Grayling dance for domestic graylings

Grayling dance for domestic graylings

Mika Lappalainen | Friday, 23 November 2018

Competitors use their own trick. They are upstream from hole and kicking gravel (food) to hole and then dropping their nymph among gravel. That is how you try to get graylings more active and get more fish during competition. This is not working everywhere, you need to have certain kind of bottom and also careful how much you kick stuff. No-one likes if you get too much sand on your face. I think is forbidden nowadays in competitions to use this technique, at least in Finland. But this is not main issue now, I found out same thing earlier and then saw that some competitors was using similar technique but there is more behind the scene.

This thing is working in some rivers in my area. River needs to have gravel and sand on the bottom, no slime. This doesn’t work with trout. I have been able to get it work with grayling and whitefish. And not just small ones but also ones which are decent ones. I mean size 35-40 cm, sometimes even 45 cm.

 Years earlier I was fishing one of my favourite pool. There was only some small grayling which I caught even it is hotspot for bigger ones. I was nymphing and wading downstream. There is about 50-70 cm deep. (Yes, I go downstream when nymphing often, not upstream.) In some point I started to look to my feet, basicily because I want to see how water is behaving around me. Then I saw where all the bigger graylings were. There was 7-10 graylings just 50-100 cm downstream from my feet. I started to follow how they swim, how they react, kicking just little bit gravel to them. Not really kicking, it was more like dumping a cigarette with your foot. I moved to left and they were coming with me, going right, upstream, downstream and so on. Graylings always were coming with me, maybe one second or something like that. So I started to fish them. I started to nymphing and after I got one, I was able to land few more. But this was really frustrating fishing also, you can see fishes, you can see that I take something now and then but it was really difficult to get your fly sinking. Even you were dropping straight from your feet there was not enough weight even with two weighted flies. I went to more shallow water that there is about 40 cm deep, so it would be easier to sink flies but then graylings were not coming any more. They want to have at least 50 cm of water. So I’m their home rock. I give them cover and easy water to be and kicking some food from bottom. And of course current is bringing some food for them.

So how to get fly deep enough and they still have time to react? On that point I thought that it is really stupid idea but I’ll try it anyway because nothing is really working well. Afterwards it seems quite obvious. So I was dropping fly straight from my hand to my feet and nymphing and watching how current was taking flies too fast downstream and past graylings. So let’s try something different. So I turned around, towards upstream. (nearest shore is on my right now) Graylings just behind my heels. Sinking nymphs straight upstream from me, and just before nymphs were coming on my waders (shoes), it was time to dance. Step with left foot to the right( and little bit backwards) and turning at same time that your chest is across stream, next step is with right foot to right and turning your body to downstream, and one more step with left to right and backwards. It is like a dancing steps ( I think waltz has similar steps when turning backwards, but don’t trust me. I don’t nothing about dancing, except this grayling dance). After few cast I found right timing when to start dancing and boom. Strike right away, next cast same thing and the next one…… Maybe it was just luck or maybe there was something else. Maybe I figured out how to presentate flies right to fishes. Afterwards I have been using this a lot with those domestic graylings and it is working well. Only thing is that you need to adjust timing for speed of current and depth. Anyway idea is to dance just before flies hits you and fishes will have change to take them. Because there is short delay in their reaction comparing yours movement, you are able to give nice presentation.

Graylings are really staying on your feet. Whitefish are more suspicious about you and you being their home rock. Whitefish will come to have short time in your feet, maybe having snack and then going on the side in deeper and slower water, but still coming back now and then. If you are fishing with someone and don’t want to dance. You can be two rocks about 1 meter between you. Both of you will have own domestic graylings and you can fish across. When each one of you get fish all of them go active, and you might have even 4 graylings hooked at same time.

Domestic graylings are not easy ones to fish but lot of fun and educational. Some photos about fishing domestic graylings and whitefish. I think Ashly got her first ever grayling from here, one domestic grayling, and Paul almost in right spot.

From board you can find discussion about downstream nymphing and domestic graylings.


Have a nice weekend


arden family fishing in kitkafishing in kitkasplash
double domestic graylingarden family fishing
grayling ongraylingspaul fishing
bigger splashpaul and ashly after domestic graylingpaul almost in right place