Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Grand River Ohio
The Grand River, a tributary of Lake Erie, has become a
very good steelhead stream in the past few years. It has
a Fall run of Pennsylvania strain steelhead and a Spring
run of Manistee strain steelhead. The hundred mile long
river has over fifty miles of fishable water.
The Grand River is one of the state of Ohio's Wild and
Scenic Rivers. Its headwaters flow through farmland,
which means it can be slow clearing up after heavy
rains. The Grand River is a large, long river and the
steelhead can be in many different locations at times. It
is best fished from a small boat but it also fishes well by
The river drops at a good rate, with mostly a riffles and
pool type configuration. The banks and much of the
bottom is clay mixed with gravel. There's some boulders
in the stream and there's also plenty of holes to step in
you're not careful. The fish tend to hold in the lower
sections of the river.
Access to the Grand River is great. There's several
metropark areas as well as plenty of public land. Many
areas require hiking to reach but in most angler's
opinion, that's a good thing. Some areas are in the
forest and some in more of a rural country setting.
Anglers that fish the river due the low water of Summer,
get a much better idea of the bottom composition and
Most of the fly fishing is done using the traditional swing
method of presentation. Other methods also work
including eggs and nymphs. Spey fishing is becoming
more and more popular. The Grand River is a big river
and the particular method of fishing varies with the
season and location but mostly, as with most Great
Lakes steelhead streams, with the changing water levels.
The steelhead season is from October to May.
Steelhead can be caught as late as the end of April
depending on the weather.
During the Summer, the water is too low and warm for
salmon or steelhead.
Steelhead begin entering the Grand River as early as
first of October. The fishing is good throughout the Fall.
All but the coldest days of Winter can be good for
steelhead. The extremely cold water of January and
February can make the fish sluggish but otherwise,
fishing remains good throughout the Winter.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate type
rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths
10# and 12#
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single hand
For 7 to 10 weight lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
KISS Strike Indicators, Lanyards, etc.
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Grand River Fishing Report - Archive:
11/20/13 First report on the Grand indicates fishing has slowed down during the past few
days. Customer has caught two chromes using our Perfect Fly Black but reported water is
now very high and visibility low.
12/2913 Levels are back down to 3.14 or normal for this time of the year. Flow is at 1060
which is also normal. We don't have any reports of steelhead being caught but we should.
The high water has been the problem and is no longer an excuse.
Fishing Report Updated 12/05/16
(Bottom Of Page)
02/01/14 Flow are low at 257cfs and 1.92 feet. There is still plenty of ice in the river. Sorry,
there is nothing good to report.
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with the dates you will be fishing this
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hours for a response.
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10/07/14 Customers are reporting a good number of Coho at Grand Rapids. There are
plenty of salmon at Webber Dam and some at Moore's Park at the North Lansing Dam.
11/08/14 Anglers are catching some steelhead. The water temp is about 50 degrees.
12/21/14 Water levels have been high rather often but back down now. There are still a
few fish being caught. Let us hear from you.
02/07/15 Only a couple good reports for the last month. Cold water and ice has been the
problem. It should get better soon.
Grand River Fishing Report:
11/09/15 The flows are low right now and that is hurting anglers approach and affecting the
number of fish coming into the river. Basically, a few are being caught but it is slow. The Veiled
Beadhead Crystal egg flies.are catching the most fish right now. If you use nymphs or swing
flies, fish only the deepest runs and pools. There is some rain in the forecast and this should
11/22/15 There have been a few steelhead caught this past week. Egg flies and nymphs are
still out producing swinging flies.
11/29/15 Low water levels hasn't helped and is making it tough on most anglers. Nymphs and
egg flies are still catching a few steelhead. Rain is on the way from tonight through
Wednesday and that should help.
12/23/15 The river is high right now but has been low. This should help redistribute the
steelhead. Swinging will be the way to go for the next few days. This should increase the catch
03/05/16 Sorry for the lack of reports. Our local contact moved but we will continue with a
guide how agrees to work with us. The river is back down to a normal level and steelhead are
being caught as of the last three or four days.
03/28/16 Flows are on the way down again and both fresh and drop back fish are being
caught. Good conditions exist right now, but always check the stream levels.
10/10/16 Last weeks rain brought some steelhead into the river but the stream levels are back
down and few are being caught. More rain is needed but you may be able to pick up some.
Perfect Fly Great Lakes steelhead flies
10/31/16 Stream levels are down in good shape a little above normal and customers are
catching steelhead in good numbers. Swinging, nymphing and egg flies are working.
11/07/16 More good reports on steelhead being caught. The water is getting a little low. Egg
flies like our Veiled Beadhead Crytal egg and Extaz egg flies are working.
11/17/16 The stream flows and levels are very, very low right now. We think it will soon
change and a lot of steehead will be coming in, but for now, it is a wait on the rain situation.
11/21/16 The river is up a little but still very low.
11/28/16 The river level is up a little above normal and in good shape. This should have
brought more steelhead into the river. We only received one report of one caught. It
should start producing some fish.
12/05/16 The recent rain brought more fish into the river. The levels are falling back
down again. Fish steelhead nymphs under an indicator for the best results.