All about Arctic grayling - a stunning fish that is fantastic to catch on a fly rod!
Arctic Grayling are regarded as a great angling fish and are sought after not only because they are great fighters, but are also stunning and aesthetic fish. The males sport a striking and brightly coloured dorsal fin which can be easily identified by its large sail-shape. Using their dorsal fin against the current, these energetic fish are known to put up a hard fight. Grayling are small; averaging just 12-16 inches in length and up to 4 lbs; don’t underestimate their size. Pound for pound anglers often argue that they are some of the best fighters out there. Determined, and aggressive they are tenacious fighters, making them a popular fish but also very adept at shaking a hook.
Fishing Grayling Rapids or the Kazan River, are both great day trips from the lodge at Arctic Haven. Above treeline on the open tundra, Grayling Rapids connects the main arm of Ennadai Lake with its West Arm and offers a steady even current, perfect for Arctic Grayling. The mighty Kazan is home to some of the largest Arctic grayling on record, and often catches of over 3lbs. We find a 4- weight rod with a 5X or 6X tippet is ideal for grayling fishing, especially in the cold clear streams near the lodge. Grayling feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects, as well as small nymphs and fish, so a variety of small flies work great for Grayling. Depending on the time of day you will find us using dry flies or weighed nymphs. We recommend a caddis or hare’s ear nymph.
When fish can be seen rising at the surface, a dry fly offers the added thrill of watching a fish take the fly. Even if you don’t consider yourself an avid fisherman, Grayling are also fun for those just learning to fly fish. When hungry, Grayling are not particularly fussy and will take a variety of flies. When not feeding on the surface, Grayling stay close to the bottom and upstream nymphing with waders is the way to go. Again, your choice of fly isn’t as important as the presentation- Grayling can be very discerning. With some finesse to control depth and drag, a weighted nymph dead drifting through Grayling Rapids can be extremely effective and incredibly entertaining.
Fishing at Arctic Haven can be a weeklong focus for avid anglers or simply a fun day trip to compliment to your other excursions out on the tundra. Boat access, hiking or even helicopter based fishing; You pick your adventure! Finally, as a last note when you do catch a Grayling, they are rather delicate so take extra caution when handling and removing your hook!
Heli-fishing is the best way to explore multiple fishing areas while staying with us! Available on all August & September departures at Arctic Haven, heli-fishing must be reserved prior to arrival (due to popularity!).