Our excellent Chalkstreams guide Colin Alexander comments:

‘My latest bookings for Grayling days on the River Test have just happened to be anglers who in the main coarse fish but who have become fascinated by fly fishing and the simplicity and mobility of the method.  Who could blame them?

When there are miles of water to explore in the Hampshire countryside the temptation is to walk too much and fish too little. Conversely, the angler that remains static will likely have less of a fish return at the end of the day. The balance is somewhere in between, always exploiting and searching each pool for the fish before moving on.
If fish are rising, and they certainly have been recently, then there is only one method that makes sense. The dry fly is often ignored by anglers that tackle up in the car park with nymph set ups and don’t make the change when seeing the rises. In reality, it takes a very short time to switch and if you just set up at the waterside in the first place you are guaranteed to be on the correct method from the start.
Mike's Grayling 18th Nov 2016
In the cooler months of the year very often the warmest part of the day will give the best hatches and in turn the most consistent rises, but recently I have found rising fish from the very start of the day. Starting early can be an advantage avoiding footfall and disturbance from other anglers that may follow during the day. Indeed on these shorter winter days I just prefer to maximize the daylight and time on the water. There is no doubt that an early fish makes an early start all worthwhile whether you are the angler or the guide!
River Test Grayling
Pictured with somewhat of a smile on his face is Mike who took the Grayling to a size 16 Adams fly within a short time of an early start. He caught consistently throughout the day to total over twenty fish including some bigger Grayling.  Plenty of dry fly sport but when there were fewer rising fish a shrimp pattern accounted for more fish. In fact, the shrimp at the moment has been accounting for a good proportion of my clients fish and it is easy to see why. If wading at all on gravel, have a look behind you right at your feet and you will likely see Grayling queuing up to eat the product of your inadvertent ground baiting by disturbing the bottom. ‘Shrimps and nymphs’…..sounds like a Masterchef dish and I guess for Grayling that is exactly what it amounts to!
My client yesterday was a keen Coarse angler who had never cast a fly before. Peter caught on both methods but his stalking of a rising grayling late in the afternoon is my bet for the fish he will remember always and the one that brings him back.
Peter 22nd Nov 2016
Learning to cast and present delicately in a day is a big ask but perseverance paid off as the Grayling eventually rose to Peter’s Adams fly and the day was complete. We ended on that note, knowing that whatever followed would not supersede that moment.
I never try and convert anglers from one discipline to another….indeed I just love to see anglers enjoying their sport.   I think generally fly fishing has expanded its net of participants and for a great many other species than in the past but I do think the Grayling is an excellent fish to get someone started or widen the vision of existing anglers.
The weather has been mixed at times but even with some temperature drops the Grayling have obliged in rising to the dry fly.’