Podcast: Return of the Grayling, with Nicole Watson

(the interview starts at 46:56)

This week, I interview biologist Nicole Watson, who has a fascinating job. She is working on developing strains of arctic grayling that will hopefully be able to repopulate some of Michigan’s rivers. It’s not widely known that prior to the arrival of Europeans to rivers such as the Au Sable and Manistee, the dominant salmonid in rivers in that entire area was not the brook trout, but a unique strain of arctic grayling. Learn about how the population was decimated, what is being done to restore them, and how soon we’ll be able to fish for wild grayling in Michigan.

Here are some links to websites mentioned in the podcast{

Michigan Grayling Initiative

Iron Fish Distillery- whiskeys to support research

Iron Fish Arctic Grayling Research Fund (to donate to research directly)

In the Fly Box, we have lots of great questions, including:

  • My 5-weight works fine with nymphs and dries, but I have trouble throwing streamers. Is my rod too light for fishing Woolly Buggers?
  • How do you evaluate a new fly pattern for your own fishing? And what are the factors that make you keep the pattern in your fly box instead of cycling it out?
  • I have trouble keeping dubbing on the thread when I wrap it on a hook. Are there tips I can use?
  • Is it a good idea to start with a tippet ring on a brand new leader, and where do you place it?
  • Is it wrong to hold the index finger on top of a rod grip when casting?
  • Should I be able to throw a size 8 popper with my 5-weight rod?
  • What is the most humane way to kill a fish?
  • How can I “turn up the volume” of my bass flies for use in high, dirty water?
  • I want to try to catch a 12-inch brook trout in a small stream, but I want to go barbless. What would you suggest for landing my trophy?
  • I have a 7-weight Recon rod and want to fish heavier streamers. What fly line do you recommend?
  • What is the best way to remove a small hook from a trout?
  • What is the best way to travel with fly-tying materials?

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Nicole Watson wants to bring grayling back to the Wolverine State.

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