The British winter can be long to endure without fishing of some description. Sure, there are a plethora of stocked lakes dotted around the country, but for a river angler these provide a minimal fix to their affliction! Luckily the ladies of the stream – the name commonly given to grayling – are there to help us and provide a cure to our winter ailments. Grayling may be fished for from the middle of June to the middle of March, with their closed season being when the trout fishing is in full swing, due to their spawning season. As such, the whole winter can be spent fishing for grayling, even when there’s snow on the ground and ice on the edges and tip rings!
Grayling remain active throughout the winter, and fishing, if anything, becomes easier when the weather, or river temperatures, plummets, as the fish tend to congregate into larger shoals and become easier to target once one is found. Nymphing techniques usually come into their own at such times, but given a mild weather window at some point in the day the grayling will quite happily stick their noses up to intercept a surface offering, with the 1-3pm time period being key for hatches during the winter.
Making the transition from river trout fishing is easy, and many of the tactics deployed for trout will hold you in good stead for the grayling. The tackle used will remain largely the same, as will the majority of the flies – although a few heavier nymphs may need to accompany your usual armoury. Grayling are also a great species for those that want to try their hand at river fishing for the first time, as their numbers are often far greater than those of trout, thus becoming easier to target and hopefully easier to catch. They’re also a great species to teach you about reading rivers and line control, as, at times, they can be ultra selective on the offerings you present and where they decide to lie. Our expert team of guides are out fishing for grayling throughout the winter months and know the likely spots where they lurk with pinpoint precision. Not only are they the best in putting you over the likely spots, but they are also the best in knowing what tactic to deploy where and what flies to use to seduce the ladies. The importance of this being that they can show and teach you what to look out for and what to do in certain places to maximise your chances of a fish. They can teach you traditional techniques and set-ups such as the upstream dry-fly, spiders, down and across etc. through to more modern techniques such as Czech nymphing, nymph under the dry, and French nymphing. All of which have a place and all should be taken onboard to make you a competent river angler.
We cover many rivers in the winter months, each with their own appeal. We cover the main Wye system along with its fabulous tributaries such as the Irfon and the Monnow. We then cover the fish rich rivers of South-Wales, which are fast becoming the best all-round game fisheries in Wales. From the Taff in Cardiff through to the Rhymney in Caerphilly, these are fantastic waters upon which to start or progress your grayling experience. Both rivers hold huge numbers of grayling and are our first options for beginners and those after a taste of what winter fishing is all about. Their locations also make them convenient to reach along the M4 corridor, being just a couple of hours drive from London.
We can arrange day trips/experiences, through to weekend or 2/3 day excursions, which are always advisable in order to obtain a true and decent understanding of the species and winter fishing in general. Indeed, over a 3 day package it becomes perfectly feasible to fish 3 different rivers, with its added appeal. Contact us with your requirement and we’ll do the rest.