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Old 02-26-2024, 10:53 AM
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Default Grayling=a different question...

Hey guys-the only grayling I've had the privilege to fish for were in the mountains in Alberta, in a body of water that I believe is stocked. I suspect you all know where I'm talking about, though I seldom see it mentioned here. Great experience, over 10 years ago mind-you. I fished it from a 1-man inflatable, cast small beadhead nymphs on a long leader and walked them back slowly. Pinned about 3 fish in an hour, 2 of them very decent-sized...considering I wasn't expecting to actually hook one in the first place!

There is an Alberta/Grayling thread a few down, but the purpose of this thread is to discuss the best places TO fish for them in N. America? I could see building a trip around grayling fishing in the near future, but in Canada my impression is that it's the pond I fished....some streams in NW Alberta for small ones...or Alaska? Do I have that right?

I joined an FB group called "Grayling Fly Fishing" that has been an eye opener to how many great rivers there are in Europe, and to how large these fish can get. Awesome.

So, I guess this is mostly an Alaska question...maybe Nunavut-have any of you been up there and tried for them? Missing any Canadian options? There are other species I like fishing for, and certainly Alaska opens up some options. Just get the sense they're the side-gig up there, people target them on the days they need to rest?
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Old 02-26-2024, 02:28 PM
FCLightning FCLightning is online now
 
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There are grayling in N. Sask.
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2024, 02:48 PM
mikeym mikeym is offline
 
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they are pretty prevalent in Alberta. any stream or river that flows into either the Athabasca or Peace River is going to have grayling in them. and a lot of these rivers and streams have some pretty decent sized grayling in them. i have caught up to 20" grayling (not a lot) but there are lots in the 12 - 18" range in most bigger streams.

that being said they are pretty common anywhere north of the Athabasca. never fished in the territories but people i know who have said they are pretty plentiful and decent sized especially around Great Slave Lake. even Northern Sask and Manitoba from what i hear have a decent population of grayling in most streams.

many a day if you get onto a good pool where they are stacked up, 50 - 100 fish in one day is not that uncommon. they are one of the funniest fish to fish for as they usually put up a good fight for their size and for the most part are not that picky.
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Old 02-26-2024, 03:23 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhogger View Post
Hey guys-the only grayling I've had the privilege to fish for were in the mountains in Alberta, in a body of water that I believe is stocked. I suspect you all know where I'm talking about, though I seldom see it mentioned here. Great experience, over 10 years ago mind-you. I fished it from a 1-man inflatable, cast small beadhead nymphs on a long leader and walked them back slowly. Pinned about 3 fish in an hour, 2 of them very decent-sized...considering I wasn't expecting to actually hook one in the first place!

There is an Alberta/Grayling thread a few down, but the purpose of this thread is to discuss the best places TO fish for them in N. America? I could see building a trip around grayling fishing in the near future, but in Canada my impression is that it's the pond I fished....some streams in NW Alberta for small ones...or Alaska? Do I have that right?

I joined an FB group called "Grayling Fly Fishing" that has been an eye opener to how many great rivers there are in Europe, and to how large these fish can get. Awesome.

So, I guess this is mostly an Alaska question...maybe Nunavut-have any of you been up there and tried for them? Missing any Canadian options? There are other species I like fishing for, and certainly Alaska opens up some options. Just get the sense they're the side-gig up there, people target them on the days they need to rest?
NWT is good early in the year, and Yukon is also good through the early summer, the run seems to last a bit longer there.

My biggest was a 19" grayling I caught somewhere in western Yukon, we were gassing up and I just decided to throw a couple casts into a pool near the gas station. Fished for about 20 minuets and caught the 19, an 18 and a couple 16 inchers. Which seemed pretty good to me.

The biggest ones I've caught in Alberta were on canoe trips on the upper Athabasca. No 18 inchers, but the average size was usually around 12- 15".
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Old 02-26-2024, 04:13 PM
HL_transplant HL_transplant is offline
 
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Kakisa has a run of large ones early in the spring. Can easily drive there. They can surpass 4lbs in that run.
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Old 02-26-2024, 06:28 PM
fishpro fishpro is offline
 
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Definitely some big ones in the Stark River in the NWT. Fly-in only though
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Old 02-26-2024, 06:55 PM
SouthWestRanger SouthWestRanger is offline
 
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There are grayling in Northern BC, northern and western AB, Northern SK, all the territories and pretty much any arctic draining waters west of Ontario. Don’t know if they exist out east but dealing are all over the north. Are you looking for guided or DIY, fly in or drive to?
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Old 02-26-2024, 09:32 PM
jednastka jednastka is offline
 
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Lots of good suggestions here, but I question in your original post on a "stocked grayling". I spoke with Craig Copeland of Cold Lake, Alberta's godfather of stocking this past weekend. They are beginning to experiment with this, but he says grayling is one of the most difficult fish to raise in a hatchery, and there are very, very few success stories.


Vic
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Old 02-26-2024, 11:52 PM
HL_transplant HL_transplant is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jednastka View Post
Lots of good suggestions here, but I question in your original post on a "stocked grayling". I spoke with Craig Copeland of Cold Lake, Alberta's godfather of stocking this past weekend. They are beginning to experiment with this, but he says grayling is one of the most difficult fish to raise in a hatchery, and there are very, very few success stories.


Vic
Grayling were successfully stocked in bear pond for quite a few years. Winterkill was the main issue. The OP may have fished it.

Last edited by HL_transplant; 02-26-2024 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 02-27-2024, 11:30 AM
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http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showt...light=grayling

Good info in this one. If you search grayling you will find a ton af good posts.
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:05 PM
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Grayling are my favourite fish. I used to target them a lot up in McMurray having grown up there. Nowadays I have a spot 2.5 hours from home (Sherwood Park) that has been producing for me for a good 15 years now.
Not trophy caliber mind you but still fun nevertheless..


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Last edited by 1899b; 02-27-2024 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 02-27-2024, 06:11 PM
New2Elk New2Elk is offline
 
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When the grayling are running here it’s hard not to catch them. I had the good fortune of working on a project along the Trout River in the southern NWT that allowed me to fish there in the evenings after work. I was just casting with a small spinner but hit the main grayling run there. It was almost one fish per cast. My best was 27 casts in a row with a fish each time before I came up empty once. Most in the 14”-16” range but the occasional one getting to 18”. What a blast that was. I’ve never been to the Kakisa during the peak run but something I definitely need to make some time for.
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Old 02-27-2024, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by New2Elk View Post
When the grayling are running here it’s hard not to catch them. I had the good fortune of working on a project along the Trout River in the southern NWT that allowed me to fish there in the evenings after work. I was just casting with a small spinner but hit the main grayling run there. It was almost one fish per cast. My best was 27 casts in a row with a fish each time before I came up empty once. Most in the 14”-16” range but the occasional one getting to 18”. What a blast that was. I’ve never been to the Kakisa during the peak run but something I definitely need to make some time for.
Awesome memory for sure!!
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Old 02-27-2024, 07:39 PM
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Not sure if the OP Groundhogger is referring to Bear Pond, but it's kind of a shame that the grayling are all gone and replaced with tiger trout. Some of my best dry fly days were at Bear Pond when the grayling were looking up.

I like the tigers too, but sure miss the grayling.
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Old 03-03-2024, 08:09 PM
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Much like brook trout in the east, grayling are everywhere in the north but only get big in a few locations due to a collection of perfect conditions and genetics. Your best bet for true monsters is reading through the record books and picking out water bodies where they get to at least 3 lbs, then calling outfitters in those areas. NWT, Sask and Manitoba would be my choices, in that order, but you need to do some research. Also be really good with streamers, bigger grayling are definitely eating bigger stuff. My biggest was 19” on a 4” bunny bugger swung on an 8 wt - I kept upsizing my flies trying to catch a bull trout in a particular pool, and every time I upsized, I caught a bigger grayling. Blew my mind how those crazy things would smash what I thought were pike flies.

We have nothing like the grayling scene in Europe. There’s very few people in Canada who have specifically gone after a big one.
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Old 03-06-2024, 08:40 AM
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I really appreciate the input guys, thanks so much! I had been half-wondering if I could put a DIY trip together for the NWT, possibly next year...looking more like an outfitter would be required.

I'll keep digging..

Thanks again!
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Old 03-06-2024, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Groundhogger View Post
I really appreciate the input guys, thanks so much! I had been half-wondering if I could put a DIY trip together for the NWT, possibly next year...looking more like an outfitter would be required.

I'll keep digging..

Thanks again!
You can DIY the Kakisa very easily on a drive to, no air needed basis, and it doesn't get much better than that. If you want more remote you can get Air Tindi out of Yellowknife to drop you off pretty much anywhere you want to try. You can also charter out of Hay River or High level if you prefer. Take tent and gear, they will come back and get you when you want. We used to hop from one spot to another over a couple of weeks. With 4 guys splitting the air costs it was pretty cheap.
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Old 03-11-2024, 06:10 PM
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Just last summer we fished a river up near Hinton....We fished a couple of small lakes about 45 minutes north of Hinton, and while I didnt catch anything these guys did. Next day, we fished the Wild Hay River with low expectations.....I caught at least a dozen Grayling the first day and another 8 the following day...My friends between them caught 6...

I spent some time in the Yukon, and the Liard river was an easily fishable river with tons of Grayling....
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Old 04-03-2024, 01:15 PM
Unclerj Unclerj is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Scott N View Post
Not sure if the OP Groundhogger is referring to Bear Pond, but it's kind of a shame that the grayling are all gone and replaced with tiger trout. Some of my best dry fly days were at Bear Pond when the grayling were looking up.

I like the tigers too, but sure miss the grayling.
Agree completely.

Wedge Pond was also a lot of fun when it was stocked, but it hasn't been stocked for a while and the water level is much too low now.

I particularily liked the zero limit on Grayling in those ponds. I fished Wedge until it froze over and could still catch some. The bucket brigades deplete the other ponds pretty quickly.
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Old 04-05-2024, 09:43 AM
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The last time I actively pursued grayling was on tbe Charlotte River , it flows into Lake Athabasca in Northen Saskatchewan .
We averaged 50 fish per day ( 4 of us) and the smallest was 18", the largest 24".
Absolutely fantastic fly fishing!
Cat
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Old 04-06-2024, 04:47 PM
KrisRD KrisRD is offline
 
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Spent some time last summer exploring the fishing around Whitehorse. The Yukon has some exceptional greyling fishing..50+ fish in an hour sort of fishing. Had some great rainbow and laker action too. I'm hoping to get back there in a couple years, but with a boat this time. The variety of opportunities and lack of people makes it special.
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Old 04-08-2024, 08:51 PM
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Spent some time last summer exploring the fishing around Whitehorse. The Yukon has some exceptional greyling fishing..50+ fish in an hour sort of fishing. Had some great rainbow and laker action too. I'm hoping to get back there in a couple years, but with a boat this time. The variety of opportunities and lack of people makes it special.
We did a yukon trip a couple years ago. Bought a cheap truck camper, threw a canoe on top and explored lots of yukon lakes. With a trolling motor we were able to cover some larger lakes easier and troll for lakers which was a blast. And yes, the grayling fishing up there is ridiculously good

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Old 04-09-2024, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Brodhead View Post
We did a yukon trip a couple years ago. Bought a cheap truck camper, threw a canoe on top and explored lots of yukon lakes. With a trolling motor we were able to cover some larger lakes easier and troll for lakers which was a blast. And yes, the grayling fishing up there is ridiculously good

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Not sure I wanted an answer that enticing. lol Thanks Brodhead!
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:31 AM
-JR- -JR- is online now
 
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Default Once in a life time .

We fished mid stream of the little smokey about half way between hyw 40 and the Bigstone road one October . It was slow fishing until we hit a log pile up . On the other side of it we were just using spin casting rods with a weight on the end of the line and two flies every 8 inches up from the weight . Kid you not you could count to 5 and you would have two rocky mountain whitefish on. They were so thick down there you could walk on them . After 1 hr our arms were so sore . So we decided to walk to the next log pile up .
It was Graylings now ! Just millions of them . We just hammered them again .Two graylings every time we pulled the line up . After 1/2 hr we pulled a fly rod out with a floating fly .. This was something to see in clear water just 10 ft from where we were standing , you could see two graylings come up as soon as the fly hit the water . We must of caught over 300 fish each that day . We were blessed ! Came back to the same spot every year on our annual moose hunt and we were lucky even to catch 1 fish . Not sure if we were out a few days that made the difference or if the numbers just went down by that much .
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Old 04-09-2024, 10:09 AM
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Agree completely.

Wedge Pond was also a lot of fun when it was stocked, but it hasn't been stocked for a while and the water level is much too low now.

I particularily liked the zero limit on Grayling in those ponds. I fished Wedge until it froze over and could still catch some. The bucket brigades deplete the other ponds pretty quickly.
Alberta F&W used to use a lake (pond) near Canmore for Grayling eggs and milt, for their Grayling stocking program. I’d take the water temperature daily while doing my morning dog walk from ice-out to early May, and keep a Trout Unlimited biologist/coordinator informed. When the temp reached 10C, she’d let F & W know, and they’d come up with a truck, tent/tarps, tanks, set up nets and start ‘stripping’ grayling of their milt & eggs. TU had a contact list of a few locals from their local chapter who could also show up and catch fish to turn over to the F & W people to ‘milk’ and return to the pond. The last year I have photographs of this are from 2009. I don’t know if it continued past then.
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Old 04-09-2024, 12:28 PM
McLeod McLeod is offline
 
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Originally Posted by FCLightning View Post
There are grayling in N. Sask.
Not in the North Sask system.
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Old 04-09-2024, 07:00 PM
FCLightning FCLightning is online now
 
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Not in the North Sask system.
The North Sask River system is a long way from North Sask.
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Old 04-10-2024, 11:52 PM
smitty9 smitty9 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCLightning View Post
The North Sask River system is a long way from North Sask.
Yes, grayling are found in "northern Saskatchewan" (note lowercase 'n'). But, in McLeod's defence, most us will read N. Sask as North Saskatchewan river. It's a common colloquialism around these parts.

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