Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grayling In the lower 48

Grayling are a species of fish that have always intrigued me.  Usually associated with the far north and Europe, they are an exotic fish for a fellow that hails from New Jersey.  On our recent trip to Yellowstone Country we had an opportunity to fish for grayling in the park.

Grebe Lake has a healthy population of both grayling and rainbow trout.  The lake is an easy 3 mile walk from the road, the trail is as about as flat as they come for that part of the world.  Roughly three quarters of the shoreline is fishable, the rest of it is a tangle of deadfall from the big fire.  The lake once served as a hatchery for the park in the early days but any traces of that operation are long gone.  If you make the trek you will be rewarded with fine fishing in a wilderness setting. There are a couple of primitive campsites on the lake as well, if a overnight stay interests you, The walk is easy enough to consider packing in a float tube. Just be sure to check with the park on regulations concerning camping and watercraft.

My trips to this water usually occur in mid July and on every trip I have been blessed with blizzard like damsel fly hatches.  This year was no exception.  As a bonus, the fish showed no preference between the nymph or the adult fly.  Top water or down low, it was all up to the fisherman to decide!  Last trip out the adult damsels were a subtle olive color and this year they were a brilliant blue.

For nymphs a basic olive damsel pattern would work as good as anything else.

The highlight of the day however, is when we switched over to tenkara gear to take these fish.  Fishing with a tenkara rod proved much more effective and a hell of a lot more fun on these chunky, little fish.

Even a ten inch grayling would give you a run for your money, as the bend in my buddy Rick's rod clearly demonstrates.  Grebe Lake is a place I find myself coming back to year after year.  Its not a place your going to catch a wall hanger, but you will certainly experience quality fishing!