Hywel Morgan Winter Grayling Tips

We're happy to say Hwyel Morgan has confirmed he'll be attending our Spring Open Weekend  we caught up with him for a rundown of his recent trip during a break in the weather and some top tips for Grayling fishing in the winter. 


Hywel with a fine River Dee Grayling

This winter the Grayling season has been a disaster with most rivers being unfishable due to water levels, but before the recent storms we have seen freezing cold temperatures and river levels which have been fantastic for getting out there and catching a few ladies. With the limited number of fishable days it’s important to take advantage when the water suits so wrap up and brave the cold while you have the chance. To me there is nothing better than getting up in below freezing temperatures and driving to a river just before dawn and getting ready for a day’s adventure. With that in mind I got out in the ice and spent a day on the Welsh Dee with good friends Steve and Callum Smalley and Andy Taylor and after a great breakfast bap cooked by Steve we ventured onto the river!!

First things first - breakfast rolls

After the major floods the river had changed a lot since my last visit and runs and pools were very different. Places that always hold fish were devoid and it meant a challenging day trying to find the fish. It’s a great lesson to any angler, fish move and will find new places to feed and hold, spots that were once very productive will now be dead. 

Grayling will start to shoal up at this time of year so you do need to be mobile and cover a lot of water but when you find them then you are in for some fantastic sport. Top tip here is to make sure you are well layered with proper clothing that will wick away sweat while keeping you warm especially when the sun drops down!! 

Methods are simple at this time of year and it is a french leader with a jig fly on the point and 1 or 2 flies up the cast depending on depth and clarity. Make sure you have a good selection of different weighted jig flies so as you can change to heavier or lighter flies as you move to different runs. Basically you want the point fly to trundle along the bottom of the river just like a natural insect, if the point fly goes in and does not move then go lighter and on the other hand if you don't feel the point fly trundling along the bottom go heavier.  

In the past I always carried a spare rod so that I could swap techniques quickly but since developing the Daiwa HM 9/10ft 3-4wt I don't have to as the rod does everything I need it to do, however I do carry all my other casts already made up on the tronix pro foam winders and if I need to change tactics then it takes seconds to do so. One last thing if you are not a confident wader then a wading staff is a must as it will help you out in tricky situations and let you wade safely.


Hywel is a World record caster, Welsh internationalist, TV presenter and a game consultant at Daiwa as well as a fantastic Guide and Instructor. Check out his website hywelmorgan.co.uk, or on social media instagram.com/hmflyfishing or facebook.com/HMFlyFishing for more information and upcoming events including a trip to the Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend 8th – 10th March 2024.

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