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Thread: When do the grayling show after the ice leaves?

  1. #1
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    Default When do the grayling show after the ice leaves?

    So, it's been a long winter and I'm hurtin' to catch some fish here soon. Once the Chena ice breaks up, when do the Grayling begin entering the river? I don't know much about their life cycle, other than they head out to the Tanana to winter over and back up the Chena (and tribs) to spawn.

    Thanks
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    Usually the snow is melted and the chena is out for the most part. My birthday was yesterday and last year on my birthday I was catching them @ badger slough. Usually by mid-late may they are all the way back up by mile 38 or so of the hot sprigs rd. this year is weird for sure.

  3. #3
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    This year is terrible. Usually you can count on some showing up in some of the sloughs towards the bottom of the Chena SRA around April 27, but clearly not this year. Last year I caught my first fish on one of those sloughs on April 23.

    Last year was pretty early and looking back at my notes I was catching some substantial fish at the third bridge, that were clearly migrating (they were gone within days, leaving smaller fish), mid-May. Then there was that almost-a-flood.

    I'm expecting the fish to show up mid-to-late next week. You will probably have better luck at Badger Slough or Piledriver until they disperse into the upper river.

    [My new Superfine Touch 3wt was delivered this afternoon, and my itch to fish has taken on seizure-like proportions ... ]
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

  4. #4
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    Okay, that's good to know. So the fish begin moving up quickly after ice-out, that's good news. I live across the street from Badger slough, and it's breaking up, so things should start picking up soon... phew. All of my home streams in MT are fishing like mad and I'm still burning firewood and getting snow. Heh.

    -Jeff

  5. #5
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    I've yet to learn the intricacies of grayling migration from the Tanana up the various sloughs and rivers in my short time up here. But, I've noticed that they have shown in good numbers in Badger, though I've yet to see any in Piledriver. It could be where I was on Piledriver (near Bathing Beauty). I'm also learning a bit more about where grayling prefer to hold. They seem to prefer slow, deep holes/runs, as opposed to where I'd traditionally fish for say trout (riffle, heads above riffles and tailouts). This could certainly be due to the cold water temps.

    I'm just rambling waiting for the thin ice to clear off badger before I head out to catch a few this morning.

    -Jeff

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