Grayling Favourites

The past few trips on the river, I seem to reverting back to the same old patterns… I know a lot of us anglers are the same, although I have my favourites for different methods. For instance, I normally use different styles of flies for Slovakian nymphing than when I do fishing the Klink & Dink. This is all down to their sinking profiles.

I call nymphs, flies which are tied on straight hooks, and Jigs are nymphs tied on Jig hooks, these could be of the same pattern, just different hook types, I find it easier to relate to people this way.

Fishing the  Klink & Dink, I always opt for a straight hooked nymph, as I feel this falls better and fishes right when being hung from dry fly. The Jig seems to fish to vertical and un-natural whilst being suspended.

One of my favourite nymphs this year has been the GB4 collared hares ear. Not 100% sure why, but the deep orange seems to stand out when stalking fish making it easy to track. If I was to tie this fly on a Jig hook, I would substitute the thread collar for glister, although being orange, I would think the glister would give the fly a more natural, buggy look.

I much prefer jig style nymphs whilst fishing the French and Slovakian leaders. There are many advantages to using jig hooks, as opposed to straight hooks.

  • The jig type hooks are great at giving you heavier nymphs, as most of the bead is sitting forward of the eye, leaving you more room on a smaller(and larger!) hook to tie on the shank. A standard 2.5 mm bead on a size 14 jig hook is like tying on a size 12 straight hook and normal countersunk bead.
  • Having the greatest amount of weight forward of the eye, the fly sinks with a different profile, on its head, basically, with the bend of the hook fishing upright. causing less snag ups on the bottom.
  • Jigging -I like to jig my flies when fishing a run. Lifting the rod 6-7 inches with a flick of the wrist rising the flies and letting them fall again is Jigging. This is extremely effective when normal styles of bugging (dead drift/swing) isn’t. It is very enticing and can be deadly on its day for trout or grayling.

This has become my favourite pattern of the last few months, with the black glister standing out very well in clear or coloured water. If the fish can see it, there’s more chance of them taking it!

 An additional collar of CDC can give the fly life and excitement. The  strands of CDC which are in effect creating a hackle trap air bubbles such as a real bug. This is extremely effective for trout, especially when ‘jigged’ as the CDC strands closing up and releasing the air bubbles (such as trapped gas under the surface) and opening again is very lifelike, looking like a swimming nymph. Remember, nymphs don’t continuously travel, the dart around… (especially olives) exactly what jigging tries to resembles..

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