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Grayling

Among fly fisherman all over Europe River Glomma is well known for it's grayling. Last summer people from 17 different countries tried their luck in our part of the river. 
Grayling are the most abundant salmonid, and they are really plentiful. Most of them will be between 30 and 40 cm. I consider every grayling over 40 cm to be a big fish, and just like everywhere else in the world, a fish over 50 cm is a specimen. Last summer there were a few lucky fly fisherman with a 50+ cm grayling, all of them came from the fly fishing zone.

The biggest grayling I heard of must be the fish Sture Jansson from Malung, Sweden, caught in 1985. He took it on a dry fly, just below the Eids waterfal, using a sedge imitation. It measured 67 cm and weighted 3 kg. Sture fished at Kvennan since 1946, but sadly the last years we haven't seen him anymore. From the same period are more stories about monster grayling. In the gallery, Hans van Klinken's FF pictures section, you can find a few pictures of a 61 cm grayling. In '95 my old friend Eppie had one of 58 cm on a dry, and I've seen some fish between 50 en 55 cm. 
Between the years 1999 en 2001 about 28 % of the caught grayling was over 40 cm in the Tolga area. In the years after this percentage dropped to about 5 %. I think we are on the way up again, and I expect in summer 2008 in the fly fishing zone there will be around 20 % over 40 cm again. I am in the privileged position to be able to fish Glomma almost every day in the season, and my observations about fish stock are quite similar. Last summer I noticed  a lot of fish between 35 and 42 cm in the fly fishing zone. I only had one grayling over 45 cm, but I also learned how to use streamers for the bigger ones - quite a productive technique!

An interesting question for the fly fishing zone could be if the fish stay in the zone, or migrates. In the last years there has been done research, by tagging trout and grayling in the Glomma, Rena and Trysilelva rivers. Fisherman was asked to send in the tags, when they took a fish carrying one, stating the place where the fish was taken, size and other data. The results are now published:

Genetic structure in relation to movements in wild European grayling (Thymallus thymallus) in three Norwegian rivers
Jan Heggenes, Tore Qvenild, Michael D. Stamford, and Eric B. Taylor

Abstract: The relationship among genetic structure, movements, and barriers was studied in European grayling (Thymallus thymallus). Gene flow is closely related to movement patterns, and genetic differentiation may be negatively correlated with movement. Grayling movements in the Glomma River (8149 tagged) and the neighbouring Trysilelva River (4070 tagged) were different among sampling sites. Most individuals were stationary (0.5 km), but some individuals moved long distances (≤153 km). The movement data indicated potential for gene flow between the two upstream sampling sites in the Glomma River and between the two midstream sites in the Trysilelva River. Allele frequencies at seven microsatellite loci indicated pair wise differentiation across sampling sites. Genetic structuring was generally consistent with the observed movement pattern. Isolation-by-linear-distance or number of potential barriers (dams, lakes) was not significant among sites within streams or among sites within the two southern streams. They were significant, however, if two outlying northern populations in the Pasvik River were included. Our results suggest that although grayling may move long distances, they also exhibit genetic structuring within large continuous river systems. Fish movement, often the result of flexible and adaptive behavioural strategies, is the ecological mechanism for gene flow. Movements may be the adaptive link explaining how environmental conditions affect genetic structuring.
Original text from : NRC, Research Press

 

 

 
 

 

 

contact : kff@kvennan.com

Hein van Aar