Part of the River Academy series of instructional DVDs by Fish On Productions, this DVD features well known Champion river angler John Tyzack (JT) and actor and keen fly fisher, Dean Andrews (Deano). In the two DVD production they tackle (sic) fly fishing for Grayling in all four seasons, showing the tactics and techniques that work. From Autumn when the Grayling season really gets underway, the fish being reasonably spread out and sitting in moderately brisk water, through winter when they bunch up in the slower deeps, into Spring when Graying are starting to think perhaps about the next generation and might take a fly from the surface, and finally breeding season done, summer and targeting individual fish in clear waters.
There is something in this set for any angler wishing to target the Lady of the Stream though in my view I feel if you have had an outing or two out before the DVD, you will probably have a better feel for what they are doing and have those questions in your head which hopefully the DVD’s answer. The techniques covered were mainly based around the use of heavy nymphs in the Czech Nymphing style.
In the Autumn session JT and Deano tackle water up to waist deep that’s moving along at what I would describe as fast walking pace. They used the short line Cz Nymphing technique without an indicator using the join between leader and line as the guide for a take. JT mentions that its not necessary to use an indicator at this stage ( qualifying it by mentioning bobber type indicators). Somewhat confusingly though in the winter session where they tackle slower and deeper water they use an inline indicator of the type I use myself in Autumn and Winter. I was a little confused why they eschewed the indicator in Autumn but not in Winter. I do agree that a bobber or pimp style indicator is not really suitable at any time for this type of fishing.
However for me it was all about technique and method, how to play a Grayling and how to tackle finicky fish are two questions that have come to me again and again and they were answered well both verbally and by demonstaration again and again in this film.
The Spring /Summer sessions were a little less familiar to me, having done only one true spring session for Grayling without success, and I was quite surprised at their use of a nymph fished under a dry fly but on a very short line. Its definitely something I will try, I usually use a longer more conventional fly fishing technique when using Klink and Dink.
The Summer session was probably of less value to me as it was based around targeting fish in the clear waters of a chalk stream, not something I am likely to ever get the chance to try. But it was interesting nonetheless.
All in all the fishing sequences, with the friendly banter between the two presenters were both entertaining and educational. Following this they move onto tackle used, while it was adequate, I felt a little more on indicator set ups, maybe touching on methods like French leader, braided line use and indicator types might have been useful.
Finally the last section covered the tying of all the flies used in the video. this was very good and along with the booklet provided in the DVD case, everything is here so you can emulate their success on the same flies.
All in all this is a great DVD set for any angler interested in the modern methods used in fishing for Grayling, and is a good substitute for those days when you wish you were out on the bank but the weather beats you. I look forward to putting the tips and techniques I learned from the videos into use on my next outing.