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Lake: Joe Wright Reservoir
Fish: Arctic Grayling

a little Grayling porn

Post By: anglerwannabe      Posted: 10/10/2022 9:53:57 AM     Points: 73044    
did a little leaf viewing yesterday and also made a little time to stop and float Joe Wright. Didn't take long to find the Grayling.. a beautiful and different fish from what we normally catch here in CO. Using fly and bubble I had bite after bite but I suck at the fly and bubble and couldn't land them so I switched to more traditional gear and got some to the net.
 Reply by: team FMFO      Posted: 10/10/2022 10:48:22 AM     Points: 3339
Nice fish Jim , what fly were you using ?
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 10/10/2022 10:57:45 AM     Points: 73044
Here ya go Scott. They're hard bodied ants.. the one working the best is the red one... red/black works great too but I seemed to have misplaced that one.

I had something on that was larger than these fish and I suspect it may have been my first ever cutthroat at Joe Wright because the fight was completely different too. One of the tricks with catching these grayling is to not set the hook too hard.

a small KastMaster works pretty good too... but not as good as the ants
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: 10/10/2022 4:23:50 PM     Points: 11476
Very cool pictures.
Many thanks!
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: 10/10/2022 7:01:19 PM     Points: 4420
I have to catch one of those. Tried several times. I always catch a kabillion stocker rainbows.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 10/11/2022 4:52:01 AM     Points: 73044
Steve - they're not that difficult to catch and if you hit Joe Wright I promise you won't catch any rainbows. There are cutthroats in there but I've never caught one and it was stocked with Tiger Muskie and Lake Trout... but that was long time ago and I suspect there aren't any Tiger Muskie left in there and if the Lakers survived they would be huge... but darn near impossible to catch because they have such a huge forage base in those graylings.
 Reply by: Troutbisquits      Posted: 10/11/2022 7:14:10 AM     Points: 2392
I love fishing that lake. I grew up near the entrance to the Poudre canyon and have been fishing that lake since I was 12! I've seen some interesting trends with the grayling. Anglerwannabe have you felt like the past couple years the grayling have been trending smaller? 2017 was the last year I caught MA grayling, and even several 15 in fish on one memorable ice fishing trip. Nowdays they seem to max out for me at about 14 inches with the average being smaller than it was a couple years back. I should mention though that they have overall trended up in size compared to when I started fishing that lake in 2000.

The lake trout that are in there were stocked as adults, and if I recall correctly it was only 50 females in 2004. With how long lake trout live, I am sure they could still be roaming in there. Maybe it is time for another stocking though?
 Reply by: jibber      Posted: 10/11/2022 7:16:02 AM     Points: 19819
Are the ant patterns dry flys?
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 10/11/2022 1:06:43 PM     Points: 73044
Troutbisquits - yes they seem to be smaller. A couple years ago speaking with Dave Coulsen he felt there were too many grayling in Joe Wright and it stunts their growth. When speaking to some biologists I'm familiar with they seem to come to the same consensus.

Jibber - they're hard bodied ants so they're not dry flies. Seen enough of your posts, I'm about 99.99999% sure if you go there YOU will catch them.
 Reply by: Team CO.F.F.      Posted: 10/11/2022 2:32:35 PM     Points: 315
Thats Awesome!!!
 Reply by: SGM      Posted: 10/11/2022 4:21:32 PM     Points: 23217
Love them Grayling, way to go Jim. Beautiful country up there.
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: 10/12/2022 7:20:08 AM     Points: 6182
I have had good luck there using maribou jigs as well as snap jigging spoons.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: 10/12/2022 8:24:56 AM     Points: 745
Such cool fish - good work Jim
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 10/12/2022 2:31:09 PM     Points: 73044
Dan, Tyler, Russ and Brad... thank you!

Bill - Duh.. I didn't even think about hair jigs even though Bryan (BHarper) uses them all the time and even sent me some.

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