigger ones in particular seem impressively dramatic.

Their instinct to test almost anything that seems edible on the water’s surface, coupled with their tendency to ‘corkscrew’ when hooked and fiercely resist a take make them an incredibly exciting species to pursue. Historically, grayling were persecuted by trout anglers owing to the erroneous belief that grayling competed with trout for food and habitat – but modern research has revealed that each species feeds on different prey items and prefer different microhabitats, so they can rub along together in rivers and streams in harmony.


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