Latest News

Committee and Area changes

Rod Calbrade is retiring as General Secretary but is taking up a new role as Symposium Coordinator, a job that is becoming more demanding as the Society grows. John Walker is stepping down as Area 6 Secretary and will take over as General Secretary. The Committee extends its appreciation to Rod for all his hard work and effort as General Secretary and thanks John for stepping up to the plate.

As Barrie Davidson has retired from the role of Area 7 Secretary the committee has agreed to integrate Area 7 into Area 6 and for Glyn Williams to take up the role of Area 6 Secretary. The committee would like to thank Barrie for his contribution and to welcome Glyn on board.

John Walker - General Secretary
With time to spare I wanted to get more involved with the things that matter to me, fishing, environmental issues and conservation.

I've always been impressed at how friendly and professional the Grayling Society is, so was pleased to be able to get more involved as it fit perfectly with what’s important to me.

As Area 6 Secretary I met several fellow members, made new friends, and became re-acquainted with a few old ones. It was always a joy to share experiences, tips and tales during our days out and fish alongside likeminded people.

I'm moving on the take up the role of General Secretary and handing Area 6 over the Glyn Williams, who I know will excel, but I'll still look forward to seeing friends and fellow members during Area 6 events.

Angle with poise, John

Glyn Williams - Area 6 Secretary
I first joined the Society back in the 1980's and at that time enjoyed the Welsh Dee immensely. I was brought up in North Wales and spent many years of my working life there and whilst I now live in Worcestershire I should, by the time you read this, be living in Denbighshire close to the Dee.

I have been lucky to have fished in many Countries both in fresh and saltwater but now, in retirement, I will concentrate on game fish. Like many of you who read this, grayling are a particular favourite of mine and I never tire of fishing for them and enjoying the places they take me to.

I look forward to contributing to the activities of the Society as Area 6 Secretary and to meeting faces old and new. I have two stalwart members to assist me, if needed, in John Walker and Louis Noble and look forward to meeting many of you on stream during our arranged events.

Tight lines, Glyn

Paysubsonline renamed Loveadmin

Could members please be aware that the Grayling Society's membership system provider Paysubsonline has changed it's name to Loveadmin.

Members usernames and passwords remain unchanged.

Area 8 November 2018 Newsletter

Download the newsletter here.

European Grayling Conservation, Ecology & Management - A Practical Conservation Guide for the United Kingdom

GRT Conservation Guide.jpg

The Grayling Research Trust have published 'European Grayling Conservation, Ecology & Management - A Practical Conservation Guide for the United Kingdom'

The guide has been produced with the intention of informing clubs, fisheries and conservation organisations about the need for grayling conservation as pressures increase on UK aquatic ecosystems. It describes some of the management techniques that can be adopted to protect the future of the European Grayling and its fisheries.

Contact Rob Hartley for copies.

An early warning for those attending the Grayling Society Symposium

The Highways Agency have notified of roadworks being done on 6 stretches of the A66 over the next 7 weekends from Fridays 10pm to Monday 3am. They are stating that diversions are in place. We would recommend that you avoid that whole M6 Junction 40 / A66 area.

The website should keep you up to date with progress.

Area 8 October 2018 Newsletter

Download the newsletter here.

Symposium Booking Update

Grayling Society Members

The weekend of the Grayling Society Symposium - October 20th and 21st is approaching very quickly. We already have in excess of 80 members and partners coming, but a delay in printing the recent copy of "Grayling" may have deterred some of you from booking.

We WILL be taking bookings until October 10th. all the details are in "Grayling" and it promises to be a great weekend.

We have lined up 3 excellent speakers who will take you from huge Alaskan grayling, to the delicacy of North Country flies to the intriguing underwater world where grayling and other fishes live!

There will be the well known faces on our Trade Stands, so please, if you are coming do not be shy, spend freely with them, there is a wide range of merchandise for sale and you wil lbe met with a cheery smile!.

We are still looking for a few high quality Auction lots - if you have any questions, email Pat Stevens - The money raised at the auction helps the work done by the Grayling Research Trust.

And partners are offered a day's trip into the City of Durham with its cathedral, castle, university and a wide range of shops and restaurants.

Book your room direct wuth the Redworth Hall Hotel, saying that you are a G.S. member; the hotel is honouring the rates quoted on the booking form. Then book the Symposium events through our website or with the booking form in "Grayling".

The Committee of the Grayling Society and the Grayling Research Trust hope to see you at the Symposium, we are sure it will be an excellent weekend.

Symposium Final Update

All is very well underway for this year's, our 42nd, Symposium and AGM, the first we have had in the North East of England for over 20 years.

Start planning your Symposium weekend now as it is taking place on the weekend of October 20th and 21st. We are going to beautiful County Durham and the valleys of the Rivers Tees and Wear amidst some of the most stunning countryside in the UK. Based at the Redworth Hall Hotel, it will accommodate the increasing number of members who are attending the Symposium and will offer us all the facilities we require. It will ensure that we have close proximity of presentation and Trade Stand rooms, with all the feeding and drinking needs close at hand.

Redworth Hall

The hotel is also close to the A1, which itself has had major works in recent years and is no longer the A1 of old, but has been changed into a motorway standard road giving access to all of us whether from North, South or West, or the odd one from the East.

Running through the activities taking place over the weekend; several keen members like to get a bit of fishing in prior to the weekend and will come up to the area to have a scout about taking in the sights or getting some fishing in. If you fancy a day or more fishing contact Stuart Wardle the Area 11 Secretary who will be glad to give you advice and help on where to go and tactics to use.

River Tees

If you are after a bit of sightseeing view: for the sights in and around the lovely and historic City of Durham.

Generally, most members arrive on the afternoon or early evening of Friday to meet up with old friends or make new ones in the bar and restaurant. It is an evening of hustle and bustle whilst everything is being prepared for the following day. The G.R.T. also hold their annual meeting on that evening in the hotel although that is reserved for their Trustees.

An early start on Saturday will have all the Trade Stands open from 8.30am with eager buyers ready to pounce. The day's Symposium will start at 9.15am with the Chairman Rob Hartley opening proceedings. At this time also the Partners will venture out on their day, returning at 4.00pmish.

During the course of the Symposium morning and afternoon, we will have the 3 speakers: Peter Cockwill, Jack Perks and Rob Smith delivering their presentations, with coffee and lunch breaks in between, enabling more time at the Trade Stands.

Rob Smith

Sadly Howard Croston who was originally due to speak had to pull out due to business reasons. We are delighted that Jack Perks is able to speak to us, many of you will remember his presentation at the Mickleover Symposium some years ago and his career has come on leaps and bounds since then. Jack has specialised in filming freshwater fish for most of his career as a wildlife cameraman. He's filmed for various wildlife and angling series including “Springwatch”, “Countryfile” and “Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing”. Having filmed 54 out of the 57 species of freshwater fish in Britain its taken him from Shetland to Cornwall and just about everywhere in between. By far his favourite fish is the grayling which he spends many hours filming in the Peak District. This talk will explore the methods, fish behaviour and of course plenty of grayling!"

Jack Perks

As mentioned in earlier issues of “GraylingNEWS” and “Grayling” we are delighted to have the holder of the Alaskan grayling record Peter Cockwill who will tell us of his trips to Alaska and to catch true Arctic Grayling and Rob Smith the author of the much acclaimed book “The North Country Fly”.

We are also pleased to have Dr Martyn Lucas from Durham University, who has worked for many years with the GRT on various grayling research projects and he will be giving us an insight into his work.

Finally we will have Stuart Wardle who will be providing details on Sunday's fishing plus other thoughts from the North East.


We are promised a very varied and interesting set of presentations from these gentlemen and we are sure that you will find them interesting and entertaining.

One occasionally overlooked part of the Saturday proceedings is the Annual General Meeting.

The Society's Annual General Meeting takes place at 4.00pm prompt for those who wish to hear what the Society is planning to do in the future. As well as hearing from the Chairman and Treasurer on how well the Society is doing, it gives you the chance to question or comment on the Society's activities.

Immediately following the AGM, we have presentations of the Righyni Roose Trophy for this year's Photography competition by Chairman Rob Hartley and the presentation of the President's Reel by President Robin Mulholland to the person who Robin feels has contributed most to the Society this year.

The Grayling Research Trust will have their usual spot at which they will be updating us on the work being carried out by the Trust.

Partners Day

The idea of the Partners Day, organized by the Symposium team, is for those partners who come along and find themselves with little or nothing to do.

Last year was the first time we had undertaken the day and it was a great success.

This year we will be looking at trips into historic Durham with its imposing cathedral, university and castle and / or boat trips on the River Wear which loops around the city.

Please tick on the on-line booking form or on the enclosed booking form if you have a partner who would like to go on the “tour” and we will make contact with you nearer the time. We already have 9 partners showing interest.

Egglestone Abbey

Gala Dinner and Auction

We gather in the Bar from 6.30pm for the pre dinner drinks and we will be announcing more details of the dinner nearer the time, but suffice to say it will be of the usual high standard.

As those of you who have attended our annual Symposium know, we have held an Auction immediately after the dinner on the Saturday night. This auction normally raises around £2,000 which is donated to the Grayling Research Trust. In an attempt to maintain this donation level but to shorten the time of the auction (so that we can all spend a bit more time drinking and chatting!), we are continuing with idea successfully carried out at last year's Symposium.

We will limit the auction items to either sets of flies or guided fishing days, or items which add “something special”. The beauty of these is that we can send advance details so that those who cannot attend the Symposium can submit an email bid to our auctioneer Pat Stevens. The lots are in a separate article in this publication. They will also be on the website where they will be updated as further lots come in.

Pat's email address is:-

Trade Stands

During the Symposium we hope to have our usual array of Trade stands:

  • The Grayling Society, for unique Grayling Society badged gear
  • Coch y Bonddu Books with well known book expert Paul Morgan on hand
  • FLYTEK for tackle from Partridge hooks, Varivas, Benecchi, Marc Petitjean, Marryat rods
  • Fishing Matters for Partridge of Redditch, Cox and Rawle, Varivas and Marryat Rods
  • Luke Bannister for his range of cane rods and furled leaders
  • Barbless Hooks a company producing a wide range of patterns all tied on barbless hooks – vital in these days of conservation.

And photographers, do not forget during the coming weeks to submit your prints to the Chairman for entry into the Righyni Roose Trophy competition.

Start planning your weekend now, put October 20 / 21 in your diary, book on-line via the website or send the booking form to Rod Calbrade and book in at the Redworth Hall Hotel for a truly Graylingious weekend!

Or stay longer if you wish to find more of the delights of the North East of England.

What a great couple of days it promises to be!

A second booking form is included in this issue of “Grayling”.

Please use the usual Paysubs On Line website to you're your place or send the send the Symposium Booking form to Rod Calbrade with your cheque to his address on the form and make your hotel booking direct with the hotel, mentioning that you are a Grayling Society member; both as soon as possible.

GEO-Intelligent Fly Selection

A New FREE Web Service is Launched for Fly Anglers

We've all been there - you get to the water's edge and just tie on the same fly which worked the last time you were out - hoping that the fish will still be interested. Well, how about using a little bit of modern technology to help you decide which fly to use?

With that exact scenario in mind, Barbless Flies have been working on a project for the last 8 months and after extensive user testing, it's finally ready to release. It's a website (accessible on any device) which shows you which flies should be hatching on your river (or stillwater) based on your location, date and time of day. It retrieves all of these details automatically from your phone/tablet/computer and then references them against a database behind the scenes, to display:

  • Insects which should be hatching at that time of day, for that month, in your location (for both rivers and stillwaters)
  • For each insect it gives you details of the fly imitation to use, including hook sizes and photos
  • You even get the option to have the results emailed to you

The website is being launched with the support of the Wild Trout Trust, as Barbless Flies assist with best practice catch and release. The service covers England, Scotland, Wales, Northern & Southern Ireland, and best of all, it's free of charge (with no annoying adverts)!

Using your phone, tablet or computer, just access this will take you to the website (if asked to share your location, please accept - don't worry, no personal or location details are stored and your location is only used to reference which flies will be hatching in your local area)

Let us have your email address

Members, have you let us have your email address?

If not please send them to our Membership Secretary at:

Symposium Update

The planning for the Symposium is continuing at a pace. The bookings at the hotel are looking good; 40 of the 70 rooms we have reserved initially have already been taken by G.S. members.

As an update on the Symposium; our three speakers will give very differing presentations each on a specific aspect of grayling flyfishing and each in his own distinctive style. From Peter Cockwill on Alaska to Rob Smith on North Country fly tying. and Howard Croston on the UK and other countries.

We already have 8 partners requesting details of the special Partners' Day which is being planned by the organising committee.

Under the guidance of Chairman Rob Hartley and our Auctioneer Pat Stevens, we will, as last year, be asking for higher value items to auction. More about this in the next issue of “Grayling”.

The Trade stands will include our own Grayling Society stand plus those from Barbless Flies, FLYTEK; Coch y Bonddu Books and Durham Fly Fishing.

For those of you new to the area, there are two principal rivers - the Tees and the Wear. If you are one of those people who had always meant to visit the North East rivers, maybe the descriptions of the two principal ones will whet your appetite even more.

Thought to take its name from the old word for boiling or surging the River Tees rises on the North Pennine Moors, the highest point on the Pennines, at 2930 feet, flowing south through Cow Green reservoir, over Cauldron Spout, the highest waterfall in England, snaking its way east to England's biggest waterfall High Force, which is the upper limit of the grayling. Force is a name of Viking origin and a number of other falls on the river are in this area. It flows swiftly onwards to Middleton-in-Teesdale from where the main grayling fishing is found. It then flows downstream through Barnard Castle, “the capital of Teesdale” where the castle itself sits on a high bank and has been home to many historic figures over the middle ages. At Rokeby Park, the River Greta joins it and made famous by Sir Walter Scott's poem, are all passed, carrying on and bypassing Darlington, Croft on Tees and down to the sea at Seal Sands.

The River Wear rising high in the Pennines, it flows mostly through County Durham, via Bishop Auckland, where Auckland Castle the home of the Bishop of Durham and its deer park can be found.

Leaving that area it flows past the Roman fort of Binchester and down to the cathedral city of Durham where it passes through a deep wooded gorge and digs deep into the Cathedral sandstone bedrock. From there it flows downstream to Chester-le-Street and finally to Sunderland and the sea.


Sir Walter Scott, novelist, playwright and romantic poet, wrote an epic poem about a particular spot on the Tees, near where the River Greta joins it - Rokeby Park just outside Barnard Castle., where he was a regular visitor.


“When Denmark's raven soared on high,
Triumphant through Northumbrian sky,
Till. hovering near, her fatal croak
Bade Reged's Britons dread the yoke;
And the broad shadow of her wing
Blackened each cataract and spring,
Where Tees in tumult leaves its source,
Thundering o'er Cauldron and High Force, To Odin's son and Spifia's spouse,
Near Startforth high they paid their vows,
Remembered Thor’'s victorious fame
And gave the dell the Thunderer's name.”
Sir Walter Scott, 1771 - 1832

Members can book for the Symposium, Gala Dinner and Fishing Day either through our on-line “paysubsonline” site or with the booking form in the last issue of “Grayling NEWS”

If you have mislaid your copy and booking form contact: Rod Calbrade at or call him on 01706 842890.


New Area 4 Secretary

Roger Smith, who has been Area 4 Secretary for many years, has decided to retire from the position. We would like to thank Roger for all his work, particularly for his arranging Area 4 fishing days and his excellent organization of the Llandrindod Wells Symposium in 2012.

Rob Hartley would like to add his thanks “I am sure most of you know Roger, he will be missed from our regular committee meetings, he never said much ( unlike some ! ) but when he did it was always worth listening to. We all wish him happy days on his beloved Border streams”.

He is being replaced by Geoff Bevan, the current Area 14 Secretary and we will be merging Areas 4 and 14 together.

Geoff has done a tremendous job in recent years in managing Area 14 and we are sure that he will carry on with his usual enthusiasm in the new larger area which will now just be Area 4. The name “Area 14” will be put into abeyance.

New Area 3 Secretary

Gavin Keegan, who has been Area 3 Secretary for any years, has decided to retire from the position. We would like to thank Gavin for all his work, particularly for his presence at Area 2 and 3 shows.

He is being replaced by Geoff Wood.

Geoff describes himself as a passionate fisherman with a particular fondness for fly fishing for wild grayling and trout. Although much of his fishing takes place on the southern chalk streams, his heart is really in the spate rivers and small streams in the Welsh borders and West Country. In both the chalk streams and wilder rivers he has landed grayling nudging 3lb. He is a close associate of Area 2 Secretary Alex Adams, with whom he fishes regularly, although he couldn't lay claim to a fraction of Alex's euro-nymphing skills! He believes that they would cooperate extensively on events in their areas.

He is also a keen stillwater trout fisherman, preferring nymph and buzzer techniques, only deploying lures under duress!

He is now Fishing Specialist at Orvis Amersham, where he supplies tackle to fly fishers from much of the Home Counties. He also runs beginner's fly fishing and fly tying sessions from the store, and works occasionally as a private fishing guide.

General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). The GDPR will come into effect across the EU on May 25, 2018.

The Grayling Society is currently reviewing and updating its practices and privacy policy to ensure it remains compliant with these new regulations which are designed to safeguard members information. The new membership system is key to this. The Grayling Society currently holds personal information including member's full name, address, telephone and email in its membership database. This information will only ever be used for legitimate membership and administration purposes and never be divulged to third parties. The Grayling Society's service provider, Gocardless, holds direct debit information and will also comply with the regulation. More information on Gocardless's policy can be found at:

42nd Symposium and AGM


“I have always meant to go and fish those North East rivers, but have never quite got round to it”.

We have heard that phrase so many times over so many years so this year is your chance to fulfill that promise. As it was 20 plus years since we last had a Symposium in that beautiful part of the U.K. - the North East of England, so this year we are going there, and in some style! The weekend will be Saturday October 20th and Sunday 21st and we will be at the Redworth Hall Hotel, in the village of Redworth, in County Durham.

Download this word document to read more about the upcoming Symposium and AGM .

New Area 3 Secretary Wanted

We are looking for a new Area 3 Secretary as a replacement for Gavin Keegan who after many years wishes to retire from the post. The Committee and Area 3 Members would like to thank Gavin for his contribution to the Society.

3 covers London, Kent, Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire and East Sussex and the Area 3 Secretary is an important position within the Society, for whilst Area 3 has probably the least number of grayling rivers, there is a large number of members residing in the Area.

If you would be interested in taking on this role or would just like a chat about what is involved, please contact the General Secretary, Rod Calbrade, by phone on 01706 842890 or by email:

Area 8 March Newsletter

Available for download

Area 8 February Newsletter

Available for download

Grayling Angling article from Discover Tenkara

Check out this great article on Grayling angling from Discover Tenkara:

New Payment System

Before you pay using the new system make sure you have cancelled your old standing order and that payment hasn't already been taken. A number of members have paid twice, because they failed to do this. It will be February before we can process refunds due to the limitations with our old bank.

Area 8 January Newsletter

Available for download

Merry Christmas and a happy new year

The Grayling Society would like to wish all of its members, friends and supporters in the UK and all over the world a very merry Christmas and all the very best of luck and good health for 2018.

Grayling Fishing Infographic

Grayling Society Trade Member Barbless Flies have produced a great infographic on Grayling Fishing.

Click here to view.

There is a fantastic selection of barbless flies and lots of other useful resources available on their website:

New website for Grayling Society Holland

Hans Van Klinken, Overseas Secrtary for Holland, proudly announces that Grayling Society Holland have a brand new website. Bert Vosters, Activity Secretary, has done a marvellous job since the annual meeting. He is also the webmaster from the new website. It's in Dutch but google translate is used by many nowadays, just in case you wanna have a peek


New Membership System

Click here to download a guide on logging in for the first time.

Area 11 Grayling Day at Willington

Area 11 Secretary Stuart Wardle hosted a Grayling Day on the River Wear courtesy of Willington & District Angling Club. Access to their Club Water near Willington, a small town between Durham and Bishop Auckland attracted 36 participants including anglers from the Grayling Society, Durham Fly Fishers, Willington and District Angling Club, and a few extra who came along to see how it is all done.

The day was bright from start to finish bringing out some of the best Autumn colours in the trees although the recent lack of rain meant that the river was running low and very clear. Despite the conditions 120 Grayling were caught by those who fished providing an average of 4 grayling per angler. A lot of the Grayling were under 15cm but there were a good few above 25cm with 5 above 35cm, showing a good variety of lengths in the beat and a healthy Grayling fishery.

Tea, coffee and mugs of soup were available during the day courtesy of Shaun O'Dowd (Club Secretary) and his wife Debra & son Cieran. Some excellent pies and quiches were supplied by Trevor Conway.

Stuart managed a very creditable 3 new members to the Society on the day and gave several of us a view of some of the beats which we hope to fish following the 2018 Symposium which will be hosted by Area 11.

A Big thanks to Willington & District Angling Club for their support and to the anglers who all enjoyed the day.

Area 11 Grayling Day at Willington Area 11 Grayling Day at Willington Area 11 Grayling Day at Willington

Area 8 Newsletter

Available for download here

Biology of Fly-Fishing by Grayling Society member Axel Wessolowski, Ph.D.

Your chance to purchase a limited and signed edition of 'Biology of Fly-Fishing', a book that brings together latest scientific knowledge and practical aspects of fly-fishing.

In addition The Wild Trout Trust will benefit from your order.

So, watch out for the crowdfunding campaign, which will be launched in December 2017 (crowdfunding platform to be determined!).

Axel is looking forward to your support. For further information or visit

Hard and soft cover editions, original sketches, signed photographs and a framed classical salmon fly will be available.

Biology of Fly-Fishing

Problem with Grayling Society emails - ACTION REQUIRED

We are having difficulty sending emails to some members from the new membership system. This is because some email providers need you to add to your safe senders list or have this address saved in your address book.

We know there is a particular problem with BT internet and Sky.

If you use BT Yahoo mail or BT mail please follow the links below for instructions on how to stop mail being treated as Spam:

Similarly this is the link for Sky:

Please put in you safe senders list.

We are also observing the same problem where members use their work email accounts. If you are please check your spam folder and mark mail form as 'not spam'.

General Secretary Wanted

The Grayling Society is looking for a new General Secretary.

Rod Calbrade joined the Grayling Society Committee in 1997, firstly as the Society's Editor and for the last four years as its General Secretary. He is looking to retire from his General Secretary role next year. He is happy to carry on in the near future in handling part of the General Secretary's tasks of helping to organise and run the annual Symposium and thus he will be around at Committee meetings to help settle the new person in.

So we are looking for someone who can take over the organising and reporting of the four Committee meetings and the Symposium & AGM which takes place every year.

In recent months we have made great strides in minimizing the amount of work which the General Secretary does by re-structuring the way in which we run the Committee meetings. Thus it takes much less time for them to do it, and the Minutes can be distributed that much more quickly to the Committee.

The other duties include looking after the Area Secretaries and general administration.

If you feel that you would like to be involved with the running of the Society in these exciting times, with an energetic and enthusiastic Committee, contact Rod on 01706 842890 or email:

Grayling Society's new membership system

We have set up new online accounts where members can check their membership information is correct and make their annual membership payments.

Our existing system isn't coping with a membership of over 1,000 and we need to move the Society bank account. The new system makes this easier. It allows us to take both Direct Debit and Card payments for new and existing membership. Card payments are particularly useful for our international membership of close to 200. The new systems will allow us to manage events and create a Members Area where we will look to roll out additional content in the near future. Most importantly it keeps members details secure, allows members to control their personal information and if they move or change email they can update this online.

The system provider,, look after membership details for hundreds of membership organisations. For direct debits they partner with GoCardless, who are the biggest Direct Debit processor in the UK, and with

We appreciate members moving their payment method and helping The Grayling Society become more efficient. As an added bonus all members who set up direct debits before the 1st January 2018 will be entered into a draw for a significant prize. Further details will be in the autumn edition of Grayling magazine.

Any questions contact:

Tim Taylor, Membership Secretary

River Annan Winter Grayling Events

For the past 10 years the River Annan has been working with anglers to monitor the status of Grayling stocks on the river. This is has created an important data set that can inform fishery management on the river. To help is simple, join one of the dates below with either a fly rod or a float rod and enjoy a days fishing on one of the fisheries allocated to you.

They meet at Lockerbie Lorry Park, DG11 2SL, between 8am and 9am. Have a chat and a cup of coffee while you receive your beat allocation and then it is off to the river. All they ask is that the length of every fish (whatever species) is recorded and if people have accurate scales for the weight to be recorded. They request that anglers submit their catch returns to RAT within 48 hours of fishing to allow data to be collected promptly.

The cost of fishing is just £10 per angler with all proceeds going to the River Annan Trust.

When is it?

This year's dates are as follows: Sun Nov 19th 2017; Sun Dec 10th 2017; Sun Jan 14th 2018 ; Sun Feb 11th 2018; Sun Mar 11th 2018.

For more information about fishing or accommodation contact Tony Donnelly on 01576 470600 or visit for updates.

If you are planning to attend one of the grayling days please let RAT know by emailing

Area 8 October Newsletter

Available for download here

Grayling Society members - do we have your email address?

Please email Tim Taylor with your current email address so that we can make sure our records are up to date and so the regional secretaries can be in touch with the programme of local events the are planning for the winters season.

Area 8 September Newsletter

Available for download here

New Membership Secretary

Unfortunately Dyfan Morris has had to step down as Membership Secretary. The Committee would like to thank Dyfan for all his hard work over the last year.

We would like to welcome Tim Taylor to the committee as the new Membership Secretary.

Tim is a father of three living in Hackney East London for the past 25 years. He is a Chartered Engineer by profession and works in the Management consulting industry delivering business and IT change for banks.

He has been fishing since a child on holiday and on the Leeds Liverpool canal and took up flyfishing in 2000 and has been hooked. He's fly fished all over the UK and Ireland, Norway France, Slovenia, Russia, Spain and Portugal and New Zealand. He has been a member of clubs on the Teise, Tewin, Great Stour in Kent at Chilham, Great Stour at Godington and currently on the Loddon and Lyde and S&DAC waters. Whilst in the Godington Piscatorals he helped undertake restoration of 2km of the Great Stour above Ashford. His regular fishing is now on the Loddon and Lyde for trout, S&DAC for grayling and the Taff in Cardiff. He is a life member of WTT and joined the Grayling Society a couple years ago.

You can contact Tim at:

86 Rushmore Road , London, E5 0EX
Tel: 02072 543704
Mob: 07818 427350

Total FlyFisher Flies

Download the tying instruction for the flies featured Steve Skuce's article in the July issue of Total FlyFisher.

Click here to download

The Committee

Ever wondered what the Grayling Society Committee looks like?

Grayling Society Committee

The Grayling Society on Facebook

As well as the main Grayling Society Facebook Page we now have pages for some of our UK Areas with more coming soon.

The Grayling Society -

Area 1 (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset & Somerset) -

Area 2 (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex & Wiltshire) -

Area 5 (Leicestershire, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire & Suffolk) -

Area 6 - Gwynedd & Clwyd & Area 7 - Wirral & Cheshire

Rossett & Gresford Flyfishers day tickets available through The Fishing Passport

Rossett & Gresford Flyfishers have over 2 miles of fly fishing on the river Alyn in North Wales about 7 miles south of Chester. The river is a tributary of the Welsh Dee, but is very different in character. Apart from size, the pH is about 8.0 and the invertebrates are very different from those in the Dee with gammarus pulex forming a lot of the biomass. The river has a good head of grayling as well as wild brown trout. The grayling are of a good average size with fish of over 2lb.

The club waters have recently been opened up to day tickets through The Fishing Passport:

Willem Ridderbeks Obituary

Sadly, I have to inform you that one of our dearest Dutch members, Willem Ridderbeks, has died suddenly.

In early April his inseparable buddy Johan Engelen was in touch with me explaining that Will, who was a dedicated and talented veterinary surgeon, died from a heart attack whilst doing what he liked best - helping a cow to give birth to her calf.

He and Han were staunch supporters of the Society for many years and they have attended several Symposia including those in Dumfries 2000, Ashbourne 2004, Coniston Cold 2005 and both of the latest ones in the South of England.

They attended the Symposium last year when they stayed on for a few days afterwards and I had the immense pleasure of fishing with them again, feeding them, chewing the cud and even visiting London for a lecture on fish smartness at the Royal Zoological Society.  We all had a great time fishing the Wylye and Test and lots of fun on our trip to the Smoke.

In fact, you always had ‘lots of fun’ when with Will and Han. The two of them were so inseparable that you wondered sometimes if they were joined at the hip!

Will was only 55 and is a massive loss to the Society and to the world.

He was a great fisherman, wine connoisseur, food gourmand and exceptional friend and possessed that lovely sense of laid back dry humour that many Dutchmen seem to possess.

Han will miss him. I will miss him. His friends in the Society will miss him. The world will miss him.

Our thoughts go to his family and friends.

Steve Skuce

Willem Ridderbeks Willem Ridderbeks

The President's Reel

This trophy is presented to an individual, or group, whether members of the Grayling Society or not, from any worldwide location, who have carried out outstanding works for the Grayling Society or the benefit of Grayling. The idea is to recognise the efforts of the 'unsung heroes' - members, conservationists, students etc. It is also a great opportunity to promote the Grayling Society and its aims.

Any Grayling Society member can nominate, so long as they are not the sole participant or beneficiary. Once again this can be a member or not. The nomination should be in writing, with supporting evidence, in order that the President can make a credible decision.

Nominations should be sent to the Grayling Society President, Robin Mulholland OBE.

Tel: 01985 850450

If he considers he needs to discuss the merits with anyone, or with the Committee, that remains his sole decision. Applications must be received by 31st July in the year of award.

The trophy is presented at the Grayling Society's AGM and held for one year, then returned to the Grayling Society for safe keeping.

The President's Reel

New Trade Members

We would like to welcome the following new Trade Members and thank them for their support.

Devon School of Fly Fishing
Fox and Hounds Hotel, Eggesford, Devon, EX18 7JZ
Tel: 01363 82786

Funky Flytying
Funky Products Ltd, Unit 1 Old Engineers Workshops, Taunton Station, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1QP
Tel: 01823 617373

41st Symposium and AGM

For our 41st Symposium this Autumn we are returning to one of the great grayling rivers in the UK - the Welsh Dee - on the weekend of October 21st and 22nd 2017.

Venue - We have had a number of Symposia in the past based on the Dee and we have usually held them in the area around Llangollen, but to accommodate the increasing number of members who are attending, we will be based this year at the Ramada Plaza Hotel just outside Wrexham.


It is on the A483, the main road which runs south from Wrexham towards the Dee. The hotel is only 12 miles from Llangollen, 8 miles from Trevor and from these centres the roads to the beats on the river can be easily accessed on the Sunday. This hotel will also give us a good combination of inter-connecting rooms close together for the Symposium itself, catering for the Conference, and the Trade stands. The hotel has a large number of bedrooms so that most, if not all, members can be accommodated there.

It has all the facilities for which the Ramada hotels are famous and will enable members to congregate and mingle. For the really energetic there is a gym and Jacuzzi!

Guest Speakers - This year's speakers will include:

Dave Southall

  • Dave Southall will telling us about his 'Versatile Approach to Catching Grayling'
  • Mark Lloyd will be talking about agricultural pollution and what can be done about it
  • Alan Roe will be giving a demonstration of Wallis casting
  • Karl Humphries will be telling us about his work on the “Get Hooked on Fishing” scheme
  • The Grayling Research Trust will have their usual afternoon spot at which they will be updating us on the work being carried out by the Trust.

Partners Day - At this year's Symposium we are introducing a “Partners' Day” for those partners who come along and find themselves with little or nothing to do whilst the Saturday Symposium and AGM and Sunday fishing are in progress. At this stage, we are just asking for the names of any partners who would like to avail themselves of this, by putting their names on the Booking Form and we will make contact later in the year.

The places we are considering going to are Erddig Hall, a National Trust property in Wrexham which has a treasure trove of items, “upstairs and downstairs”, plus gardens and a variety of lunches and teas, and the famous Steam Railway from Llangollen up the Dee valley to Corwen. Please tick on booking form if you have a partner who would like to go on the “tour” and we will make contact with you nearer the time. For those Partners wishing to do their own thing on Saturday and Sunday, the historic City of Chester, Chester Zoo, the Blue Planet Aquarium, Chirk Castle and trips on the Llangollen canal are all nearby.

Gala Dinner and Auction - We will be announcing more details of the dinner nearer the time. As those of you attending the Symposium know, we traditionally have an Auction to raise funds, principally for the GRT. It is noticeable in recent years that the two items that are the most popular are fishing days and boxed flies. At this Symposium, we are trying something a little different. Instead of bringing old low value books, tackle and other sundry items, we are asking those talented enough to tie flies that all look the same to tie up a selection of your favourite flies. We might keep these as one item or combine with others to make an instant collection. Good quality books and tackle will still be accepted. We have found that the low value items we have had in the past have taken too much time in the auction and so, to keep within our one hour time slot we are looking for quality, not quantity in the items.

For those with some special fishing, would you consider donating a day, ideally guided? With maybe a lunch thrown in as part of the day? These days are very popular, a chance to fish new waters, meet fellow GS members and share a great day. They are also easy for the Committee to administrate and the Auctioneer to “sell” on the night. The GRT funds research and conservation projects specific to Grayling, and the Auction funds contribute to its success, so all contributions welcomed, regardless of whether you are coming to the Symposium or not!

Righyni Roose Trophy - Fly tyers, do not forget during this coming year to put a set of flies together and send it to the Chairman for entry into the Righyni Roose Trophy competition. The theme of this year's Trophy competition is Fly-Tying. Members are invited to tie three of each of the following three flies, and submit their entries to Rob Hartley, the Society's Chairman, for his adjudication. Entries must reach Rob by 1st September 2017.

  1. The Ginger Tom
  2. The Peek-a-boo Caddis
  3. Supa pupa (original or Christian Mohr variant)
Ginger Toms

All tyings are to be found in “Grayling Flies” by Steve Skuce, and on YouTube, where the American tyer, John Zimmerman, has recorded videos of all Steve's patterns. Other sources may, of course, be used.

Trade Stands - During the Symposium we hope to have our usual array of Trade stands:

  • The Grayling Society, for Grayling Society badged gear
  • FlyTek for tackle from Partridge hooks, Varivas, Benecchi. Marc Petitjean, Marryat rods
  • Cookshill Flytying for full skins, hackle feathers, hair and fur products generally as well as silks, threads and capes
  • Fishing Matters for Partridge of Redditch, Cox and Rawle, Varivas and Marryat Rods
  • Coch y Bonddu Books with well known book expert Paul Morgan on hand
  • David Miller artist famous for his stunning fresh and saltwater fish paintings
  • Luke Bannister for his range of cane rods and furled leaders
  • Gary Mills Centrepin Reel manufacturer.

Fishing - This year the Sunday fishing will be solely on the Welsh Dee, which is fed primarily by Lake Bala (Llyn Tegid) and reservoirs Brenig, Alwen and Celyn. These ensure a regular flow even in the driest conditions and the cool water is one of the reasons why the Dee is rated as one of the top grayling rivers in Europe.

Dee Grayling

Fly life is healthy, particularly caddis which contributes to excellent nymph fishing. The Dee runs through very attractive countryside and the sight of steam trains in the Llangollen/Corwen areas will surely stir nostalgia in many of us. If the river is in condition and the weather kind I'm sure we can all look forward to an enjoyable day.


Please, help the organising Committee and the hotel, by making your bookings as soon as ever possible. What a great couple of days it promises to be.

Download booking form here.

Grayling Society Members - Symposium Fishing Pricing Error

You will no doubt have received your copy of the Grayling News which has the Symposium booking form included within it. Please note that there is an error on the booking form.

It should have read for the Fishing £15 not £18, so please do your calculations based on £15.

New Grayling Society Officers

There have been a number of changes to the team here at the Grayling Society.

Pat Stevens has stepped down as Area 10 Secretary but has agreed to take on the role of Vice Chairman. Alan Swann has volunteered to take on Area 10 and fill Pat's large shoes, thank you Alan.

MIke Tebbs has now stepped down as Membership Secretary. We would like to thank Mike for all his hard work over the years and we wish him a happy retirement. Dyfan Morris has agreed to take on the Membership Secretary role. Thank you to Dyfan for taking on this very important role.

Louis Noble has stepped down as Area 6 Secretary and is being replaced by John Walker. Bob Perrett has stepped down as Area 12 Secretary and is being replaced by Chris Thomas. We thank Louis and Bob for their contributions and welcome John and Chris to the Committee.

The new teams contact details are as follows:

Vice Chairman

Pat Stevens
Tel: 01772 684003

Membership Secretary

Dyfan Morris
58, Ffordd Estyn, Garden Village, Wrexham, LL11 2TB
Tel: 01978 310790

Area 6 - Gwynedd & Clwyd

John Walker
Mob: 07900 844752

Area 10 - Lancashire, Merseyside, Cumbria, Greater Manchester & Isle of Man

Alan Swann
Mob: 07879 061268

Area 12 - Scotland

Chris Thomas
Tel: 01875 613861
Mob: 07508 602529


The Grayling Society is proud to become a Conservation Partner of Keepemwet.

Keepemwet is about releasing fish in the best condition possible. It's a motto for minimizing air exposure, eliminating contact with dry surfaces, and reducing handling. It's a movement to empower anglers to take small, simple steps to responsibly enjoy and share fishing experiences. Their goal is to reduce angling impact on fisheries by uniting conscientious companies, organizations, and anglers to promote science based practices for handling fish that are caught then released.


Total FlyFisher Articles

The February issue of Total FlyFisher features the first of two articles on Grayling fishing and the Grayling Society by the Society's PR Officer Kris Kent.

Thank to John Grindle and John Aplin for their help and support. If you fancy chasing the Larger Ladies on the Frome in Dorset check out John's website:

To subscribe to Total FlyFisher talk to your newsagent or go online:

Total Fly Fisher

Grayling Flies on YouTube

John Zimmerman is tying all 70 flies from Steve Skuce's book Grayling Flies.

View all the videos here.

Grayling Flies by Steve Skuce

Coch-y-Bonddu Books, H/B 207pp full colour illustrations. £19.95 from

Grayling Flies by Steve Skuce

Members may well have heard of this new book, as it was launched at the 2016 Symposium with a certain amount of fanfare from the author!

I can't be wholly objective about Grayling Flies - Steve is a good friend, and I have followed the gestation and delivery of the book with great interest.

Objectivity aside, I will say that the book is a very good one, and it has claimed a niche in the angling literature. There are many books about salmon flies, trout flies and all kinds of regional variations and traditions, but no serious wide-ranging book, up to now, about flies intended for grayling.

Steve has aimed for completeness and the book begins with well-researched summaries of the grayling's distribution and natural history, and of the wide range of fly-fishing techniques that may be employed to catch them. There are fishing tips and anecdotes - a personal touch that adds to the overall appeal of the book.

But the "meat" of the book is the flies themselves, and the people and stories behind them. Each fly has been tied, either by Steve himself, or sometimes by the fly's originator, and meticulously photographed. There is a full description of the tying procedure and a materials list for each fly, with respect for the correct materials and techniques specified, so far as they can be determined. Seventy patterns are included, all well worth their place and covering most, if not all, of the traditions of grayling fishing. There are hackled dries, North Country spiders and modern "plastics", weighted nymphs and delicate CDC creations.

A very good overview of the field, I think, and reflecting much thought and careful research by the author.

The presentation and overall quality of the book is excellent. Coch-y-Bonddu have, once again, produced a proper, substantial book on fine matt paper, with clear well set text and excellent printing. Increasingly, as I need better light and stronger glasses to read comfortably, I am inclined to praise the books that pay attention to such issues; small pale text on coloured backgrounds may look smart, but it is hell to decipher.

Grayling Flies is a reference volume, but a good read too, as Steve is not afraid to put in his opinions, and to regale us with some stories (look out for the one about Pearsall's orange silk - you couldn't make it up). All in all a very good book indeed, to be kept and revisited many times; and it would make an excellent Christmas gift too.

Bob Male

Freshwater Fishes of Britain by Jack Perks

Published by Reed New Holland
Hardback £16.99

As it is going to be some time till the Spring Journal is published we've decided to publish this book review online.

The thing that first struck me about this book was the quality of the photography, almost all of which is shot underwater. But I guess I should have expected this given Jack Perk's reputation. Jack has a passion for wildlife and in particular freshwater fish. A few years back he challenged himself to photograph and film all the British freshwater species. An impressive challenge given Jack's other work writing and photographically illustrating articles, contributing to a number of television series, running photographic workshops and short courses, organising the recent vote for Britian's National Fish (Jack was hoping the Grayling would win) and lecturing at the University of Nottingham. Busy guy.

The book is more of a reference book rather than a field guide. It covers 56 species with each superb photograph supplemented with a general description, maximum length and weight, distinguishing features, breeding and habitat information. It is also peppered with interesting facts, such as why the Tench is sometimes called the 'doctor fish'. You'll have the read it to find out. In the introduction Jack sets out that there maybe some contention over the species included, some not being British and some being sea fish. You can argue these things till the cows come home but drawing a line can often be adifficult task. I think Jack has made an appropriate choice of species and that the book is a useful reference for both naturalists and anglers alike.

This isn't the sort of book you're likely to sit down and read cover to cover, more a coffee table work for dipping into as and when. Jack's writing style is informal and informative and alongside the species guides there are a number of useful pages on such things as 'Fish Twitching', fish terminology, collective terms for fish plus insight into the background to the book. You'll be pleased to know the Grayling features large in the book reflecting Jack's love for the ladies.

Kris Kent

More information can be found on Jack's website:

Jack Perks book

River Annan Grayling Fishing Events - Winter 2016/2017

For the past 9 years the River Annan has been working with anglers to monitor the status of Grayling stocks on the river. This is has created an important data set that can inform fishery management on the river. To help is simple, join them on one of the dates below with either a fly rod or a float rod and enjoy a days fishing on one of the fisheries they allocate you.

They meet at Lockerbie Lorry Park, DG11 2SL, between 8am and 9am. Have a chat and a cup of coffee while anglers receive their beat allocation and then it is off to the river. All they ask is that the length of every fish (whatever species) is recorded and if people have accurate scales for the weight to be recorded. They request that anglers submit their catch returns to RAT within 48 hours of fishing to allow data to be collected promptly.

The cost of fishing is just £10 per angler with all proceeds going to the River Annan Trust.

This year's dates are as follows:

Sunday November 20th 2016
Sunday December 11th 2016
Sunday January 15th 2017
Sunday February 12th 2017
Sunday March 12th 2017

For more information about fishing or accommodation contact Tony or Michael on 01576 470600 or visit for updates.

If you are planning to attend one of the Grayling days please let them know by emailing

New President and Chairman

Following Saturday's AGM the Grayling Society would like to announce that Robin Mulholland is replacing Alan Ayre as President and that Rob Hartley is taking over as Chairman from Steve Skuce.

We would like to thank Alan and Steve for their long and dedicated service to the Society and wish them all the best on the back benches.

Rob Hartley presents Alan Ayre with a set of Salmon Bookends.

Rob Hartley presents Alan Ayre with a set of Salmon Bookends.

Rob Hartley presents Steve Skuce with a Charles Jardine picture.

Rob Hartley presents Steve Skuce with a Charles Jardine picture.

River Annan Trust Winter Grayling Days

The River Annan grayling days have been announced for this winter with the first date in November.

Sun 20th Nov 2016
Sun 11th Dec 2016
Sun 15th Jan 2017
Sun 12th Feb 2017
Sun 12th Mar 2017

There is a new meeting place for this year at:
TLockerbie Lorry Park, DG11 2SL

Between 8am and 9am.

Lockerbie Lorry park is just south of Johnstonbridge just off the A74 at junction 16.

For more info on fishing and accommodation contact Tony or Michael on 01576 470600.

River Annan Trust Winter Grayling Days River Annan Trust Winter Grayling Days

New Area 11 Secretary

We would like to welcome Stuart Wardle as Secretary for Area 11 (County Durham, Tyne & Wear & Northumberland). Stuart's contact details are as follows:

Home: 01429 836793

Mobile: 07904 278889

Membership Secretary required

After 20 years or so, Mike Tebbs our Membership Secretary is retiring from the post due to increasing family commitments.

We would like to thank Mike, who many of you will know or have had dealings with, for all his hard work in creating and running successfully the system which we now have in place.

The Membership Secretary is a member of the Society's managing Committee and is responsible for managing the data for all members. This involves:-

a) maintaining the Society's master database; and keeping it up to date;
b) responding to new member applications; and
c) answering member's queries.

If you feel that you would like to join the team running the Grayling Society in this role, contact Rod Calbrade, our General Secretary on 01706 842890 or email: or if you would like to speak to Mike to gain more insight into the role contact him on 01985 841192 or

Articles for next edition of Grayling: The Journal of the Grayling Society

We are looking for contributions for the next edition of Grayling: The Journal of the Grayling Society.

Perhaps there have been improvements made to your local river, some notable or not so notable catches or just a good days fishing that you would like to share. Words and/or pictures are welcome - places fished, flies tied and used, tales of anglers from the past, or your own observations on Grayling and Grayling fishing.

Deadline for the next edition Monday 7th November. Please contact the Editor Bob Male at

All contributions gratefully received.

Grayling Spawning

Video by Jack Perks of Grayling spawning on the Derbyshire Wye.

Fish stocks boost for the River Rother in Chesterfield

This week, for the second year running, the Environment Agency has introduced grayling into the River Rother in Chesterfield.

Arctic grayling spawning video

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has posted a short video of Arctic grayling spawning in Alaska. It can be viewed at the Alaska Department of Fish & Game Facebook page:

They affixed an underwater camera to the substrate in an area where the grayling were spawning and let it record for over an hour. They ended up with 59 minutes 30 seconds of completely useless footage, and 30 seconds of sheer brilliance.

Further information can be obtained from:

Erik Anderson, Alaska Department of Fish & Game
1300 College Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701

Riverfly Monitoring Workshop or Friday 13th....A Good Day after all!

By Paul Deaville, Grayling Society Area 5 Secretary

Well, I must admit there were times when I wondered if this plan would ever come to fruition, contact had been made with various conservation bodies over the preceding 24 months only for emails to be either ignored, or answered in a manner that did not inspire. Then I heard that a local conservation scheme had run 2 or 3 'Riverfly Monitoring Workshops' that I hadn't heard about (so much for the grapevine...). But they had sadly come to the end of their funding stream.

As Stuart Crofts has supported me up from the start with this idea, I contacted him once more and although reluctant at first due to it being 'out of his area', I informed him that this was a personal invite to Staffordshire both from me as a friend, and as Grayling Society Area 5 Secretary, how could he refuse!

Now I needed to consider finance, I approached JCB Angling Club of which I am a life member. The committee immediately agreed to support me and suggested that if I needed a venue for the workshop, why not enquire at the JCB Lakeside Club. Were things really starting to fall into place? On making my enquiry the Lakeside reaction was "if the JCB AC are supporting you, there will be no charge for the room.....but we will have to charge you for lunchtime refreshments".

So, with many thanks to JCB Angling Club and JCB Lakeside Club the plan was in place.

As Friday 13th May approached the level of the river Dove had continued to drop and it was on a dry bright morning that several members of the Grayling Society gathered at the Rocester venue. Rod Calbrade our Gen Sec attended in his official capacity of photographer, James Rowlinson represented the Environment Agency, as did Mick Buxton our local EA Fisheries Officer, although sadly Mick was called away early to a reported fish kill. Nick Mott from the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust was also in attendance.

Following the obligatory Health and Safety section, which I believe we all need a reminder about occasionally, Stuart proceeded in his own inimitable style through the Introduction to monitoring, The target groups - Life History & Ecology were covered in that order, before we all proceeded to the river Dove where we were instructed on how to take samples correctly.

A very nice lunch was laid out for us on our return to the Lakeside Club, during which we were able to chat with people whom some had not met before, and generally weigh up the course so far. We then came to the most interesting section, sorting and recording the samples. Stuart had provided two microscopes which gave us all a much closer look at the invertebrates that live in the rivers we fish. (And we never saw anything that resembled UV Orange Fritz, or a 4mm Tungsten bead!)

Following a data overview and guidance in establishing a monitoring programme on our own river where we fish, there was a far from usual Q & A session. The presence of Nick Mott and James Rowlinson was invaluable, as along with Stuart there was an extremely good interchange of information.

Without exception each participant went away fully enthused about 'Riverfly Monitoring', and that cannot be a bad thing! Thank you to all involved in making this day happen.

I view this day as having been a very successful pilot for what could easily be rolled out to other Grayling Society members in all areas. Stuart Crofts has stated that he would be honoured to be asked to carry out any future workshop's for the GS.

Participants on the day: Rod Calbrade, Iain Baddeley, Chris Salmon, Neil Chandler, Karl Humphries, John Green and myself Paul Deaville Grayling Society Area 5 Secretary.

Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day Riverfly Partnership Day

New report on riverflies - many rivers 'poor'

A landmark report, published 13 May, highlights the work of S&TCUK and Dr. Nick Everall of Aquascience Consultancy Ltd, looking at the diversity and abundance of aquatic invertebrates in 120 sites on 12 English rivers; 14 sites are described as 'pristine'. Phosphate enrichment and sedimentation in combination seem especially problematical. Some iconic rivers such as the Itchen, Lambourn, Test and Wensum, rank “poorly” in the census. Shrimp (Gammarus) numbers were very low across many of the sampled rivers relative to historic, Environment Agency records.

S&TCUK plan further research, including water quality testing to zero-in on the causes of water quality problems. S&TCUK stress that the “message is that action, not talk, is now urgently needed”.

The full report, Riverfly Census 2015, is available through the S&TCUK website:

New Area 2 Secretary

The Committee would like to welcome Alex Adams as secretary for Area 2 and thank him for his support.

His contact details are as follows:

62 Cressex Road,
High Wycombe,
HP12 4TY
Mob: 07730 203382
Tel: 01494 521801

Wild Trout Trust Auction

There are some fantastic Grayling fishing opportunities available through the Wild Trout Trust auction with the monies raised going to improve habitat for Grayling as well as Trout.

Get bidding.

Area 8 March Newsletter

All the latest news from Area 8, click here to download. (2.1MB)

New Trade Member

Veniard Limited

69 Gloucester Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 2DD
Contact: Philip Varney
Tel: 0208 684 2288

BFFI success again

The British Fly Fair International was held, as usual, at the Staffordshire County Showground over the weekend of 13th & 14th February.

It was as spectacular as always with a host of highly skilled international fly tyers, some well known others less so, demonstrating their prowess with everything from a massive saltwater creation to the most microscopic - to me at least - nymphs and dry flies.

There seemed to be a bigger than normal number of exhibitors this year and it has become, without a doubt, the place to go if you want to buy any fly tying materials or tools as well as rods, reels etc. There was even a stand selling sweets and fudge this year!

Our members were well represented on stands with Rodney Dibble making furled leaders for the Luke Bannister stand; Bob Lomax tying some exquisite flies on the Hemingway stand; Keith Passant working hard as always on the Casting for Recovery stand; Richard Ellis tying on the Fly Dresser's Guild stand; Louis Noble purposefully manning the GAIA stand; Pat Stevens buried in customers, as usual, at Flytek and Paul Morgan, similarly, up to his eyes selling books with both Peter Hayes and Phil White busy signing their new books on the Coch y Bonddu stand. And our own John Green was the resident fly tyer for the Society stand. I am sure there were other members who I have missed and, if so, then I offer my apologies guys and I'll catch up with you next time round!

The weather was reasonably kind in terms of being sunny and dry but there was a bitterly cold wind both days. On the first morning as we assembled just before opening time it was arctic inside the halls. Fortunately the heating was switched on and, from then on, conditions were pretty comfortable. Steve Cooper, the show's organiser and all-round nice man even if he does try to hide that fact, did confess that the low price of heating oil was a possible contributing factor in switching on the heating!

Is is difficult to go to the BFFI without a few pounds in your pocket and even more difficult to leave with them still there! I know I reached a desperate state by the end with just a couple of bob left in my own pocket. I even had to raid the car where I always keep a few pounds emergency money. The location does not lend itself easily to the processing of credit and debit cards because of the poor mobile signal and several retailers, wise old men that they are, brought along the old fashioned paper slips to swipe your card details onto. However, I noticed that Phil Holding at Fly Tying Boutique had a great system involving an iPad and PayPal. It worked magically and pretty well instantly for my purchase of a battery powered vice mounted lamp.

I always urge my students at the Fly Dressers Guild branch to ensure they can look at and feel any cape or saddle they buy and this show is a great place to do that. I wanted a saddle grizzle and had a great choice to pick from with all the relevant retailers quite happy for me to open the pack and feel the hackles.

The visitor numbers were pretty good I guess and Saturday was really buzzing. It was a bit quieter on Sunday, probably because, being Valentine's Day, some guys were under a three line whip to be at home or the local restaurant or pub. However it never seemed empty until the last hour on Sunday.

On the Society stand we had a consistent stream of visitors and signed up 5 new members on the day plus 2 subsequently as well as taking a couple of subscriptions. Veniard joined at the show as trade members and this is a most welcome addition to our membership. Sales of Society items went well and we ended up with another £XXX to add to our funds.

Brian Clarke, the Sales Officer, was a trojan as normal, setting up on the Friday and being present on the stand virtually all the time, except for the occasional little spending trip to other stands - just like the rest of us.

We didn't have our usual 'crew' this year but Brian, John and myself were supported by our wives, Janet and Honor, and Geoff Bevan and Steven Kavanagh helped look after the stand on the Sunday.

Next years' show promises to be even larger and Steve Cooper showed us the plans which clearly indicated that there will be 3 halls instead of the usual 2. It promises to be yet another spectacular show.

Steve Skuce

Grayling Society 40th Symposium and AGM

When Ron Broughton, Rig Righyni, Norman Roose and the other founding members formed The Grayling Society 40 years ago, they must have merely hoped that it would still be around and working for the grayling all these years later.

To help us to celebrate the fact that it is still a thriving organisation we are holding this year's Symposium at the Marwell Hotel near Winchester in the South of England, based on their famous chalkstreams, on the weekend of 29th and 30th of October.

We last visited the Marwell in 2003. Members who were there will remember seeing badgers wandering through the undergrowth, very close to the windows of the hotel corridors and, as it is adjacent to Marwell Zoo, there were strange animal sounds of far away places as you go about your business at the Hotel. A fascinating venue and one which looked after us very well on our last visit.

The speakers on the Saturday will include Neil Patterson who has been a regular contributor to fly-fishing magazines for over 30 years. Along with being awarded "Angling Writer of the Year" and "Travel Writer of the Year" by the Angling Writers' Association, he was nominated "Columnist of the Year" in the Scottish Magazine Awards for his column, "The Wild Trout's wish List". His first book, Chalkstream Chronicle was acclaimed as a modern classic by The Field Magazine. His most recent book Flyfisher's Chronicle - In Search of Trout and Other Fishes is a later companion book and covers Neil's flyfishing exploits and over 70 flies which he has used around the world for a variety of species. Neil lives on the banks of the Kennet in Berkshire, and the Rio Carrileufu in Central Patagonia, Argentina.

We will be joined by two leading young anglers; Alex Jardine and Lewis Hendrie. They will be delighted to discuss all things graylingius and show you some of their secret patterns and methods that they have worked on over years of friendship and fishing together.

Alex is well known on the chalkstreams having actively guided on them for the past 10 years for both trout and grayling. He has worked for notable fishing establishments such as Partridge of Redditch and Robjents in Stockbridge, and is now at Aardvark McLeod offering fishing trips to wonderful locations both home and abroad. Even after fishing many great rivers around the world Alex still takes huge enjoyment chasing grayling in the clear waters of his local streams and rivers.

Lewis is one of the most technical young anglers in the country, he is a member of both the English home international and European fly fishing teams. When he is not on international duty he can be found teaching and guiding on his local streams and rivers in Devon for the Devon School of Flyfishing. Lewis' main passion is targeting grayling and his focus and dedication has spurred him to land many notable fish including several over 4 lbs, and one even tipping the scales at 4 lbs 5 oz. A potential British record, but without a witness Lewis was happy to admire the special lady of the stream before slipping it back quickly to be found another day - he is said to have recovered now.

Dr Mark Everard is a scientist, author and broadcaster with interests in water systems in both the developed and developing world. Fish are a particular passion. Mark is well known as an all-round specimen angler - from roach and dace to grayling and pike, salmon, mahseer and fly-fishing for bass - as well as a regular contributor to angling media. Ten of Mark's published books deal with fish, ranging from a focus on specific species to guides on general identification and on habitat management for the benefit of fish as well as other aquatic wildlife. Much of Mark's other work relates to the relationship between humans and the aquatic ecosystems that sustain us, and with which we need so urgently to develop a more symbiotic relationship. Our relationship with fish - environmentally, economically and culturally - is part of this bigger picture.

Stephen Gregory has recently taken over the running of the Wylye Project and he will be updating us on its progress.

Trade stands will include our trade members FlyTek, Cookshill Flytying and Fishing Matters, plus Coch y Bonddu Books. Returning this year will be the outstanding artist David Miller who enthralled us with his use of the brush. New on the Trade Stands this year, is master cane rod builder Luke Bannister.

Fishing on the Sunday will be exclusively on the chalkstreams and will include the Wilton Club's stretch of the River Wylye, the Piscatorial Society's water on the Avon and the Portsmouth Services Itchen beats amongst several others. Provision will be made for trotting but, to really benefit from superb clarity and stalking possibilities of the chalkstreams, it is recommended that you fly fish.

For those coming down but not attending the event Winchester and all its history, including Izaak Walton's grave in the cathedral, is very close at hand, as are other attractions such as Stonehenge and the glorious Wiltshire countryside in the autumn.

Rod Calbrade, General Secretary

A River of Two Halves

Grayling Society Area 5 Day, Sunday 17th Jan 2016

Well, after my first ever Area 5 day coming together reasonably easily, getting the second area day under starters orders was definitely more challenging. Originally the day was scheduled for November 13th 2015, but due to numerous cancellations, which were all controlled by the rain gods who had caused more high waters than the Dove had seen for at least 12 months or more, Sunday 17th January was to be the day.

During the days preceding the Dove steadily recovered from the last high water 1 week before and was looking good, if a touch above normal winter level. On the Saturday evening we received about two and a half inches of snow (just for a little added travelling excitement).

Travelling to Ashbourne on the Sunday was fairly safe, as the councils had been out and done their bit. Following a chat from the river keeper on the Royal Oak car park 13 members, one of which had travelled 2+ hours from Cambridgeshire to be with us, and another member who had a two and a half hour drive back to North Wales after the day, set off onto various sectors of the 'Birdsgrove FFC' beat's of the river Dove. That's a measure of what not being able to get out fishing does for us.

The day was cold but it was good to be out fishing after 8 or so weeks, and apart from a snow flurry in the afternoon the weather was kind to us. Walking the 'Birdsgrove' waters to ensure everyone was safe and enjoying their day, it started to become apparent that it was a river of two halves.

Below 'Hanging Bridge' most members struggled to find the fish with all but one reporting one's and two's, there always has to be one to stand out (Gary). Above the bridge was a very different story with most members catching a few nice fish and again, some catching more than others...ahem, no names etc., etc.

The day ended with all members happy with their day on this exceptional beat of the dove.

Below are the figures for the day:

49 Grayling, the majority 12"to 16", and 8 OOS spotties, best 21"

On behalf of the Grayling Society and especially the members on the day, a very big thankyou to Mr Peter Hilliard and the Birdsgrove FFC.

Paul Deaville, Area 5 Secretary

Area 8 February Newsletter

Click here to download a pdf version of the newsletter. (4.4MB)

New Overseas Secretary for Germany and Austria

We would like to welcome Andreas Schumacher as the new Overseas Secretary for Germany and Austria.

His contact details are as follows:

Andreas Schumacher Spieß Schumacher Schmieg & Partner Rechtsanwälte
Märkisches Ufer 34
10179 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 440 133 00

Andreas takes over the role from Christian Mohr. We would like to thank Christian for all his help and support during his tenure and we wish all the very best for the future.

Andreas has provided the following introduction:

Dear All,

It is a great honor for me to have been chosen as the Grayling Society´s secretary for Germany.

To introduce myself to you, I would like to share the following with you:

I am 50 years old, married and a father of 3.

I am a lawyer by profession and have founded a law firm in 2000 that is specialized on intellectual property.

Since I picked up fishing in my home town Hamburg at the age of 8 I have been hooked on the sport. I discovered fly fishing quite late – coincidently just around the time when I met my wife and started my firm. All good things come in threes (my wife and partners of dissenting opinion…).

Soon after I found a group of soulmates in the Berlin flyfisher´s club Fario eV. – a club that is very active in conservation - I became a member of their board. I have been the club´s vice chairman for over 10 years now. The club manages a nice little trout stream located between Berlin and Hamburg. We run our own hatchery, mainly for seatrout and salmon and helped to reintroduce these migratory fish to the river Stepenitz, also located in the Prignitz area. We also breed brown trout. Unfortunately previous attempts to reintroduce grayling to our river had failed. Under the special direction of our incumbent riverkeeper, who grew up with grayling fishing in Thuringia, the current program which started about 5 years ago has been a great success so far.

I have fished quite a few places in Europe and abroad. I love the great grayling rivers of Austria and have also found many good waters holding grayling all over Germany. Apart from my home rivers I particularly fell for the wonderful chalk streams of Southern England to which I was introduced by hospitable and generous members of the Grayling Society.

Over the years my general fondness for the magnificent grayling became a passionate love affair and I would feel honored if I could continue the good work of Christian Mohr as secretary of the German section of the Grayling Society.

I would like to intensify and deepen contacts between UK and German/Austrian members. I know that it is said to be difficult to fish in my country due to bureaucracy and obscure rules and regulations. I would enjoy to convince foreign grayling anglers that in reality it actually is quite easy to pursue our common passion over here and invite them to come fish with me and with other German members of the Grayling Society.

With the very best wishes for the coming year and fishing season.


New Marketing Officer joins the Committee

The Grayling Society Committee would like to welcome Karl Humphries who is joining the committee as Marketing Officer. We thank him for his support and look forward to working closely with him in the coming years.

Trout and Grayling Newsletter

Download the latest newsletter from the Environment Agency. (1.2MB)

Area 8 January Newsletter

Click here to download a pdf version of the newsletter. (3.4MB)

New Treasurer

The Grayling Society is pleased to announce that Steven Kavanagh has taken on the role of Treasurer. We wish Steven all the best in his new role and thank him for his support.

His contact details are:

Tel: 01446 771326

Winter Grayling Fishing packages on the River Tees at Wodencroft Holiday Cottages & B&B.

Grayling Fishing breaks on the River Tees at Wodencroft Holiday Cottages, December 2015 to March 14th 2016.

Stay on a B&B basis, £65pppn including a hearty farmhouse breakfast. Three rooms all with en-suite bathrooms. Second guest sharing a room £35pn including breakfast. Minimum 2 night stay, maximum 6.

Contact Debbie Benn
Tel: 01833 650909

My First Grayling Society Area Day

On the days running up to Sunday November 1st, I must admit that I was a little apprehensive having never organised anything of this nature before. With grateful thanks to Norbury FFC we were able to fish their excellent beat of the (real) river Dove.

During the Thursday/Friday prior to the weekend we had our first rainfall for quite some time, so that didn't help my run-up nerves. Checking the river on the Saturday morning the level had dropped back and was clearing, so no need to text everyone as it was all systems go.

Sunday morning arrived with quite patchy fog in places, but having said that 12 GS members were at the meeting point at 09:00 and raring to go. Following the usual formalities some members ventured down to the Rocester end of the beat, while the rest decided to start at the top and progress down. Soon the sun started to burn off the fog and blue skies were on the menu (for most of us).

After a slow start, most anglers chose to fish the nymphs and were soon finding the ladies here and there. It wasn't easy, but as the day progressed the fly life started to increase and one or two ventured with a little success on to the dries. When I drove down to Rocester the sun had not burnt though, but the 5 anglers at the lower end of the beat were reporting quite nice numbers, with the majority caught on nymphs, but also a few coming to the dries... which was nice for November. On my return to the top of the beat a few members were reporting better numbers, but here the nymphs were the catchers.

At 4 O'clock (ish) everyone I spoke to was very happy with their day and their catch and was ready to head home. Many compliments were paid and I have passed them all on via Mr Jeff Body to Norbury FFC.

On behalf of Grayling Society Members, thank you NORBURY FFC.

Total for the day: 147 fish to 12 rods, incl o.o.s. spotties.
The remaining Area 5 GS days for 2015 are:
Sunday November 15th at Birdsgrove on the river Dove. (Full)
Sunday December 13th at Norbury on the river Dove. (Full)

Area 4 Fishing day - Saturday 14 November 2015 Report

Ten Area 4 Members of the Society assembled at the café of Morrison's in Leominster between 9.00am - 9.30am. The weather forecast was not great for the day with a cold front due to cross the region by mid- morning bringing with it some heavy and persistent rain!

After completing the customary routine of reading and signing the Risk Assessment members dispersed to their allocated beats - five rods on three beats on each of the two rivers, the Lugg and the Arrow.

At the start of the day both rivers were running at surprisingly modest levels despite the recent rainfall and the weather did exactly as predicted even with a little bit of sun before some very heavy and prolonged rain, and people got very wet indeed!

About twenty grayling, and a few trout, were caught on all but one beat in pretty challenging conditions, especially towards the end of the day.

It was so wet that some went home to dry out and so missed meeting up again at the Morrison's cafe. Despite the adverse weather conditions an enjoyable day was had by all and our thanks go to the Wye & Usk Foundation for enabling us to fish the beats.

Area 4 Fishing day

Party members at the Morrison's Cafe in Leominster

Area 4 Fishing day

Glyn Williams netting a 16” grayling on the Lugg at Mortimer’s Cross

Area 4 Fishing day

Steve Moore with an offering from the Arrow

Area 4 Fishing Day

Date: Saturday 23 January 2016
Venue: Caer Beris Manor Hotel with beats on the river Wye and Irfon
Any member of the Society wishing to take part in this event (either fly-fishing or trotting) should contact Area 4 Secretary: Roger Smith by email:

There are places for about thirty rods and the cost will be in the region of £20 - £25. Full details of time, place and cost, will be given to those who apply for a place.

Fishing data from Grayling Society fishing day on 11th October 2015

River Annan Trust report that 168 fish were recorded in the returns showing a good average weight of grayling. Of the 8 fish caught over 40cm four weighed 2lb plus. The majority of the fish were caught on dries during some excellent afternoon hatches of olives.

Thank you to the River Annan Trust and all the riparian owners for allowing us to fish the wonderful Annan.

View the catch return graph

Grayling Society awards Righyni-Roose Trophy to Roger Smith

Each year The Grayling Society runs a national competition on a topic which changes from year to year. This year it was for the written word.

This years winner was Roger Smith for his poem An ode to the Lady of the Stream.

Roger received the trophy, a bronze sculpture of a Grayling created by David Hughes, from Steve Skuce at the annual Symposium and AGM held at the Dryfesdale Hotel near Lockerbie.

River Annan Grayling Days

Interested in grayling fishing on the River Annan? For the past 8 years the River Annan has been working with anglers to monitor the status of Grayling stocks on the river. This has created an important data set that can inform fishery management on the river. To help is simple, join them on one of the dates below with either a fly rod or a float rod and go and fish on one of the fisheries they allocate you.

The dates are:

  • Sunday November 29th 2015
  • Sunday December 13th 2015
  • Sunday January 10th 2016
  • Sunday February 7th 2016
  • Sunday March 6th 2016

They meet at Café 91, Lockerbie High Street for between 8am and 9am.

For more information visit:!grayling-fishing/cha0

Last minute availability at Dryfesdale Hotel

Due to late cancellations the Dryfesdale Hotel has rooms available for the Grayling Society Symposium.

Tel: 01576 202427

Area 14 Fishing Day

Geoff Bevan, Area 14 Secretary, has organised a fishing day for Grayling Society members on the River Ewenny in South Wales on Saturday 14th November. Grayling Society members from other areas are very welcome.

For details contact Geoff:
Tel: 01446 774223

Cheshire Game and Angling Fair

Despite earlier forecasts of rain, August 16 dawned bright and sunny ready for the re-invigorated Fair. Known colloquially as the Peover show, there was a wide range of stands covering most country sports. The Angling Fair Marquee was home to the Grayling Society, Prince albert A.S., Fly dressers' guild, Marton Heath Trout Pools and Stockport Angling Association plus several others.

Manned by Barrie Davidson, our Cheshire Area Secretary, Vice Chairman Rob Hartley and General Secretary Rod Calbrade, there was a good amount of interest at the stand, meeting some members and angling friends as well as selling several of our floats and other tackle plus hopefully gaining a few new members in the future. One potential members subsequently signed up - result!

Grayling Society Stand

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Grayling Society Area 11 Fishing Days

Paul Firmin, Area 11 Secretary, is organising fishing days in the North East of England on the following dates:

  • October 4th and 25th
  • November 22nd
  • December 6th
  • January 17th and 31st
  • February 20th
  • and March 12th

Contact Paul for further details.

Mobile: 0796 9733508

2015 Symposium and AGM

Preparations are almost ready for this year's Symposium. The speakers this year will be Ronnie Glass, Dr. Steven Weiss, Kenny Galt and Fin Wilson.

Ronnie Glass is 60 years old (young), has lived in, or around, Kelso all his life. In younger years he mainly fished the River Teviot until moving to a house overlooking the Tweed in 1986. He remembers having his leg pulled on many occasions as he preferred to fish for Grayling rather than the freely available Salmon fishing back in the 1970's. Currently he is Chairman of Kelso Angling Association and Vice Chair of The Tweed Commission. For the last 8 years he has been the Fishing Manager of the Orvis shop in Kelso. He has tied all his own flies from age 14 and paints landscapes in watercolours as well as modelling replica fish. When time allows !!!??? - he also carves fish that have been returned to the river, either from the UK or abroad. He now also contributes the “Trout Surgery” to Trout and Salmon magazine. At 29, he entered his first competition and has now represented Scotland in 13 Lochstyle Internationals and 3 Rivers Internationals, captaining 2 Lochstyle teams and one on the Rivers. “Top Scottish rod” 4 times and he is the only Scotsman to have won both the National and the Rivers National Championships. We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Steven Weiss from Austria who gave an excellent presentation at the GRT's York Symposium some years ago and who has recently become a GRT Trustee. His talk will encompass Grayling of the World.

Kenny Galt is employed as a Trout & Grayling Biologist by the Tweed Foundation. He has been with the Foundation for just over 10 years and his job is to work with the local Trout and Grayling fishing Associations to get them to help him to gather the information needed to sustainably manage the Brown Trout and Grayling fisheries on the Tweed. They are about to start a study into post spawning recovery in Tweed Grayling using scale samples and condition factor.

Fin Wilson began fishing as a young boy on the Mill and Castle lochs in Lochmaben where he grew up. His passion for fly-fishing began on the River Annan fishing for trout, grayling and particularly sea trout at night. He now lives on the Upper Tweed at Stobo where he runs three miles of river. He is a professional guide/instructor and a regular contributor to Trout & Salmon magazine.

The excellent “Fisherman's Guide to the River Annan” available on the Annan Fisheries website will give invaluable information for the fishing day:!fishermansguide/c24d6

The Trade stands will include Coch y Bonddu Books, FlyTek flytying materials.

The Lunchtime raffle will be run as ever by Greg Payne and the evening's Gala Dinner will be finished off by Pat Stevens running the Auction, so if you have any suitable items for the Auction, bring them along.

We have deliberately held the Symposium a little early this year so that, hopefully, we can get some good river levels beautiful early Autumn weather, with golden hues on the trees and maybe even some dry fly fishing for the grayling.

NOTE that as you are driving to and into Lockerbie, you may see signs for the Dryfesdale Lodge this is NOT the Symposium hotel, which is the Dryfesdale Hotel.

River Annan River Annan Dryfesdale-Hotel-Room

The Essential Fly

We would like to welcome The Essential Fly as a trade member.

They offer Grayling Society members a 15% discount when using discount code graylingsoc in the voucher box at the checkout.

The discount applies to any flies (all species) plus Semperfli fly tying materials.

Grayling Stocking

Two recent stories regarding the stocking of Grayling into English rivers by the Environment Agency.

River Rother:

On the 25th of June the Environment Agency stocked 3000 0 to 1 year class Grayling in the River Rother at Chesterfield. This is the first of three stockings planned (3000 Grayling in 2016 and 3000 more in 2017).

For several years Grayling have been caught by local angler in small numbers but this stocking program by the Environment Agency will add to the existing small population but also shows the EA's confidence in the improving quality of the river.

Grayling Boost for the North East:

Rivers in the north east are being stocked with grayling this week in a bid to boost natural populations of the species.

The Environment Agency will stock the Clow Beck near Darlington and the Rivers Blyth and Pont in Northumberland with 3,000 grayling - 6,000 in total.

These rivers have suffered from poor water quality and habitat degradation in the past, but efforts by the Environment Agency is helping to turn them around. The Clow Beck, which flows into the River Tees near Darlington, was hit by pollution incidents last year and again this year and it is thought that these new grayling will start to put the stream back on course for recovery.

The stocking on the Rivers Blyth and Pont will start near Matfen and are aimed at boosting fish stocks following previous pollution incidents and as part of ongoing work to improve habitat.

Environment Agency Fisheries Officers Paul Frear and Robbie Stevenson will be introducing the grayling to their new homes. Robbie said:

“We're pleased we can help with the restoration of these watercourses and it's now time to help fish stocks recover. It is good news for local anglers and conservation alike as there should be a wider variety of healthy adult fish in our rivers.”

The grayling being introduced are one-year-old fish, sourced from the EA's Calverton Fish Farm, and the first of them should begin to spawn in the spring of 2017 - hopefully helping to return the population of grayling in these rivers and streams will to healthy numbers.

Events for your diary

The Grayling Society will be attending the following events during 2015 and 2016. We look forward to seeing members at these events. If you aren't already a member why not come along and join.

The Bakewell Show, Bakewell, Derbyshire - 5th & 6th August 2015

Cheshire Game and Angling Fair, Peover, Cheshire - 16th August 2015

iFish, Ardingley, West Sussex - 22nd November 2015

Burton 5th Game fishing and Fly Tying Festival, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire - 18th October 2015

British Fly Fair International, Staffordshire County Showground - 13th & 14th February 2016

Sportfish Show, Reading, Berkshire - dates tbc, May 2016

Trade membership fee reduced

The Grayling Society has reduced the cost of Trade Membership from £112 to £56 with immediate effect.

Trade Members receive one set of publications posted to one address. One member of the Trade organisation may attend the Symposium and Annual General Meeting, or any Extraordinary General Meeting which may be called. Each Trade member has just one vote at any AGM or EGM. A Full Page B&W or Colour advertisement may be placed in one issue of 'Grayling' free of charge (artwork to be supplied) and the names of all Trade Members are included in the Friends of the Society section of Grayling and on the Society website.

For details on how to join as a Trade Member go to:

Area 4 Fishing Days

Sat 26 September 2015
Venue: River Severn at Caersws

Meeting at The Red Lion Inn, Caersws SY17 5EL between 9.00am and 10.00am at which point the Grayling Society Risk Assessment for the fishing day will be signed by those participating.Day tickets (£13) are available from the Spar Shop in Caersws or from Bradley's Garage in Caersws, both close to The Red Lion. Fishing - principally will be with fly but there is some water where trotting a worm is possible on parts of the river. There are places for TWELVE RODS on this occasion and if you wish to take part in this event please contact (first come - first served!) Roger Smith by email: indicating the method of fishing you propose to use.

Sat 14 November 2015
Venue: Rivers Lugg and Arrow beats close to Leominster

We will meet at the cafe in Morrisons store Barons' Cross Rd, Leominster, HR6 8RN between 9.00am and 10.00am at which point the Grayling Society Risk Assessment for the fishing day will be signed by those participating. Fee £15.00 to be paid in advance to Roger Smith Area 4 secretary. Fishing - principally will be with fly but there is some water where trotting a maggot or corn is possible on parts of the river. There are places for TEN RODS on this occasion and if you wish to take part in this event please contact (first come - first served!) Roger Smith by email: indicating the method of fishing you propose to use.

Sat 23 January 2016
Venue: Rivers Wye, Irfon and Ithon beats

We will meet at The Caer Beris Manor Hotel, Garth Rd, Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3NP between 9.00am and 10.00am at which point the Grayling Society Risk Assessment for the fishing day will be signed by those participating. Fishing - principally will be with fly but there is some water where trotting is possible - will be on WUF beats. Fee approx. £25 to be pid in advance (precise details later to those who apply) There are places for TWELVE RODS on this occasion and if you wish to take part in this event please contact (first come - first served!) Roger Smith by email: indicating the method of fishing you propose to use.

Grayling Competition on the Teviot

Jedburgh Rotary Club is resurrecting the competition they ran every winter on the Teviot until a few years ago. It will be on 5th December 2015 and the entry fee will be £10. See attachments for further details.

Area 8 Newsletter

Click here to download the pdf.

Grayling Prints

Maria Gonzales has finally finished her watercolour painting of a Grayling. Signed prints will be available for sale from next week. Contact Maria for your nearest stockist -

Area 11 Fishing Days

Area 11 Secretary Paul Firmin arranged three fishing days for his area members this winter, with more to be arranged.

January was the best attended day with fifteen members fishing and forty-two fish caught and released.

If you are interested in attending you need to be a member of the Grayling Society, to join go to:

You can contact Paul Firmin at:

101 Edge Moor Road, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 4QE
Mobile: 0796 9733508

39th Grayling Society Symposium and AGM

The annual symposium and AGM will be held on the weekend of Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October 2015 at The Dryfesdale Hotel just outside Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire.

We are very much looking forward to seeing members for the Symposium, AGM and Gala Dinner on the Saturday and fishing on the River Annan on the Sunday.

Full details and booking form are included with the Spring edition of Grayling News.

The event is only open to members. If you would like to join go to:

Meon Springs Country Experience Day

Greg Payne will be flying the flag for the Grayling Society at The Meon Springs Country Experience Day on Sunday 19th April.

See their website for more details on the event:

Download PDF

Grayling Fishing Opportunities in the Wild Trout Trust Auction

The Wild Trout Trust auction has some superb grayling fishing lots.

If you are keen on grayling fishing then these lots I know are worth a look:

  • Dorset Allen (lots 238 and 233)
  • Derbyshire Dove (lot 188)
  • Hampshire River Anton (lot 173)
  • Dorset Frome at Casterbridge (lot 172)
  • Welsh Wye (lots 103 and 85)
  • Welsh Dee (lot 92)
  • Tweed (lot 60)
  • Annan (lot 50).

Find these lots easily using the search facility on the PDF versions of the catalogue.

Start here:

New range of floats

Brian Clarke has been working hard to update the range of floats available through the Grayling Society Shop. They look fantastic.

Grayling Tshirts

To order go to the shop page and download the Equipment Order Form.

Happy trotting.

New Czech Republic Overseas Secretary

We would like to welcome Jitka Rutkayova as Overseas Secretary for the Czech Republic.

Jitka is a professional ichthyologist, university teaching assistant and keen angler. We wish her the best of luck in her new role and thank her for her support.

Jitka Rutkayova
Ceske Budejovice,
Czech Republic

Her email address is:

If you are interested in becoming and Area or Overseas Secretary for The Grayling Society please contact the General Secretary -

Dates for the Diary

Greg Payne, Area 2 Secretary (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex & Wiltshire), has organised the following events for 2015.

  • Area Fishing Day - Wherwell - Saturday 31st October
  • Area Fishing Day - Wherwell - Sunday 27th December

He will also be at:

  • iFish, The South of England Show Ground, Ardingly on Sunday 22nd November 2015.
  • West Country Game Fair, Royal Bath Showground, Shepton Mallet on 21st & 22nd March 2015

Drop by and say hello.

Contact Greg for further information.

Tel: 01985 213023

The Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing Auction 2015

The TEFF Auction is now 'live' and appears on the TEFF website and the Angling Trust website. This is a significant part of the TEFF fund raising effort so dig deep and get bidding.

View the TEFF Auction flyer

British Fly Fair International 2015

The Grayling Society will have a stand at this years British Fly Fair International, 7th and 8th February. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Venue: Staffordshire County Showground, Weston Road, Stafford, ST18 0BD

Opening times: 9.30am - 4.30pm

For full details go to the BFFI website:

Area 14 Grayling Day

Geoff Bevan, Secretary for Area 14 - Dyfed, Gwent, West, Mid & South Glamorgan, reschedules his area Grayling day on the River Ewenny in South Wales for Sunday 18th January.

If you are interested in attending please contact Geoff:
Geoff Bevan
Tel: 01446 774223

Malcolm Greenhalgh blog report

Malcolm Greenhalgh reports on October's fishing conditions and The Grayling Society Symposium in his blog on the Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine website.

Symposium Fishing Returns

Could members who attended the Symposium & AGM and fished on the Sunday please remember to email their returns to either Rob Hartley or Paul Deaville.

Rob -

Paul -

Grayling T-Shirts

Fine artist Rob Olsen ( has launched a range of fishing t-shirts including some of Grayling.

The shirts depict his illustration works and are available either through the Togsbox website or via Amazon UK by typeing rob olsen fishing t shirts into the browser.

Grayling Tshirts

Leek & District Fly Fishing Association have places available.

Leek & District Fly Fishing Association have places available for the 2015/16 season.

Their fishing includes the gin clear streams of the Bentley Brook and River Hamps, the stuff of angling folklore in the majestic Dovedale, the spectacular scenery of the Churney valley and the stunning natural beauty of the upper Dove.

Contact LADFFA for more details:

River Annan Trust Grayling Days

Every winter the River Annan Trust runs a number a number of Grayling fishing days. This years dates have now been finalized and they are as follows: Sat Dec 13th; Sun Jan 11th; Sun Jan 25th; Sat Feb 7th; Sun Mar 1st; and Sun Mar 22nd.

As ever they will be meeting in the Cafe 91 at 8 am to hand out instructions but for a change of evening venue they have teamed up with The Townhead Hotel at the North of Lockerbie. If anyone is traveling a distance the hotel has offered a fantastic deal of just £70 for a twin room and £45 for a single, both including breakfast. The owner has advised us though that you should book early as he may fill up with other clients.

Please share this with anyone you know who is interested in Grayling and there conservation.

For more information go to!news/c23v1

Grayling Research Trust Questionnaire

Do you fish for Grayling? Please complete the Grayling Research Trust online questionnaire.

iFish Event

The Grayling Society will be at iFish, the South England's only fly fishing whow, in West Sussex on Saturday 22nd November 2014.

We look forward to seeing you there.

New Secretary for Area 7 - Wirral & Cheshire

We would like to thank Barrie Davidson for volunteering to once more take on the mantle of Secretary for Area 7 - Wirral & Cheshire.

His contact details are as follows:
Barrie Davidson
Tel: 07776 391196 |

Grayling Research Trust website

The Grayling Research Trust have updated their website. The website provides access to a wealth of information on the Trust's work with links to the Trust's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Area 14 Grayling Day

Geoff Bevan, Secretary for Area 14 - Dyfed, Gwent, West, Mid & South Glamorgan, is organising an area Grayling day on the River Ewenny in South Wales for Sunday 9th November.

If you are interested in attending please contact Geoff:
Geoff Bevan
Tel: 01446 774223

Christmas is coming

Looking for a gift for an angler. Look no further than the Grayling Society shop.

The Society sells a small range of high quality accessories including badges, car stickers, clothing and literature binders as well as furled leaders, floats and other angling necessities.

And all the profits go to the Grayling Society.

Ole Bjerke Returns

We would like to welcome back Ole Bjerke as Overseas Secretary for Norway. Ole takes over from Geir Kjensmo. We would also like to thank Geir for his hard work and support and wish him well for the future.

Ole's contact details are as follows:
Ole A. Bjerke
Johan Bojersveg 8
2816 Gjovik
Mobile +47 40 43 61 76
E-mail address:

Area 2 Grayling Days

Due to the popularity of last years Grayling day Greg Payne has organised two Grayling fishing days for this year, both of which will take place on the River Test carriers at the Wherwell Estate Fishery.

The dates are:
Wednesday, 15th October and Sunday, 28th December

The maximum number of rods per day is 15, Grayling Society members only. The cost is £40 per head.

Because of one 'no show' last year, which had to be paid for, Greg will require a 50% deposit before the day. Places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

For details contact:
Greg Payne, Area Secretary - Area 2
T: 01985 213023 M:07807 748712 E:

Secretary for Area 5

We would like to welcome Paul Deaville as Secretary for Area 5. Paul will take over from Rob Hartley after the Grayling Society Symposium and AGM at the end of October.

Paul's contact details are as follows:

Tel - 07805 823488

We would also like to thank Rob Hartley for his hard work as Area 5 Secretary and his support on the Committee. Rob has done sterling duty organising this years Grayling Society Symposium and AGM. We wish him well for the future.

Working together makes Sence: angler's joy as Grayling return to Leicestershire river

Anglers on the River Sence, near Ibstock in Leicestershire, are really excited after catching a species of fish which disappeared from the area over 40 years ago.

Grayling are now returning to the River Sence thanks to a series of improvement projects carried out by the Environment Agency, Gopsall Fishing Club, the Wild Trout Trust, the Grayling Society and other partner organisations in the local area. These works have significantly improved the quality of the water in the River Sence and improved the fish's natural habitat - encouraging them to migrate and spawn.

The improvement works involved creating fish spawning areas and designing new channels to enable fish to migrate around impassable weirs. Large woody debris was also added to help prevent silt from building up in the river - by varying the river flow and keeping the gravel clean to encourage fish to spawn. 3km of fencing was erected to prevent livestock from entering the river and prevent over grazing on the river banks.

From 2006 to 2010 the Environment Agency worked alongside Gopsall Fishing Club and the Grayling Society to kick start the grayling population by stocking over 8500 grayling - reared at the Environment Agency’s fish farm at Calverton.

Tom Astley, Environment Agency, said:

“We're delighted to see that the fish we stocked with Gopsall Fishing Club, the Wild Trout Trust and the Grayling Society have reached maturity and are now spawning in the river. We hope that over time the grayling population in this area will go from strength to strength. This is a great example of one of the many projects we deliver as a result of rod license fee funding. It is part of our nationwide aim to conserve and improve wild stocks of trout, sea trout, char and grayling - whilst also enhancing the environment for all types of fisheries.”

Peter Owen, Chairman of Gopsall Fishing Club, said:

“This season our members have reported the capture of the first naturally spawned wild grayling in the river. This is fantastic news as it demonstrates that all the hard work put in by the club and its partners has restored the habitat that can once again support a self-sustaining grayling population. It also provides us with some winter fishing beyond the end of the trout season.”

In addition to the work delivered by the Environment Agency, Gopsall Angling Club have also continued to improve the area with other partners organisations such as the Wild Trout Trust, the Grayling Society, Twycross Zoo, Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust, Bardon Aggregates, the Crown Estate and farmers.

Emerald Waters - The River Soča, story of a life-time enchantment

Dr. Vincenzo Penteriani, Grayling Society Overseas Secretary for Spain, has published a photographic portfolio on the upper part of the River Soca, the wonderful Slovenian river well-known for the emerald colour of the water and high quality fly fishing. You can preview and buy the book online at:

New Vice Chairman

For some time now the Society has been without a Vice Chairman. At the April Committee Meeting it was felt that this situation should prevail no longer and I am pleased to advise members that Rob Hartley, who is currently Area Secretary for Area 5, volunteered to take up that role. Since this role is that of a Society Officer and has been, in effect, co-opted it will be ratified at the next AGM in accordance with the rules of the Society. Rob has my personal thanks for taking up this position and I am sure he will carry out any duties associated with it with his usual efficiency, thoughtfulness and wicked sense of humour.

Steve Skuce, Chairman

Grayling Genetics and Conservation

Hopefully many of you will recall that in 2008/09, anglers collected over 1,100 grayling adipose fin clip samples from 27 catchments in England, Scotland and Wales. The samples were used to extract DNA and for the first time, help us understand the genetic make up and diversity of grayling across the UK. This information was later used to influence stocking of UK grayling. I attach a copy of the published paper as a reminder for those of you who participated, and for those who didn't, you can get a flavour of how angling participantion has influenced the management and conservation of this species.

The reason for me contacting you now is that another genetic study is underway and needs samples for analysis. Vanessa Huml has started her PhD and I enclose an introductory letter, giving details of the aims of her research. I should also highlight that this study is being supported by the Grayling Research Trust and The Grayling Society. The angler sampling methodology is slightly different this time around in that we will not be taking fin clips but using swabs (cotton buds) to collect DNA from the mouth and gill cavity. I personally undertook some sampling in March this year and so I know what this involves. Swabbing will slow your fishing day down a little but shouldn't ruin your pleasure too much. Unusually, fish capture is to be undertaken in the summer months (starting June 16th) rather than Autumn / winter. I appreciate that this is more problematic with grayling but I'm sure that you'll rise to the challenge - we need a minimum of 30 samples per catchment.

If you are willing to collect samples from the required catchments (see Vanessa's list in the letter), then please can you contact her directly via e-mail indicating the catchments that you fish. She will then send you the appropriate sampling gear. If you can't help, you will know people in your area who fish for grayling (or trout where grayling will be a likely by-catch). Please make the effort to involve them in the project.

Get involved by contacting Vanessa and if you have any further questions, contact her or myself and we'll do our best to answer them.
Please support Vanessa, kind regards,

Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru / Natural Resources Wales
Grayling Society Conseravtion Projects Officer
(01244) 894521

New secretary for Area 1

We would like to Welcome Mark Hamnett as Secretary for Area 1 (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset & Somerset). Mark can be contacted at:

+44 7917 543392

Dates for the Diary

Greg Payne, Area 2 Secretary (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex & Wiltshire), will be at the following events in 2014. Drop by, say hello and if you're not already a member join.

  • West Country Game Fair, Shepton Mallet: 22 - 23rd March 2014
  • Meon Springs Country Sports Day: 13th April 2014
  • Bath & West Show, Shepton Mallet: 28 - 31st May... 2014
  • Frome Show : 13th September 2014

Grayling Sculpture by Paul Dady

Sculptor Paul Dady is very kindly offering Grayling Society the opportunity to buy a Grayling sculpture at a very special price whilst also benefiting the Grayling Society.

Finely cast in Bronze, Paul's sculptures of Trout, Salmon and Grayling portray not merely a highly detailed likeness but moreover a living creature caught in an instance of time.

Grayling Society members get a 10% discount off the normal retail price of a Grayling sculpture with a further 10% going to the Grayling Society.

Grayling Sculpture

For further details contact Paul through his website.

New Secretary for Area 9

The Grayling Society would like to welcome back Steve Rhodes as Secretary for Area 9. Steve takes over from Ade Bristow. We would like to thank Ade for his hard work and efforts as Area Secrerary and wish him all the best.

We still have vacancies for Area Secretaries in Area 1 (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset & Somerset) and Area 7 (Wirral & Cheshire) and for Overseas secretaries in Canada and Italy following the death of Dr. Antonio Sabbadini.

If you would be interested in any of these roles please contact the General Secretary Rod Calbrade (

New Grayling Research Trust PhD study

Assessing adaptive genetic variation for effective management and conservation of European Grayling. Go to the GRT Website for further details -

The Grayling Society needs you

The Society currently has vacancies for Area Secretaries in UK areas 1 (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset & Somerset) and 7 (Wirral & Cheshire) and for Overseas secretaries in Canada and Italy following the death of Dr. Antonio Sabbadini.

The Grayling Society is a truly international organisation with Overseas Secretaries in Belgium, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Holland, Germany and Austria, Poland and the United States of America. But not all the countries where Grayling are found and fished for are represented, Bosnia or Slovenia for instance. Would you be interested in setting up a new Overseas outpost of The Grayling Society?

If you would be interested in any of these roles or in setting up a new outpost please contact the General Secretary Rod Calbrade (

New Area Secretary for Area 14

Geoff Bevan is taking over from Tony Protheroe as Area Secretary for Area 14 (Dyfed, Gwent, West, Mid & South Glamorgan).

Geoff can be contacted at

Grayling Society Facebook page

You can follow the Grayling Society on Facebook at our new page:

New appointments

Following the Grayling Society Annual General Meeting we have pleasure in announcing that Steve Skuce will succeed Steve Rhodes as Chairman of the Society and that Rod Calbrade has volunteered to take on the role of General Secretary. We thank them for their support and wish them the best of luck in their roles.

Farmers, anglers and landowners unite behind sustainable access campaign in Wales

A broad-based coalition has been launched today with a website at to campaign for locally-managed access to the Welsh countryside and rivers to ensure that it is sustainable and does not impact on legitimate and economically-important activities such as farming and angling.

The coalition is responding to an on-going consultation on access to the countryside by the Welsh Government, led by the Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, who refused to rule out the possibility of opening up access to all land and water without restrictions at a recent meeting with coalition members, which has incensed a wide range of people who make a living in the countryside.

Please see website for more details.

The Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

Steve Rhodes welcomed members to the Forest & Vale hotel in Pickering for the 37th Symposium and AGM. After a moment to remember those members who were no longer with us Steve thanked Ade Bristow and Steve Skuce for arranging the event. Thanks were also extended to the hotel, all those who had donated fishing for the Sunday, the exhibitors (Cookshill Fly Tying, Coch-y-Bonddu Books, Fly Tek and Chris Lythe) and those who donated prizes for the raffle, including the Wold Top Brewery.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

As retiring Chairman Steve made an impassioned call to members to step up to the plate and volunteer to take on those committee roles that need to be filled. Steve then introduced the first presenter Stuart Crofts.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

Stuart kicked things off with a brief insight into the importance of bio-security for anglers and the need to check all gear before leaving the fishery, thoroughly cleaning all gear with either Virkon or hot water and drying gear before it is used again. (A video made by Stuart on the subject can be found on further down this page. Stuart grabbed the audience's attention by then going to talk about sex. Unfortunately, the sex lives of insects, those particularly important to fly fishers - the midge, stonefly, caddis, dance fly and upwings. As always Stuart was entertaining, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He left the audience with lots to think about.

Tony Walsh of the Pickering Fishery Association then introduced John Shannon.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

John previously worked for the EA and now heads up the East Yorkshire Rivers Trust and has a deep knowledge of the local catchment. John talked about the Costa Beck, its past, present and future. Through maps and articles John shared the history of the Beck and how it came to be in its current, rather poor state. He explained how the introduction of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) had helped to focus attention on the 90% of watercourses in the Humber District that were failing WFD, including the Costa and Oxfold Becks. John then shared how recent projects with the EA were helping to reverse the Becks decline. These involved the use of 'dig and dump', channel narrowing and de-straightening, woody debris and creating self cleaning gravel flows. The underpinning principle being to the use the river itself and the materials at hand to improve the habitat.

Before lunch Ade Bristow gave a brief but extremely useful insight into the rivers to be fished on Sunday, should the weather hold. Fingers crossed.

The author John Roberts introduced the third presenter, Chris McCully and his interestingly titled ‘Grayling and Mammoths’.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

Chris's entertaining, amusing and thought provoking presentation set about trying to change out preconceptions of cavemen, the origins of Grayling in the UK and the representation of Grayling in human culture.

The final session of the day saw Dr Ryan Taylor provide an update on the Grayling Research Trust, their projects and activities. This included the new website, Twitter and Facebook pages (,,, genetic testing, spawning surveys, the forthcoming special anniversary edition of the Grayling Journal and the aspiration to create a new Grayling Conservation Guide.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

Steve Rhodes and Steve Skuce hosted their final Annual General Meeting (AGM) as Chairman and General Secretary. Steve Rhodes announced that Alan Ayre succeeds John Brennan as President. He then gave his final passionate and at times heart felt Chairman's update on the year including; the proposal to end the process of application for charitable status; the increase in conservation funding; the relatively stable membership level; area activities and the need to appoint new area secretaries in some parts of the country. Keith Mason provided a summary of the accounts, which were approved. Steve Rhodes then handed over the mantle of Chairman to Steve Skuce along with the Chairman's book. All other Committee members were re-elected. The motion to end the process of application for charitable status was passed. Steve Skuce advised that the 38th Symposium and AGM will be at The Menzies Hotel at Mickleover in Derbyshire on the 25th and 26th October 2014.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

In recognition of Steve Rhodes contribution as Chairman Alan Ayre presented him with a copy of William Nelson's book Fishing in Eden.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

Steve was also awarded the Broughton Trophy alongside Keith Mason and Brian Clark for over 20 years service on the Committee. The Righyni Roose Trophy was awarded for the 'written word' to Dylan Morris in his absence.

Finally the raffle was drawn. The raffle raised £337.

The evening Gala Dinner was a huge success.

Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM

After a wonderful three course meal Pat Stevens, aided by Steve Skuce and Rod Calbrade, took the role of auctioneer. Bidding was brisk and raised over £1,400 for the Grayling Society and Grayling Research Trust.

As everyone enjoyed the evening the weather threatened to derail Sunday's fishing. Heavy rain, thunder, lightning and hailstones. The 'Kent curse' strikes again. But Sunday dawned bright and breezy with a chill in the air. Some of the further flung fishing was washed out but the becks in and around Pickering held up. David Southall ran a Tenkara 'Teach In' on the Derwent whilst Chris Lythe demonstrated his approach to trotting small streams on the Pickering Beck. Both proved highly informative and were well received.

Once again a wonderful opportunity to meet up and catch up with friends, supporters and members. Well done to Ade Bristow for organising the event and see you all in Derbyshire in 2014.

Driffield Beck Long Trotting

Mulberry Whin

Andrew Dixon the owner of the Mulberry Whin chalkstream fishing on the Driffield West Beck is to allow Grayling Society members only for a trial period to long trot with worm or maggot for the large grayling that reside in his length of the beck. The trial period will run through December and January and is exclusive to Grayling Society members.

The Mulberry Whin beat extends for more than a mile and holds some truly huge grayling with fish running to well in excess of 3 lbs. The fishing is limited to 4 rods per day and will cost £20 per rod, Andrew can also offer on site self catering and Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Details can be found on the Mulberry Whin website:

It's hoped that if the trial is a success it may be extended this season and will be continued in future seasons so members are asked to support this initiative.

To reserve a rod/s or for further information contact Andrew Dixon on 01377 254073/07727 189423 or email:

Grayling Society 2014 Symposium and AGM

The 38th Symposium and AGM will be at The Menzies Hotel at Mickleover in Derbsyshire on the 25th and 26th October 2014.

Further to Stuart Croft's presentation at the Symposium on Bio Security the guidelines referred to can be found here.

Grayling Spawning

Have you ever seen grayling spawning? If so the Grayling Research Trust would like to hear from you. See the following link for details:

General Secretary of the Society

Members will know by now that Steve Skuce will stand down from the position of Honorary General Secretary at the AGM in November, after 17 years of dedicated service. The Society would welcome applications from members to take on this important role.

The Secretary's role is one of coordination and organisation. It includes liaison with the Society's officers, the Area Secretaries and the Grayling Trust, and day-to-day communication with organisations and individuals, in pursuit of the Society's aims and goals. It also involves the organising and calling of Committee meetings at approximately quarterly intervals, taking and distributing the minutes of those meetings, and assisting local officers in the organisation of the AGM and Symposium each year. Steve has also assisted at most shows where the Society exhibits over the years.

If you are interested in taking on this role, please contact Steve Skuce, or the Chairman, Steve Rhodes, and discuss it with them. The position is open to any Member, whether or not they already hold positions at local or national level. Enthusiasm, good attitude and a sense of organisation are at least as important as experience.

Retirement of Chairman and General Secretary

After many years of dedicated service to the Grayling Society our Chairman, Steve Rhodes, and General Secretary, Steve Skuce, have advised the Committee of their intention to retire at the next Annual General Meeting in Pickering on the 2nd November.

If you would like to express an interest in the post of Chairman or General Secretary of The Grayling Society could you please contact Steve Skuce - / 01985 248134


A reminder regarding your subscriptions. We still have members who are paying their subscriptions at the old rates.

Could I ask that you check your subscription payment with your bank to make sure you are paying the correct amount. If you are still paying the incorrect amount or have any queries about your subscriptions please contact your Area Secretary or the Membership Secretary.

Remember The Grayling Society subscriptions are due on the 1st of January unless agreed otherwise.

Subscriptions are as follows:

£28.00 Adult
£47.00 Joint
£22.00 Senior (over 70 years)
£5.00 Junior (16 or under)

Grayling Underwater Footage

Click on the links below to watch some stunning underwater video footage of Grayling courtesy of Jack Perks, Underwater & Wildlife Photographer.

Grayling Fighting

Grayling in Peak District rivers

Jack Perks Photography - Underwater & Wildlife Photographer

The Grayling Society 37th Symposium and AGM - 2nd & 3rd November 2013

This year our Symposium and AGM returns to Area 9. It will be held at The Forest & Vale Hotel in the delightful market town of Pickering in North Yorkshire. The hotel has limited accommodation so it is wise to book early. Ample alternative accommodation is available in and around the town. For the more adventurous, who might fancy a winter paddle or 'proper' fish, chips and mushy peas, Scarborough and Whitby are not too far away. See booking form for further details.

Speakers booked are Stuart Crofts (the representative of the Independent Republic of South Yorkshire) who, in his unique and wonderful style, will talk to us about Bio Security; Alan Mullinger/John Shannon talking about the future of the Costa & Oxfolds Becks and long standing Society member Chris McCully who will, no doubt, entertain us thoroughly with some amusing and interesting anecdotes from his long and varied fishing experiences. We may also have a trotting demonstration from Chris Lythe.

Trade Stands should include several of the usual suspects from Coch-y-Bonddu Books, Flytek, Cookshill, Chris Lythe etc. There may be other stands and, of course, our own Society stand will be present.

The Annual General Meeting will be held in the afternoon followed by the Raffle Draw and presentation of the Righyni/Roose Trophy and Broughton Trophy.

In the evening our traditional Gala Dinner will be held followed by the ever popular Fishing Tackle Auction.

Sunday's fishing will principally be on the Pickering Beck, Derwent, Dove, Driffield Beck and, hopefully, other rivers in the area, all provided as a result of the generosity of local clubs and fishery owners. Fly or trotting methods will be accommodated so please make sure you advise us now which method you intend to use.

See booking form for further details. Booking Form (PDF) | Booking Form (Word)

Visit The Grayling Society stand at the following Events

British Fly Fair International - 22nd and 23rd June, The Staffordshire County Showground is located 2 miles from junction 14 of the M6 motorway just outside Stafford.

Bakewell Show - Bakewell Showground 7th and 8th August. One of the oldest agricultural shows in the UK with nearly 200 years of history, Bakewell Show has evolved from a purely agricultural display to the diverse event it is today with something for everybody!

Burton on Trent Game Fishing and Fly Tying Festival - 6th October, Burton Town Hall.

Grayling Society Area 2 Events

The Grayling Society will be attending the following events this spring and summer. Why not come along and meet the society.

Any Area 2 members who would be willing to help out on the day please contact the Area 2 Secretary Greg Payne (

Meon Springs Country Day - 14th April (

The Royal Bath & West Show - 29th May to 1st June (

Frome Show - 14th Sept (

Bio security for anglers

Don Stazicker and Stuart Crofts have made a short video on Bio security for anglers.

Grayling Research Trust

Checkout the new Grayling Research Trust website: You can now also follow the Grayling Research Trust on Twitter.

River Dove Catchment Consultation Event

Tuesday 26th February 2013 at Ashbourne Town Hall 10.00 am until 3.00 pm. This consultation event forms part of a catchment planning process that the Trent Rivers Trust is leading so that it can develop a catchment plan for the River Dove incorporating the ideas and aspirations of all those people and organisations with an interest in the river.

We hope to talk with local residents, landowners and tenant farmers, anglers, ramblers, wildlife conservationists, Government agencies, elected representatives and council officers and other recreational user groups.

Download a pdf with more details.

Grayling Society 2013 Symposium and AGM

The 37th Annual General Meeting of The Grayling Society will be held on Saturday 2nd November 2012 in Pickering, North Yorkshire.

The Society's AGM and Symposium, 2012.

This year the Society gathered in Wales, at the charming town of Llandrindod Wells. Roger Smith and the Area 4 team organised the Symposium and the fishing day superbly, and things ran smoothly from the start.

The Metropole Hotel was the HQ; a spacious and comfortable place where our exhibitors could spread their wares and the presentations and business meetings could be held in large comfortable rooms.

On the Saturday morning an exceptionally well-organised registration process gave us all the papers and information needed for the day's proceedings and our fishing beats for the Sunday. After a slightly lustful gaze over the books, pictures and tackle on display, we assembled for the first session. Society Chairman Steve Rhodes formally opened the 2012 Symposium and welcomed delegates and guests. After some essential housekeeping information, we moved on to the first presentation, “The work of the Wye and Usk Foundation”.

The Wye and Usk Foundation, or WUF for short, is too well-known to need much introduction, so Foundation Director Simon Evans took us straight into a full and comprehensive overview of its historical context and its work up to the present time. WUF is clear about basing its actions on the best available evidence, and Simon's presentation was a splendid example of how good science and a passionate and committed team of people can come together to make a real difference. Simon's presentation was backed up by a comprehensive display, and informative booklets for all delegates. The Wye and Usk catchment is vast, and issues such as diffuse pollution and land management are still, in Simon's words, another Everest for the WUF team to climb. I would certainly not bet against them. At the conclusion of the presentation, after Simon had taken questions, Steve Rhodes presented him with a cheque for £500, a contribution to the magnificent conservation work of the Foundation.

Steve Rhodes presents Simon Evans a cheque for the Wye & UskFoundation

After coffee, it was my pleasant task to introduce Dr Cyril Bennett. Any angler who has even a passing interest in entomology and the conservation of our river flies will know of Cyril and his extraordinary work. His presentation on the theme of “Riverflies, Monitoring, Conservation and Restoration” was fascinating, and suggested how diffuse pollution, habitat loss and fluctuating water levels may be acting to reduce our river fly populations. Cyril, practical as always, accepted the serious limitations on our knowledge of river invertebrates, but still encouraged us to be proactive and to do what we can to restore good populations of key flies. His account of “farming” blue-winged Olives and Mayflies to restore failing populations will certainly inspire debate, and perhaps action, from those who heard it.


To close the morning session, a panel of local anglers, including organisers Roger Smith and Glyn Williams, very sportingly agreed to take questions about the local fishing, and the tactics that might work well on Sunday. Questions were fielded adroitly, and any matters of “housekeeping” were made clear.

A very pleasant buffet lunch and a chance to look again at the trade stands and exhibitions brought us into the final presentation. We had a serious dose of facts and figures in the morning, with more to come in the AGM proper, so author and journalist Jon Beer was a welcome contrast. His theme was “Long walks for small fish” and in his informal conversational style, he took us all on such a walk through the memories and experiences that have shaped his attitude to fishing and to much more. Jon described himself as a permanent optimist, always seeing something better in the next pool or over the next hill; he succeeded in infecting me, and I hope many others, with this happy condition.

Before tea and the AGM proper, Roger Hughes presented the Annual Report of the Grayling Research Trust. Having chaired GRT for 5 years, Roger felt that it was time to let someone else have a go and introduced his successor, Ryan Taylor. Ryan is a fisheries biologist at the Hull International Fisheries Institute, University of Hull, and is in an excellent position to spot promising areas in grayling research that could be promoted effectively through grants from GRT.

Afternoon tea fortified us and, on our return, Steve Rhodes, Steve Skuce and Keith Mason conducted the formal business of the AGM, with their usual skill and brevity. All the relevant reports and minutes are to be found in the Journal this year, rather than as a separate document. After the compulsory business it fell to Steve Rhodes to present the President's Reel, now called the Broughton Trophy, awarded to someone who has made a significant long-term contribution to the conservation of the grayling. This year the Trophy went to Dr Cyril Bennett, who was, of course, able to receive it in person, to general acclaim. Steve then formally closed the 2012 Symposium.

After a break and another shopping session, we assembled for the Symposium Gala Dinner, organised by Roger and the Metropole with groups at tables named for the local rivers. A very pleasant meal, smartly served, with President John Brennand proposing the toasts. Well-filled and content, we were ready for the annual Auction. Greg Payne was the very capable auctioneer, and there were plenty of lots to bid for, from serious memorabilia and collector's items to more everyday books and tackle. Tackle and books belonging to the late John Barkaway had been kindly donated by his family, with the proceeds from their sale committed to the Society. As always, members bid generously, and the Auction raised £1213 for the Grayling Research Trust, and a further £171 from the separate auction of John Barkaway's equipment.

Sunday, for those who chose to remain, meant fishing, and with the weather looking fine and dry, and the rivers falling steadilty after the earlier spates, we set out with hopes high. There cannot be many places where a good day's fishing can be found for over eighty rods, but Roger Smith and his team managed the feat, and we were placed on some lovely waters in the Wye catchment. Many thanks go to all those Clubs, Associations and riparian owners who gave their permission for us to fish. I found myself on the delightful (but challenging) River Irfon at Llancammarch, and, in spite of all the positive signs, I blanked! I spoke to others who had similar experiences, and can only conclude that even Roger and the team can't influence Grayling! As John Geirach says, the fishing was good, but the catching was a bit shaky.


I thoroughly enjoyed the Symposium weekend, and many members have agreed with me. Such occasions are always a happy mixture of planned formal events and the unplanned meetings, conversations and general “craic” that happens when a number of like-minded people are together. Next year we shall gather in Yorkshire; if you have not yet attended a Symposium, try to join us in 2013 - you will not regret it.

N.B. The Minutes, Chairman's report and Accounts, together with the GRT Report appear in the centre pages of the Journal, instead of as a separate document.

Late Publications

Many apologies to members for the lateness of the Autumn Journal and the revised Grayling Anglers' Guide. There been problems with printing, but we expect the new editions to be going out very soon, and I hope that you will be patient, and enjoy them when they do reach you.