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Midge Fishing for Grayling

Posted on March 18 2013

Midge Fishing for Grayling
Awesome fish, classic techniques. Photo: Cameron Miller

Last week he heard how Jason Rivers fishes for grayling around Fairbanks in Interior Alaska.  Today we learn about a very different kind of grayling fishing, from Alaska West’s own Adam Kryder.

Midge Fishing for Grayling In Alaska

Its no secret that King Salmon season gets a lot of press on our website, but let’s take a minute to think about another type of magic at that same time of year – excellent dry fly fishing for grayling.

In June and July, the egg and flesh drop of the salmon has not yet started. The grayling are ravenous, and can be found packed in little side channels that very closely mimic a lot of the dynamics of spring creek fishing – tight casts, sight fishing, matching the hatch. Just like spring creek fishing, we highly recommend a nice soft 4 weight fly rod, and some 6x tippet or less with midge patterns.

One of the big advantages of fishing midge patterns for grayling is that midges are naturally occurring, and will hatch in the cold, wet, and weird conditions that we often encounter that time of year in Alaska.  Even if there is a lot of wind, grayling are usually found tucked back in side channels where a wind shadow is created. Most of the time you can find a midge hatch coming off.

We definitely look at being very versatile with our fishing skills, and you wouldn’t believe just how nice it feels to take an hour or two at the end of a day and fall back to that soft 4 weight.  Instead of continuing to huck a huge spey line – especially if the fishing has already been incredible, or if it is a slow day. Sometimes, with a little touch of something different, and a moment’s pause, we can learn even more about the entirety of the ecosystem that our river provides.  And grayling are beautiful!

Gear Recommendations

  • Your favorite 4 weight.  We highly recommend checking out some of the modern fiberglass rods that can be researched on
  • Any click pawl reel matched to balance the rod.  Ebay, craigslist, garage sales, flea markets, etc… are great sources to dig up classic sound and feel for cheap. Try a search for “Pflueger Medalist”.
  • Scientific Anglers Mastery Series Trout Line in 4 weight
  • Clear 9 foot  6x trout leader and 6x tippet. We know a lot of anglers look at 6x as overkill in Alaska, but it is strong, so why not?
  • Size 22 and under midge patterns, like Griffith’s Gnats, tiny Adams patterns, etc.

More on Grayling

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