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Winter Grayling 2016/17

By scottishriverfishing, Jan 28 2017 12:36PM

With Spring just around the corner the grayling season will be drawing to a close soon. Most of the Tweed closes for grayling at the end of January but there's still some fishing available in February. It's been a funny season. It started well then began to get a bit harder with the grayling seeming very reluctant to feed some days, especially when it was bright and sunny. Everyone has a theory as to why the fishing has been hard of late. It's been a pretty mild winter so could it be that there's been more food available than normal so the fish can be a bit more picky? Or simply angling pressure? There have been many more anglers out on the Tweed this year than normal, so could the fish simply have moved from their normal lies just to avoid anglers? I've certainly had a good number of fish from water I wouldn't normally expect to hold many grayling. Avian predation must be having some effect too. It's not unusual to catch grayling which have bird damage showing. For me though, it's been mainly weather related. Grayling like settled conditions and the weather, for the most part, has been far from settled. I've all but given up fishing bright sunny days this winter as the fish are just not putting in an appearance on such days. I like to fish a water which is dropping and clearing after a flood, but we've not had that much rain.

The lower parts of the river were producing large numbers of smaller fish early in the season so there seem to be plenty of fish present. These fish should ensure good grayling fishing for at least the next year or two.

I'm pretty hopeless with a camera which is a real shame as you can get some fantastic pics of grayling if the light is right. I love close up shots of their dorsal fins. The one in the pic above obliged and held its fin up just long enough to get a decent photo.

Pic above is a monster of 3lb 8oz caught by client Ian on a recent guiding session. A new PB fish for him and one which will be very hard to better. Definitely a fish of a lifetime! This was the third time I've guided for Ian and he's had a new PB on every session! 2.10lb, 2.14lb and now 3.08lb. I've had a few people out over the Winter and they've all done fairly well with decent numbers of fish caught and some whoppers.

Danny has done plenty of fly fishing but had never tried the Czech nymph before. We fished through a couple of spots without any success before he got the fish in the pic above. His first ever purposely caught grayling weighing a hefty 2lb 14oz.

Unfortunately torn ligaments in my ankle have put paid to any plans I had for long sessions before the end of the season. This also caused me to miss the Earlston grayling competition and cancel a couple of guiding sessions.Hopefully I'll get out for a couple of hours here and there but the priority has to be to allow the ligaments to heal fully before the start of the trout season.

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