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How to find Graylings in big rivers

Category: Fly Fishing Tactics | Author: Stanislas Freyheit

When you go fly fishing on large rivers, itís really easy to get lost in the vastness of the streams.


In the background, a feeding vein.

When you go fly fishing on large rivers, itís really easy to get lost in the vastness of the streams.

So letís see how to reveal the secrets of huge water stretchesÖ

If thereís a hatch, the graylings are rising, so itís kind of easy to locate them. But if thereís no hatch, youíll have to use your knowledge about grayling behavior to find them.

Firstly, you should know that graylings always stand in the stream, because they need oxygen. They donít act as trouts do, they donít have hiding or hunting places, they always stay in the mainstream.

Secondly, they will choose the places where the insects are easier to catch. When graylings are rising, they stand on the spot where the stream is concentrating the floating bugs, generally at the end of the flat surfaces, where the water is reducing in a funnel. They manage to preserve their energy by just letting the river gather the food at their place. You have to think the same way when nymphing. Bugs are an easier catch for graylings in the zone where the streamline is dying. This kind of place provides graylings with oxygen and brings regularly drifting insects to the fish.

Thatís why the first reflex when fishing in big rivers is to find the feeding veins. Once you found those veins, you can start considering about the methods youíll be using.


Even if graylings are less shy than trouts are, you have to make a discreet approach. But, be careful! Even if the river is really wide, graylings can be nymphing and rising in really shallow water. So you can make a first try with a dry fly around the feeding vein, to check if there are no graylings rising on your dry (my favorite color for big rivers is pink, because itís really easy to spot, both by graylings and fishermen).

Then, if there is no rise on your fly, you can tie a nymph on your line. If there are not too many waves on your stream, you can use a greased indicator on your main leader (bicolor leader is more visible). But if the surface is too agitated, the klink and dink is the best solution. The klink is a visible enough dry fly and the dink is a nymph with an adjusted weight to the stream youíre fishing in. Afterwards, you tie one or two nymphs under your indicator fly. †This way youíll be able to see your dry fly, even if the surface is really agitated. And if the dry fly sinks, it means that thereís something on the line, so you should strike quickly (but donít use heavy nymphs under your klink, you risk to get stuck on the bottom). Youíll be often surprised by the ability of grayling to rise on big flies in agitated streams!

When you have painted the contours of your stream, and collected some nice graylings (that you released of course as a good fisherman that you are), you can attack the heart of your stream in†Czech nymph. In the middle of the stream, the water is often boiling, so heavy nymph is the right choice to make.†Tungsten beadhead nymphs with a weight between 0,5 and 1,5g are a good choice for the strong streams. I often put another small beadhead nymph as a dropper in order to practice my Czech nymph under the rod.

After putting into practice these methods, just look for another feeding vein on the vastness of your river, and keep trying, you will end up by catching your prey!

And remember, big rivers produce big fishÖ

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