Grayling Fishing in the UK

Grayling Fishing in the UK

Grayling fishing is a popular pastime for many anglers, particularly during the winter months. The grayling is a member of the salmon family and is a freshwater fish that is found in many rivers and streams all throughout the UK. It is also known for its delicate flavour and acrobatic fighting ability.

Here are some top tips for grayling fishing in the UK.

Where to Find Grayling

Grayling are typically found in fast-flowing rivers and streams that have clean, cool water. They tend to favour gravel and pebble beds and are often found in deeper pools and runs. Some of the best places to find grayling in the UK include the River Test, the River Itchen, the River Dee, and the River Wye.

When to Fish for Grayling

Grayling can be caught throughout the year, but the best time to target them is during the winter months when they are most active. They tend to feed during the day and are particularly active in the early morning and late afternoon. The optimal water temperature for grayling is between 8-12C, so it's best to fish for them when the water is at or below this temperature.

Tackle and Techniques

Grayling fishing requires a different approach than fishing for other freshwater species such as trout or salmon. The best tackle to use is a lightweight rod and reel with a floating line. Grayling are known for their delicate bite, so a light touch is essential. A long leader and light tippet are also recommended, with a size 16-18 hook.

There are a few techniques that are particularly effective for grayling fishing. The first is nymph fishing, which involves using a small imitation fly that resembles the insects that grayling feed on. The nymph is typically presented near the bottom of the river or stream and can be fished with or without a strike indicator. Bead-head flies are ideal for getting down to the correct depth.

Another effective technique is dry fly fishing, which involves using a dry fly that imitates the insects that grayling are feeding on. This technique is best used during periods of insect activity, such as hatches, and requires careful observation of the water to identify feeding fish.

Finally, Czech nymphing is a popular technique for grayling fishing that involves using heavily weighted flies and a long leader to present the fly close to the riverbed. This technique can be particularly effective in fast-flowing rivers and streams where the current can make it difficult to present the fly effectively.


Grayling are a protected species in the UK, and there are regulations in place to ensure their conservation. It's important to follow these regulations when fishing for grayling to ensure their continued survival. This includes releasing all fish unharmed and avoiding fishing in spawning areas during the breeding season.

Grayling fishing in the UK is a rewarding and challenging experience for anglers of all levels and by following the correct techniques and regulations, anglers can enjoy this sport while also contributing to the conservation of this important freshwater species.