Fifty Shades of Grayling

The steamiest part of our chilly weekend on the water was a streamer that looked suspiciously like Kelly Galloup’s ‘Sex Dungeon’ fly. Hmmm…

So we have just returned from a fantastic Memorial Day in Montana where summer kicked off with hail, lightening, and snow – as it always seems to do on our Memorial Day trips in the 406. And at this point, I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. Certainly puts all the gear to the test.

We fished the Big Hole for two days with friend, Eric Thorson who is co-owner of Sunrise Flyshop in Melrose. For me, the highlight of the weekend was catching my first-ever grayling! The Big Hole is the only river in the lower 48 with native grayling, descendants of the original strain. The iconic fin was too cool. I particularly loved the little red spots outlined in white.


Color me fifty shades of happy…


It was a multi-species trip. In addition to the grayling we caught brook trout, rainbows and browns. Day Two offered much more cloud cover and the grey skies had the fish moving to eat a little better.

fly fish chick sunrise brown trout

This trout was over us pretty quickly. Here is Mr. Brown exiting of his own accord stage right (=river left.)

fly fish chick big hole brown

As expected and predicted, late afternoon brought extreme weather and once again we found ourselves drenched on the Big Hole. Talk about fifty shades of grey…everything went dark as the big skies of Montana opened up on us. But thankfully the rain cleared an eerily sunny-ish path for our bumpy drive home along the High Road.

fly fish chick the high road

As we kicked off summer in wintery temps we sang songs from a Springfest 2011 playlist. (Can anyone make out the song and/or band playing?)

click image above to play 17 sec video of scenic drive home

The trip ended with fifty shades of technical gear hanging out to dry as we toasted another great Montana trip.

fly fish chick wet gear

Meanwhile, housewives across America who only read my gimmicky title and skipped the remainder of this benign post are googling ‘grayling’ with sweaty palms and clamoring to book their first ever fly-fishing trip.

7 Responses to “Fifty Shades of Grayling”
  1. Loree Hart says:

    Nice! The first fish I ever caught on a fly was an Arctic Grayling west of Cheyenne Wyoming. It was a girls trip with a friend of mine and our daughters while the guys were elk hunting. Right after that I pierced my nose from the inside out with the same darn fly (yes, accidentally)! That #16 pheasant tail is still pinned to the visor in my car – which has now been passed down to my daughter.

  2. Loree, that is a GREAT story! thanks for helping me get my day started with that one. love the fly is still on your car visor…

  3. Fish360 says:

    Catchy title. Fishy article! ;-)
    Fish360 recently posted..Canal CruiserMy Profile

  4. Stacy says:

    Great title! Beautiful brown trout, and gorgeous backdrops. I have never caught a grayling, but it just may go on my bucket list. So glad I found this blog, I love to see a chick who is serious about fishing!
    Stacy recently posted..Would You Dive to Gaff A Fish?My Profile

  5. Thanks Stacy!! appreciate your comment. I was obviously pretty excited about my first grayling, they are cool fish. Glad you’re here, don’t be a stranger!

  6. Mark says:

    I’ve been charmed by grayling since I was a kid. My great-nephew’s name is Grayson, but I get to call him Grayling. I framed a Joseph Tomilleri lithograph of a grayling, and it now resides on Grayling’s bedroom wall. Oh, and Stacy??? Please consider removing your photo and replacing it with one of those anonymous images so that my mind doesn’t wander away from thoughts of fishing. Thanks for your consideration … :-)

  7. JayZS says:

    After completing a recent blog entry I was horrified, during a Google search to find someone else had used the same title for her entry. ;-) But I suppose I should have expected that so obvious a twisted title would have already been used. Ah well. And a good 18 months before me! The pictures in my blog entry are of female fish, the dorsal fin on the males being even more spectacular.
    Very well done on your first grayling. Belated congratulations I know. Hope you have had some more meantime. Great to find anyone with a common admiration for these gorgeous fish.
    Yours are not the same species as those I fish for here in the UK (Thymallus thymallus) but are obviously a closely related species.
    JayZS recently posted..The Great British Mole Hunt and Fifty Shades of Grayling.My Profile

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