Game Fish Identification Reference Guides

Grayling, Arctic
(Thymallus arcticus)
(Pallas, 1776); SALMONIDAE FAMILY; also called American grayling
As its name implies, the Arctic grayling is primarily an inhabitant of northern waters. It can be found from the Hudson Bay west through northern and central Canada to Alaska as well as in Siberia. Small natural populations occur in Montana and Idaho, and transplanted populations occur in these states as well as in Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. The best fishing for this species, however, is in Alaska's and northern Canada's rivers and lakes.
It is easily recognized by its distinctive sail like dorsal fin which is followed by a small adipose fin that identifies this fish as a member of the salmon family. In males the dorsal fin is higher and rounded in the rear portion, and in females it is higher in front and somewhat smaller overall.
It is a handsome fish due to its graceful lines, large fin, and coloration. Although the colors vary considerably, the body is generally grayish silver in appearance, usually with faint to prominent overtones or highlights of gold and/or lavender. The body generally has several dark spots, which may be shaped like X's or V's in some specimens. The dorsal fin is also spotted. Occasionally a fish may have an entirely golden or silvery appearance, or may be dark blue.
They are superb sport and food fish. They are primarily taken by fly fishing. The firm, white flesh has a uniquely delicate flavor

Current All Tackle Record

5 lbs 15oz ( 2.69 kg)

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