Techniques for targeting winter grayling

As winter draws in and the days get shorter, we begin to draw our focus away from trout and turn our attention to grayling. Now we have entered in to December and are experiencing more consistent periods of cold weather, the grayling sport is really beginning to hot up as the the West Beck grayling start to feed hard and make the most of the great water and weather conditions of late. The river is in fine condition right now with both consistent flows and good water level, only adding to the grayling fisherman’s chances. This time of year is really where the majority of fishing is done using nymphs in various forms, trying to drift the flies past fish with a drag free presentation, giving a more natural presentation and enticing the grayling into taking the fly.

The most popular (and effective) techniques used this time of year are French and Czech nymphing. These techniques involve the use of a purpose made leader which is used to control the flies at variable ranges and keep in contact with the flies at all times, giving you an accurate idea of what is happening below the waters surface.

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French nymphing is a technique designed in the competition fly fishing scene for targeting fish in very spooky conditions or in conditions where having the ability to accurately control and manipulate flies at variable ranges is key. This method involves the use of a long (30 plus ft) purpose made tapered leader with an indicator attached at the end. When using this method no fly line is required as all the work is done with the leader. This set up allows you to cover a wide range of different water conditions as well as giving you the advantage of being able to fish at varied ranges, giving you complete control. This set up is one of the most popular here at Mulberry Whin for targeting the trout and grayling using multiple nymphs, as it gives you a more stealthy option as well as allowing you a greater degree of control and feel, resulting in more hook ups. The addition of an indicator on the end (usually a short length of hi-viz backing or leader material) allows you to visually see takes as you can see the indicator move or behave differently to usual, resulting in a fish taking the fly. As the french leader is in effect a very long tapered leader, you also have the ability to fish dry flies accurately over shorter distances, giving you an all round complete set up.

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Czech nymphing is similar to French nymphing in the use of a purpose made leader (usually braid) to deliver the flies to the fish. The difference with this method is that Czech nymphing is used to fish nymphs over a much shorter distance, normally the length of the rod away from the angler. This method works very well when targeting fish in slightly deeper and slower water on the West Beck as you can hold everything tight and have complete contact with the nymphs whilst drifting them past the fish. With the use of braid, you can feel every little bump or knock on the flies and get a really good sense of what is happening on the river bed. The use of an indicator on the end helps to aid in take detection, helping you catch more fish.

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We are pleased to say that this winter we have been improving facilities in the fishing hut and added a new range of products specifically designed for Mulberry Whin, ready for the remainder of the grayling season and up coming trout season. This range includes the addition of a large selection of hand tied dry flies and tungsten beaded nymphs, as well as a range of Czech and French leaders and other tapered leaders. The use of one of these leaders has been shown to increase anglers catch rates greatly and give the angler more options when fishing on the river. For more information on our fishing hut and the products we stock, as well as information on fishing these methods and demonstrations on the river, or to booking a days grayling fishing, then drop us an email to info@mulberry-whin.com. We also offer guided fishing, with demonstrations on fishing a variety of methods including French/Czech nymphing available. For more details, or to book a days guided fishing, please email Will at will@precision-fly.com.

Many Thanks

Will

2 Comments
  1. Hi myself and two friends are thinking of coming to fish but one who doesn’t fly fish could he trott.?

    Regards
    Pete

    • Hello Peter, yes thats no problem. Standard trotting gear and longer rods would be the best approach. What dates do you have in mind for coming down?

      Many thanks

      Will

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Mulberry Whin
The Beeches, Skerne
Driffield, East Yorkshire,
YO25 9HP
Tel: 07463 808035 or 01377 254073