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Arctic Grayling

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  • Arctic Grayling

    Ever fished for grayling? I've always been fascinated by them, probably because they're far off and seem kind of exotic. Freshwater sailfish. I'm wondering how they are on the table -- I know they're kind of a camp-food staple in the Far North. Here's an interesting thing I just learned as I read: Their Latin name, Thymmalus arcticus, was given them because they smell like the herb thyme.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MattM37 View Post
    Ever fished for grayling? I've always been fascinated by them, probably because they're far off and seem kind of exotic. Freshwater sailfish. I'm wondering how they are on the table -- I know they're kind of a camp-food staple in the Far North. Here's an interesting thing I just learned as I read: Their Latin name, Thymmalus arcticus, was given them because they smell like the herb thyme.
    A mountain grayling can be found in some Rocky Mountain lakes. I caught several in Montana with my dad when I was a kid.

    Caught the arctic variety when I worked in Alaska. An interesting fish. They grab a spot on a creek and stay there. Very territorial and aggressive. Don't use coachman pattern. They go for the white wings and miss the hook. Throw the fly at a grayling over and over and even if it feels the hook, it will keep going after it ... from that same spot. Catch, release, and it goes right back to the same spot. They fight "okay" ... nothing fantastic. I don't remember any spectacular jumps. They are fabulous eating BUT ONLY FRESH. Frozen and thawed they are hardly edible.
    Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 01-07-2021, 11:44 PM.

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    • #3
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      I finally pulled a picture off the laptop, the first fish I caught on my one trip to Alaska was this grayling. Special only for that reason, it hit a spinner I was throwing mainly for rainbows or char. Caught a few others on both spinning and fly gear. Rainbows were strictly catch and release by law but char went straight to the kitchen upon return. I have no idea how grayling are on the plate.

      I’d like to go back but there are other trips on my bucket list. So much to do, so little time.

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      • #4
        I've caught a ton of grayling in the north country. Back in the seventies, 20 inches were available in many roadside streams and rivers. Small spinners, flies, including royal coachman and black gnats work well. Today's easily accessible areas have grayling, but fish over 12 inches are harder to find. Fly and bobber works well too. Fish the fly dry with the bobber to give it weight to cast. It sounds weird but works well.

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