Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Grande Ronde River
The Grande Ronde River begins in the Blue Mountains
of Oregon and flows for about thirty miles into the Snake
River in the Southeastern corner of Washington. We
have a separate section on the Oregon portion of the
river. Fly fishing the Grande Ronde River is a very
unique experience. Most all the Washington section of
the river flows through a rugged wilderness canyon area.
Steelhead begin entering the Grande Ronde River as
early as October. The exact timing and numbers of
steehead that enter the river from the Snake River
depends on the water level and temperature. The best
steelhead fishing usually doesn't begin until late October
or early Novermber.
The Grande Ronde River flows along a valley that's far
below the top of the rock canyon walls that surround it.
The river has a rock bottom that's very slick. The stream
can be divided into three sections. The uppermost two
can be reached by descending down into to a deep
canyon and the lower section from roads that provide
The upper section in Washington is called Bogans
Oasis: You access this section by going down a steep
mountain road called Rattle Snake Grade. This section
fishes best in the early part of Spring. Steelhead
hatcheries are located upstream in Oregon. There's a
take out about 10 miles downstream at Shoemakers
Shoemakers Grade can be reached by gravel roads
from Anatone. This is anther steep dropoff from the
canyon rim and one that can be very slick after a rain.
This section has a road that parallels the river for
several miles. I's a very popular section of the river for
good reasons. There are usually a lot of fish caught
here. The lower end of this section flows through a very
narrow canyon with class 5 rapids called the Narrows.
We suggest you only pass through this section with an
experienced guide or by portage around the area.
The lower section is only about 4 miles long before it
enters the Snake River at Hellers Bar. It can be
accessed from both sides of the river by road. Needless
to say, this is a popular section to fish.
Also see "Seasons" on the left side of the page
Fly fishing the Grande Ronde River continues into April.
Fish can be caught as early as June but the best
steelhead fishing starts in September. Smallmouth bass
fishing is great in the Summer months
October and November continues the great steelhead
Fish are in the river all Winter. Fishing depends greatly
on the weather and accessibility.
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3/21/15 Rain and higher water levels brought some new fish into the river but the levels are
back down and the "catching" slowed down.
|1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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01/14/17 Fishing Report
(bottom of page)
03/28/15 Customers reporting several fish were caught this past week. Conditions are good.
04/15/15 Steelhead season closed. We will resume the reports when the season opens
06/06/15 Trout season opens today. BWOs, March Browns, Little Black Caddis and midges
are the main aquatic insects hatching. Golden stoneflies will start hatching fairly soon.
06/27/15 Sorry for the lack of reports. Lots of trout are being caught. Very low water levels
exist, so be sure and check that out.
07/31/15 Very warm water temps. We recommend not fishing when the water temperature
is in excess of 69 degrees. The trout become lethargic and can easily be stressed.
08/08/15 Smallmouth bass fishing is very good right now. The water is still marginal as far
as trout fishing is concerned.
08/29/15 Smallmouth bass fishing has remained excellent with lots of bass caught on our
smalmouth bass flies by our customers. Trout fishing should improve soon with rain and
cooler weather moving in
09/05/15 Anglers are catching some trout again. The river is in much better condition.
Smallmouth bass fishing is still red hot.
09/12/15 Great smallmouth fishing, some trout being caught.
09/26/15 Two very good reports from the past week on large numbers of smallmouth being
caught and on top at that. They are using our Perfect Fly Stealth Bomber.
10/10/15 Lots of steelhead are in the river and some are being caught. We got a good report
from a local customer who was catching them swinging and nymphing. It is still early and more
fish should be arriving this month.
10/24/15 Three good reports from the last ten days or so. Some are even being caught on dry
flies on top. Swinging flies have taken the majority of the steelhead. Perfect Fly Steelhead
10/31/15 A good amount of rain has brought a lot more steelhead in the river and they are
being caught in decent numbers. The levels are falling and the "catching" should get better as it
11/14/15 A lot of steelhead are being caught. Conditions have been very good. Our customers
are swinging flies, nymphing and using egg flies, depending on the stream levels.
11/28/15 Steelhead are still being caught but the water is low and very clear and that is
causing many anglers problems. Fish nymphs and eggs, rather than swinging flies. Lots of rain
is in the forecast for this coming week and that should improve the conditions. The Veiled
Beadhead Crystal Egg fly and light shades of the Estaz egg flies are working good. The Green
Sedge Steelhead larva fly is also catching fish.
12/05/15 The water has been cold and there has been some ice but it is warming up a little and
enough to help and hopefully clear it. Fish SH nymphs in the pool bottoms slowly. They use too
much energy fighting fast current. Fish the slack current holes and areas of the stream.
12/12/15 The river is too high, swift and muddy and will take a few days to settle back down.
01/23/16 Sorry for the lack of reports. We will resume feel speed ahead. The river is just a litle
above normal at 2370 cfs at 4/43 feet. The water temperature is about 35 to 38 depending on
exactly where it is measured. The water is clear of ice and steelhead are being caught by our
customers on a regular basis. Two to three fish a day is common. These are good conditions.
01/30/16 The river is still high, running about 2120 cfs. That makes it tougher to catch
steelhead. Surely, it will fall down some in the near future. The best section is from the Powwatka
Bridge OR to Shumaker.
02/06/16 The river is down to a normal level and steelhead fishing has picked up. The water
temperature is in the mid to low thirties and you should be using nymphs. Swinging flies isn't
doing so well right now.
02/13/16 The weather and water is a little warmer and that is helping but it is on the way up with
recent rain, so watch the stream levels. The warmer water increased the catch this past week.
02/27/16 The river got down to near normal stream levels a couple of days ago but it is now on
the way back up. It is already 4550 cfs and normal is about 2500 cfs. You will just have to watch
the stream levels.
03/05/16 The river is too high to fish right now. It may be a few days before it recedes low
enough to fish. There is more rain in the forecast. There are plenty of fish in the river.
03/26/16 The river is still cold, or about 42 degrees. It is still high and few, if any, steelhead are
05/07/16 The season is closed until May 22. Check back with us then.
05/21/16 The fishing season opens tomorrow. The stream levels at Troy are in good shape and
anglers should be able to catch a lot of trout. There are Blue-winged olives, little Black Caddis,
March Browns, Midges (cream and light green) and other insects hatching.
06/04/16 Anglers are catching trout and smallmouth bass even though the water is low. The
Smallmouth are taking top water flies. Trout have several options including Golden Stones, little
Yellowstones, Spotted Seges, or caddis, BWOs, PMDs and other insects. The water is low.
06/18/16 The levels are down and our customers are reporting good catches of both trout and
smallmouth bass. Lots of hatches are taking place with some very large size trout being caught.
07/02/16 There are some trout being caught. Golden stoneflies, little Yellow stoneflies, Spotted
Sedges, Green sedges and Pale Morning duns are hatching. Smallmouth bass fishing is also
good. Popping bugs, Stealth Bombers, Brown Sculpin, and Perfect fly Crayfish patterns are
08/06/16 The water levels are very low and very warm, reaching near 80. It is going to cool down
some. Smallmouth bass fishing is good. Popping bugs work early and late and our Crayfish
pattern during the day.
08/20/16 The smallmouth bass fishing is still excellent. Use Perfect Fly Crayfish patterns, the
dumbbell eye deep ones during the day, and the unweighted shallow runners early and late.
The baby Popping frog it catching plenty early and late. Trout fishing has been better but the
water is low and clear. Fish early and late. Terrestrial imitations are working along with lots of
Spotted Sedges, Green sedges, Tricos and others.
09/03/16 The weather and water temperature is cooler and condition much improved.
Smallmouth bass fishing is very good and some trout are being caught as well. Early morning
streamer fishing is working for the trout. Late afternoon egg laying caddis is brings lots of fish tot
he surface to feed.
10/08/16 The steelhead are arriving and anglers catching a few to according to one, several.
Chinook are in the river spawning.
10/22/16 Good numbers of steelhead are being caught in the Grande Ronde. The stream levels
have remained fishable and the levels current are still in good shape. Now it the time to be there
but what the stream levels.
11/12/16 The stream levels are down just a little above normal and our customers are catching
good numbers of steelhead. Three to six fish a day is common. Conditions are excellent.
Perfect Fly Steelhead flies
11/20/16 There is a lot of two-salt steelhead being caught. Conditions are as good as they have
been this year. Swinging, nymphing and egg flies are producing.
Grande Ronde River Fishing Report:
Grande Ronde River Fishng Report - Archives:
11/26/16 We have received several good reports of steelhead being caught in good numbers.
The stream levels are staying steady. Nymphing, swinging and egg lies are being used. Most
reports are coming from those using nymphs.
12/03/16 Stream levels are at a normal level below the dam and anglers are catching good
numbers of steelhead. We think more are being caught on steelhead nymphs than swinging or
eggs, but a few have been taken on each type of flies.
12/10/16 There are still a lot of steelhead being caught. Many are two-salt fish. Swinging,
eggs and steelhead nymphs are working. Conditions are good.
12/24/16 The water is very cold, averaging about 36 or less with lots of ice. Nymphs might get
you a fish but we recommend choosing another location. The weather forecast doesn't show
much improvement with high not over freezing and snow each day for the next week.
01/14/17 There is still a lot of ice in the water. We don't recommend fishing until it warms a little.