Arctic Grayling Fishing Tips

Go To Hawkins Taxidermy

100 years ago, Arctic Grayling were found as far south as the Canada-US border and even farther south in the Rocky Mountains. Introduction of foreign species like Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and others, wiped them out in just a few years. Now they are only found in small lakes and rivers in the far north. Alaska, Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut are the only place you will get big populations of them.

There is a widespread misconception that Grayling are cousins of the trout or the salmon/char family. In actual fact, Arctic Grayling are a species of Whitefish. Even though they are a Whitefish, their habitat, spawning characteristics and feeding habits are similar to trout.

Grayling spawn in the spring while all other species of Whitefish spawn in the fall. Arctic Grayling don't feed for weeks before and after they spawn, which is like the Whitefish. In the far north, catching Arctic Grayling before late June is harder then later in the season. Mid to late June is when they stop thinking about spawning and start to feed. After that, they have ravaging appetites.

You will find Grayling in small lakes, which are wide open spots of rivers, but their primary territory is in the rivers and they stay in the rapids or deep pools just like a trout.

Spin Casting with Lures

Fly-Fishing

Fly-fishing for Arctic Grayling is the most fun way of fishing. Grayling's primary food is bugs floating down the river so they tend to hits insects off the surface with much more motivation and enthusiasm then trout. Many times Grayling come flying into the air as soon as they hit the fly, which is why they are such a prestigious game fish. A fishing fanatic's life is not complete without catching an Arctic Graying. Don't forget about the bragging rights.

Arctic grayling will hit tiny spinners and Cleaos. Zero Mepps, zero Blue Foxes, zero Panther Martins or any other small spinners work great. It's best to stay with natural dark colors like black, gray, dark green or brown, which are colors native to local insects. Silver also works well as it mimics local baitfish. They also like tiny 1/8 oz. Cleaos. Use 4 or 6 pound dark green fishing line and cast up stream of a hole and retrieve. Wolf Lake Lodge

Hatch Chart

Fish Diet

Hatch

April

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Arctic
Grayling

Lake
Trout

Pike

Whitefish

Chironomid Larva

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Chironomid Pupa

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Chironomid Adult

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Mayfly Nymph

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Mayfly Adult

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Damselfly Nymph

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Damselfly Adult

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Dragonfly Nymph

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Caddis Fly Larva

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Caddis Fly Pupa

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Caddis Fly Adult

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Water Boatman

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Scuds

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Leeches

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WHICH BUG TO FLY?

Hatch

Bugs to FLY

Chironomid Larva

Brassie, V-rib Chironomid, Super Chironomid, Blood Worm, Cracklin Chironomid

Chironomid Pupa

Midge Pupa, Para-Nymph, RS2, Palimino Midge, Disco Midge, Bead Heads

Chironomid Adult

Griffith's Knat, Midge Biot, CDC Midge Adult, Mosquito, Black Knat

Mayfly Nymph

C.B. Micro, Ap's, Zug Bug, Prince, Hare's Ear, Theo's Shaggy, Possie, Bead Heads

Mayfly Adult

Parachute, CDC Biot Comparadun, Adam's, Blue Winged Olive, Cahill, Realistica

Damselfly Nymph

Whitlock's Damsel, Barr's Damsel Nymph, A.K.'s Swimming Damsel

Damselfly Adult

Burk's Adult Damsel, Barr's Damsel, various others

Dragonfly Nymph

Kaufmann's Lake Dragon, Whitlock's Dragon, Gierach's Dragon

Caddis Fly Larva

Stalcup's Caddis Larva, Cased Caddis, Peeking Caddis, Nori's Swimming Caddis

Caddis Fly Pupa

Lafontainne's Deep Sparkle Pupa, Thad's Dream

Caddis Fly Adult

Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Humpy, Stimulators, Emergent Sparkle Pupa

Water Boatman

Water Boatman, Back Swimmer, Bubble Boatman

Scuds

Epoxy Back Scud, Braggy Shrimp, Kaufmann's Scud, Bead Heads

Leeches

Zonker, Wooley Bugger, Near Nuff Sculpin

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