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Grande Ronde River - November 12th, 2015
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC
RECORDED:    55 °   FISHING: Good
 11/12 This will be the last online steelhead report for the winter - although the shop will be open until 12/31.

It been a great fall for steelhead, and will continue thru the winter - weather permitting.  Check river flows and weather for flow problems or icing.  Big run this year.  The guides have mostly pulled out for the winter, but any good weather windows will still produce some great fishing.  


10/26 Just got back in town.  Steelhead fishing in the Troy, Oregon area has been great!  The ODFW creel checker reported 4.1 hrs/fish - the lowest I've seen it.  This average includes a lot of hackers who don't have a clue, so think what you could do if you any good.  A bait fisher in the shop this morning claimed to have landed (hooked?) nine steelhead before 9:00 AM.  I'll follow-up with more info in the next day or so.  PS The river is getting pretty crowded with anglers, so bring your own rock.


10/3  ALERT AGAIN:  A group fishing between Boggan's and Heller Bar landed 28 steelies.  Grant Richie's guide service out of Minam estimated they hooked 15 between Minam and Pawatka - and good numbers of big trout and bulls. 

10/2 ALERT:  The boys camped at Heller Bar, swinging flies, are catching fish daily - slightly earlier than normal.  Fish are up high in the water plain.  Steelhead are pouring over Lower Granite Dam.  Looks like a great steelhead year.

10/1 Steelhead are being caught at Troy and Boggans, and a few between Minam and Troy.  Nobody is really fishing yet, so you should have the river to yourself. The problem is that we have not had rain or snow for three weeks and the river is dropping again.

The current flow at Troy is 494 cfs and dropping.  These are minimal levels to get a large gear boat downstream from Minam or a drift boat downstream from Boggans. However, I recently spoke to an egg/roe fisher who caught 5 steelhead, 9 chinook, and "lots" of nice trout over three days - spread over the last two weeks near Troy. However, the ODFW creel checker reported 30 hrs/steelhead last week. 

ODFW, based on their chip tag counts over Bonneville, expect 21,000 steelhead to return to the Wallowa and Imnaha combined.  This would be the best run in five years.  Steelhead continue to move up the Columbia and Snake - 4,000 a couple days ago.  Now we need rain to move them into our tribs. 

9/8  Just in from the local ODFW office:  ".... based on our PIT tag data, this year's run is looking very strong for both the Grande Ronde and Imnaha.  To date 19,000 have crossed Bonneville ... equal to the entire run last year."   

9/6  Rain and snow in the mountains - just what the doctor ordered.  The cfs at Troy this morning was at 580, not that far from the 690 average for this time of year (and way up from the 390 cfs from several week ago - the lowest I have seen it in 25 years).  Steelhead are streaming up the Columbia - we will include dam counts in the next report.

GEN INFO: The Ronde produces some nice size rainbows and bull trout, but because it gets too warm in the summer it is not as good a trout stream as the Wallowa.  It is a great steelhead river in the fall/winter/spring (known nation wide for it's top water action).  It is also gaining quite a reputation as a small mouth bass strean in it's lower reaches (Troy down)

photos Weather and Lunar Phases

Grande Ronde River - October 26th, 2012
supplied by: The Patient Angler
RECORDED:    54 °   FISHING: Good

Thu and I ran up to the Grande Ronde River last week for our annual steelhead trip. The river had been low all summer and fishing reports for the early season were not good, but a week before our trip the rain finally came and gave the river a much needed blast of fresh water to bring fish up the river. As we had hoped, the river dropped over the next few days to a very fishable 815cfs prior to our arrival. The unfortunate thing was that the 10-day forecast showed 10% to 60% chance of rain every day and all we could do was go and hope that the river wouldn’t get blown out.

            We made good time on the drive over and arrived early enough to get settled into our lodging and still have a couple of hours of fishing time before dark. There was a steady rain falling and we thought we should take advantage of the good water conditions while we had them, not knowing when and if the conditions would change for the worst. We geared up and headed out to fish one of our favorite runs close to home. The best thing about the early slow fishing reports and the weather the previous week that had knocked the river out of shape, was that there was very little fishing pressure and we had our pick of where we wanted to fish.

            Thu stepped into the middle of the run and I started at the top to follow her through. It wasn’t long before Thu was calling out that she a big one on, so I quickly reeled up and headed downstream to give her a hand. As I was wading out to her I knew something wasn’t right about the way this obviously big fish by the extreme bend in her rod, was fighting. I had heard reports of big numbers of King Salmon in the river and the longer the fight went on, the more I was convinced she had hooked a King. After a long hard give and take battle Thu finally brought her first fly caught King Salmon to hand for a quick picture and release.

            I jumped back in the water where I had left off with only about 20 minutes of daylight left and just before dark, I hooked and landed a very bright steelhead that didn’t put up much of a fight, but was a great ending to our first evening on the water.

            The next day was awesome because we still had good water conditions, our pick of unfettered runs to fish, and willing steelhead looking up with their mouths open ready to take our flies. The weather hadn’t changed much and outside of couple of times when the sun would peek through the clouds, we pretty much fished in rain most of the day. We fished hard knowing that each day could be our last and were rewarded with one or more hook-ups in every run we fished.

            It rained most of the night and we woke to a rising river with some color and it made fishing pretty tough throughout the day. In the afternoon the river finally leveled off around 1,100cfs and we were able to hook a couple nice steelhead just before dark.

            That unfortunately was our last day on the water. It rained hard during the night and the river had risen to 2,600cfs by mid-morning and up to almost 4,000cfs by late afternoon with zero visibility. When there are logs and branches floating down the river, it’s a good indication to call it quits and head home.


The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers

photos Weather and Lunar Phases

Grande Ronde River - November 9th, 2011
supplied by: The Patient Angler
RECORDED:    46 °   FISHING: Good

Just got back from a great trip to the Grand Ronde River. I go every year to this remote area of Oregon/Washington to test new equipment, relax after a busy season and to chase the great northwest steelhead that ascend this river every year. 

            The weather was really pretty good for us considering the time of year. Once November rolls around, all bets are off and you could see any kind of weather. You just have to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. The weather was great when we arrived with morning temperatures in the mid 30’s followed by clear sunny days with mid-day temperatures in the 60’s. As days passed, the weather started to change with clouds moving in and the average daily temperatures started to drop. By our last day, the morning temperature was a chilly 26 degrees with a light snow falling and daytime high that only made it into the low 40’s.

            The water was also in good shape when we showed up running about 800cfs, clear and with a temperature in the mid 40’s. As the days past and daily temperatures dropped, the water temperature also plummeted to a chilly 38 degrees, always making catching fish a little tougher on the swing.

            The fishing reports as well as the fish count numbers over the dam were not very good so far this season. Anglers were having some pretty good success in the middle of October in the lower river, but none of the reports were as good as recent years past in the same time frame. Because of the time of year and the dropping air and water temperatures, we swung sink tips and weighted flies through our favorite runs and did pretty well finding 2 – 6 fish a day. Better than most according to the creel checker we would talk to every day, but probably due to the fact that we fish hard most days covering a lot of water and our use of sink tips and weighted flies making sure we were close to the bottom and the fish.

            The numbers of hatchery fish are down and the number of wild fish is on the rise, so our catch rate of wild vs. hatchery was close to 50/50 this year, when normally it’s more like 75% hatchery and 25% wild. The great thing was the average size of the fish we did catch, was bigger than normal with a lot more fish in the 29 to 31 inch range.

            We tried a lot of different flies through our days of fishing including a number of new 2012 patterns we were testing, but the most productive flies were leech type patterns that were black and weighted. Moal Leeches, Articulated Rabbit Leeches, Craft Fur Stinger Flies and String leeches all tied in black produced the most fish. 

            The best thing about fishing the Grande Ronde River is not the numbers or size of the fish, but the river environment itself. It’s pretty awesome to be standing in such a beautiful river fishing for an amazing fish, in the bottom of a stunningly rugged canyon with deer grazing on one hillside and Big Horn Sheep on the rocky cliffs across the river and a Bald Eagle sitting in a tree on the bank watching you cast. It doesn’t get any better than that!…..Unless you have a fish on, then it would be a little better.


The Patient Angler          

Peter Bowers


photos Weather and Lunar Phases

Grande Ronde River - October 29th, 2011
supplied by: Winding Waters River Expeditions
RECORDED:    55 °   FISHING: Good
Jake and Mike came to fly fish for Steelhead on the Grande Ronde River with us last week.  They both had success catching multiple Wild Steelhead on the Nymph.  They had to leave on Thursday but I am sure we will see them again soon.

Tom and I fished with some great guys yesterday.  We floated from Mud Creek down to Troy on the Grande Ronde.  The pressure was pretty light considering it was a Saturday.   Looked like everyone was fishing down in Washington.  Sure do like avoiding the crowds and catching Steelhead in Oregon.

We found the water to be in great condition still.  Flowing clear and around 800 cfs and holding around 45 degrees at mid day.  The fishing was a little slow or as I was informed on the river that day totally stopped because we had not caught any fish by noon.  Then we got into a nice run the was getting shaded up and that turned the fish on catching 2 hatchery steelhead in that spot right after the sun went behind the canyon rim.  Not a banner day of "Catching" but you can't complain when you catch 2 under a big blue sunny sky at the end of October.  This might be the beginning of the Hatchery Fish Pulse.

We have been catching nothing but Wild steelhead up until Saturday the 29th.  The numbers are showing that there should be a big pulse of Hatchery fish coming our way. We are looking forward to a great November on the Grande Ronde.

Weather and Lunar Phases

Grande Ronde River - October 27th, 2011
supplied by: Winding Waters River Expeditions
RECORDED:    60 °   FISHING: Good
Fishing Report from October 27th just in.  Tom guided a single guy yesterday and they were able to catch one nice Wild Steelhead on a Nymph.  The word on the Grande Ronde River was that the steelhead bite was not really on yesterday so they felt good about bringing that fish in.

Tom reported that the water temperature has dropped down to that 40 degree temperature in the morning and warming up slightly during the day.  That cold water coming out of the Wallowa Mountains has reached Troy.  This tells us that it is time to go down.  We have passed the dry and subsurface swinging temperatures for the year.

Tom also looked over the bridge at Boggans and there was a large pod 50+ Steelhead just hanging out there.  No one was able to get any of these fish to even look at their offering.  Hopefully these fish are on their way upriver and that they will be more interested in an Oregon offering.

See you in Troy.

Weather and Lunar Phases

Grande Ronde River - October 25th, 2011
supplied by: Winding Waters River Expeditions
RECORDED:    58 °   FISHING: Great
We had a nice day on the Grande Ronde Tuesday.  Beautiful weather, clear water holding at about 48 degrees and flowing around 820cfs.  Perfect conditions to fly fish for Steelhead.  The other amazing thing was that there was hardly anyone else fishing on the Grande Ronde River today.  We felt like we had the river to ourselves.

3 of us fished casually all day.  1 swinging a purple peril and 2 nymphing.  The 2 nymphing caught 4 Wild Steelhead and the swinger did not have any luck.

The water is still warm enough to swing flies and have success so I am not sure what happened there.  We will continue to swing near the surface until the water gets colder as I am sure it is doing.  I will have a fishing report on water temp and fishing condition for 10-27 later this evening and will post a new report Friday Morning.

See you on The Grande Ronde River.

Weather and Lunar Phases

Grande Ronde River - October 18th, 2011
supplied by: Swede's Fly Shop
RECORDED:    65 °   FISHING: Excellent
The Grande Ronde is fishing excellent right now, tons of reports coming in from our customers. You may have to fight the crowds on the weekends, but during the week is your best chance at a little solitude and more water for yourself. Come into the shop or give us a call for details on hot patterns and fly rod/line setups.

Grande Ronde River - October 6th, 2011
supplied by: Somers Outdoors
RECORDED:    48 °   FISHING: Good
The Grande is starting to fish like the river we have come to know, both the Spey and Jig guys are picking up fish in the Canyon, we’ve had good luck on Leach patterns ranging from Black and Red, Olive, and White Muddler  Minnows fished with a few split shots on the lower part of the leader…

For the jig guys the Red, Orange, Black and Blue, Red and White, and the stand buy all Blue (Steelie Blue) have been working for our Guides, we have been using the 1/16oz sizes to get down and all are being used with an Egg bomb dropper to add a little enticement to the offering…

Give us a call or visit our web site for up to the minute river and fishing info, we have several guides fishing everyday…

Tight Lines


Grande Ronde River - October 6th, 2011
supplied by: Winding Waters River Expeditions
RECORDED:    55 °   FISHING: Good
We are getting that nice flush of cold water that we asked for on the Grande Ronde River.  It has been raining and snowing for almost 36 hours now which has increased the flows from 650 to about 850cfs and brought the water temperature down to 49 degrees.  These are perfect dry fly swinging conditions.  This morning Tom and his client both caught Steelhead swinging a Muddler Minnows on top.

This should be just the bump in water levels that we needed to encourage those stalled out Grande Ronde River Steelhead to remember why they are there and begin their trek up into the Troy area of the Grande Ronde.

See you in Troy.

Weather and Lunar Phases

Grande Ronde River - October 1st, 2011
supplied by: Griff's Fly Fishing Adventures
RECORDED:    85 °   FISHING: Fair
Well I got back to Boggan's Monday evening in time for supper.  I spent Tuesday and Wednesday floating everything from State-Line to Boggan's.  No fish, but I spent the majority of the time checking river conditions only stopping in a couple of runs each day to fish them.  Yesterday I fished with friends who make an annual migration in October to the Ronde.  We drove into Shumaker and spent the day seriously swinging a couple of runs.  We landed two wild hens and had another player.  Catching should improve as more fish move into the river from the Snake and move upstream.  A good rain would probably help, and the weatherman is predicting just that for the first part of next week.

 I am at my sister's place in Pomeroy this evening.  That is why I was able to update this report.  Headed back to the Ronde early tomorrow morning.

See ya on the river, Rod

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