Grayling – sub zero.(inc Tenuous fishing photos 50/52)

Ok – even though I have caught grayling in the past it has been totally by accident, usually when I am on the Clyde fishing for trout I pick one or two up. I have only ever been proper grayling fishing once before and conditions were poor – not only was it cold it was also a howling gale – not that they mind the cold much.

Anyway – I decided it was time to go proper winter grayling fishing so had to get suitably attired so that I would not moan about the cold all day (something I am aware I am notorious for – as well as coming down with blinding migraines) – so I was prepared with: three pairs of socks, two pairs of thermal long johns, two thermal vests, two t-shirts, a polar buff, a wind proof jacket and my fishing jacket and waders – of course this was all topped off with a classy hat stolen from the wife.

The cold is somehow still getting to my wang!

As it was I did not get to put on my actual fishing gear as the river was bloody frozen!

My pal Campbell told me he had once caught 30 in the one day , my pal Allan told me they average a pound and a half – therefore I was expecting to catch thirty fish averaging a pound and a half – no such luck in these conditions.

Sunlight - as strong as a ....something weak - like a little bird - a finch!

The drive to the river was a mixture of highs and lows – really quite literally – at one point we were happy that the temp was minus 4, we then got a bit down as it plummeted to minus 13, we were then elated when it reached a rather balmy minus one just before we got to the river only for it to plummet back down to minus 13 again to ensure that the river was absolutely full of groo (thats floating ice to non anglers)  making throwing bugs around pretty difficult – Campbell assured us his bugs would smash through the ice however seemingly the Grayling do not fancy the cold much. Additionally at these temps not only does your reel seize up your bug also transforms into an ice cube which are notoriously hard to get a fish to keep in its mouth unless it is chilling with a Gin!


Additionally in the half hour we walked along the river bank Campbell’s beard turned white with the cold while Allan informed us he could not now feel his face meant actually being in the water for any length of time ensured freezing cold nuts (I had a packet of KP Jumbo Salt & Pepper Flavour Peanuts in my pocket for energy if the going got tough)

"I can't feel my face"

The river was only a few steps away from actually being a glacier – not that it was not the most prettiest sight of the winter – I mean it was pretty damn impressive – we could actually hear the ice moving in the water..

One step away from actually being a Glacier...

There was quite a lot of mist rising from the water – if you used your imagination it looked as if the water was actually lovely and warm and inviting – a bit like a hot tub – you could just strip off and jump into the lovely warm water – certain death would probably ensue however I did say it was supposed to be in your imagination.

Jumping in "seems" like a good idea...

Maybe some folk would have actually dived in (figuratively) and had a cast however we decided to get our asses back to the fishing hut before bolting back up the road – even the cat seemed surprised we were out..

You guys are pretty mad!

Anyway, it was not all bad news – it meant I was forced to get my JVice out and tie some flies – it was great and now it is out I have decided it will stay out for the remainder of the “tying season” – not only have I bugs to tie up but also a brand new selection of dry flies for next year – judging by the amount of trout fishing I did this year by my reckoning next year I should need at least a dozen – not of each pattern – a dozen full stop #smile#

Oh – for this week you can take your pick of any of the pictures above for the 50th tenuous fishing photo – they are all on a shaky hook.

Any of you guys doing any fishing at the moment?

Let me know in the comments!


  1. Gareth · December 19, 2010

    Now THAT looks cold! I haven’t been out in a few weeks, but man am I dieing to!

    There’s something special about fishing in the snow…although I think that’s more in retrospect sometimes!

    Awesome pictures Alistair.


  2. alan atkins · December 19, 2010

    Alistair, a cold but beautifull day yesterday and such a pity we were unable to wet a line. I’m sure that , given suitable conditions, we would have scored well. Lets hope that we get a thaw over the next week and we manahe down at some point between xmas and new year

  3. Allan · December 19, 2010

    Boy! That looks cold. Great pics. I have saw with my own eyes some good sized Grayling from the Clyde. Unfortunately its wasn’t me who was catching them I have only ever caught shall we say modest sized Grayling.


  4. Alistair · December 19, 2010

    Gareth – thanks for stopping past – you been out much after the Grayling this year?

    Alan – my spell checker must have pumped an extre L into your name – sorry about that – lets keep our fingers crossed for the week between the holidays!

    Allan – All the Grayling I have caught have came from the Clyde – biggest was maybe around a pound – usually catch one or two during the summer sessions when I am after trout, often get them on both dries and nymphs. You ever fish the Clyde for Grayling during the winter?

  5. Allan · December 19, 2010

    I have fished the Clyde for Grayling but not for around three or four years now. Never had any real success. I fished using weighted nymphs, never had anything over half a pound and sometimes caught brown trout too. I recall fishing near Crossford and catching dozens and dozens of Grayling around the 6 inch mark.
    I have friends who have fished for Grayling on the Earn, Clyde, and Isla. They really got me excited about their past exploits and catches but whenever I went with them the conditions were never right. One of these times I am gonna have a real go at the Graying but I can’t see that being any time soon.
    Good Luck Next time!


  6. darren whyte · December 19, 2010

    do need a permit for grayling fishing on the clyde was thinking of giving it a bash.

  7. Paul R · December 19, 2010

    You’re all mental! Given that I nearly fell for the stupendous optimism that was floating about before this trip . . . . . I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read this. I have experienced frozen lines and ice cube patterns before. Never again.

  8. Squigster · December 19, 2010

    Good to see you at least gave it a go Alistair, and I did like your comedy outfit! Mind you, it is a bit of a scunner when you travel somewhere and it’s unfishable – I won’t be best pleased if there isn’t a bit of a thaw between Xmas and the New Year

  9. alan atkins · December 19, 2010

    Alistair, hopefully we”l get warmer temps next week and have the chance of getting out. Once you’ve had a good day on this river catching high quality grayling , you’ll never look back !!

  10. Alistair · December 19, 2010

    Darren – sorry, missed your question – aye you need a permit – it is only a few pounds, I think they are pretty hard to find though – I hear Crossford is supposed to be ok for them.

    Paul – you missed out on some serious Man Shit!

    Squigster – Comedy outfit indeed – I will have you know that is all the rage in Easterhouse!

    Alan – I reckon this is us until February!

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