Arctic grayling are found in Arctic and Pacific waters as well as the Missouri River and large well oxygenated lakes and rivers. Fly fishing using dry or wet flies and black or brown Woolly worms as bait is an effective technique for catching Arctic Graylings. They also respond to small spinners. Peak fishing season for Arctic Grayling extends from June through September.
How to identify an Arctic Grayling
The Arctic grayling’s distinctive characteristic is its prominent dorsal fin that looks like a sail. Just behind the dorsal fin is the adipose fin which helps identify them as a Salmonoid. Males have a taller dorsal fin with rear rounding, whereas this fin is smaller in females, yet the front is taller than the males. This fish has remarkable color variation, a graceful profile, and a robust fin. The body is silver-gray with gold/lavender hues. The body of the Arctic grayling has distinct markings that are X or V-shaped, as well as spotted markings on their dorsal fin. Some Arctic graylings are completely gold, silver, or deep blue.
Where to catch Arctic Grayling
In North America, Arctic graylings can be found from Canada (northern/central) to the Hudson Bay out east. There are also some isolated groups in Idaho and Montana. Anglers have introduced these fish in various bodies of water in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Vermont. Arctic graylings are most prevalent in the cold-water rivers and lakes of northern Canada and Alaska..
The following are habitats where you can catch Arctic Grayling:
- Current Edges
- Dams and Falls
- Outside of Bends
- Ripples, Currents, Swirls and Sprays
- Rock and Boulder Pockets
- Undercut Banks
How to catch Arctic Grayling
The Arctic grayling is a fantastic fly-fishing sport fish. The best time of year to target these fish is from June through September. The Arctic graylings that live in rivers respond well to small spinners and dry flies in June. They are very easy to catch from August to September during their peak feeding season when they tend to stick to shallower waters.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Arctic Grayling:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Arctic Grayling
A good method for catching the Arctic grayling is fly fishing. They respond well to wet or dry flies and brown Woolly worms. Spinners also work for these fish, but because they have small mouths, anglers should choose something in the 1 to 1.5 inch range.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Arctic Grayling: