Posts Tagged ‘Grayling fishing on the fly’

Catching Grayling using conventional methods with coarse fishing tackle can be fun. Although not a coarse fisherman myself I have always been intrigued as to the Trotting method. I’ve always liked the fact you can fish pools which are hardly fished by others, letting the float trot to your desired location perfectly presenting the bait at maximum range.

As all of my fishing is done using a fly rod, I set about ways to replicate this method using a fly rod on a short scale of course. Fly fishing for Grayling has really pick up over the last 5-6 years here in Wales, maybe it’s the cheap tickets that club waters offer or maybe it’s the sheer number of fish there to catch? Or the joy the lady of the stream brings upon netting. Who knows, but it’s a budding sport.

First plan of attack is to replicate the bait; the good ol’ pinky always seems to be a firm Grayling favourite amongst coarse anglers. I thought this may be the best place to start for my imitation bat.


I had many imitations patterns in my mind to tie in various colours. Different shade pinks, creams and whites to try and closely represent the offerings from coarse anglers. Small and large with veins and eyes, segmentations varied weights, some people said I may have gone too far with the fly experiment, nearly filling a small fly box with my maggot imitations. My firm favourite though was the ‘Shell Pink’ variant.


The bung, also known as the indicator was the only way to go. May fly fishermen think that using the bung in any of its states, river or lake is sacrilege, but to others it’s just another method we use to catch fish. The bung would be my float, something that is easy to cast and won’t become waterlogged and easily visible on long drifts. I devised a pattern out of a well know product called Aero dry – Something which is used widely in the fly tying world and has great floating properties. It’s a multi-stranded, hollow yarn for Japan. They have everything don’ they?

‘Depth & Control’

Controlling the depth is quite similar to how you would a float. In the same instance of moving the weights/float along the mainline, my indicator would be tied to a dropper which can be moved along the mainline to adjust the depth. Also by incorporating different amounts of lead underneath the dressing of the flies they can be swapped and changed depending on the water speed and depth.

A long gradually tapered leader is the ideal way to use this method, it allows the flies to be propelled upstream, into a run, crease or maybe just upstream into the glide. As with the trotting method the weights are what are used to take your bait to where you want it to go. Fly fishing, it’s the actually fly line but we use a tapered leader as its light and very controllable, something we use to our advantage. Imagine a slack the far side of a run, a depth of around 3/4 feet and you know there’s fish there. Tying to fish this with a fly line and controlling the indicator is nearly impossible, the line will get caught in the run and cause the flies to be dragged out of the slack. The long tapered leader lets us hold the rod high in the air keeping the line off the water and letting the flies/indicator travel dead drift through the pool. Perfect.

The indicator can be left to trundle downstream in glides or runs continuously recasting in different spots looking to locate the grayling. Once located, grayling can be caught in huge numbers, one thing ive found when catching a lot is once numbers start to dwindle, they’re still there, it’s just locating them again and also a colour change can prove deadly.

Hanging two of the above flies beneath a bung is the closest I’ve come to replicating the very impressive trotting method. Flies tied out of elastic band, floss and other ‘buggy’ looking materials can be used.

Has anyone tried flies for trotting?




Kieron Jenkins.

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