The Grande Ronde
The Grande Ronde
Located in northeast Oregon, the Grande Ronde River has more picture perfect steelhead swinging water than almost any river in North America. In 1988, this tributary of the Snake River was designated a Wild and Scenic River by Congress. The massive basalt canyon walls that rise several thousand feet from the river are home to a wide array of wildlife including bighorn sheep, elk, deer, turkey, upland game birds, and numerous raptors. The main draw for anglers, however, is the summer-run steelhead that inhabit this river beginning in September, and in some years, running as late as December.
The Grande Ronde is one of the top fly fishing steelhead rivers in the West. It has a large run of wild fish, supplemented with hatchery fish. Early October, with its warm water and air temperatures, is the perfect time for chasing steelhead with light single-hand, switch, or Spey rods.
If catching a steelhead on a dry fly is one of your fly fishing dreams, the Grande Ronde is a great place to make that dream come true. Grande Ronde steelhead are renowned for their willingness to come to skated dry flies, or small traditional swung steelhead flies. Imagine a 30” steelhead launching itself at your October Caddis as it skitters and gurgles across the surface of the river. This is truly one of the biggest adrenalin rushes a fisherman can experience in their lifetime.
Because the Grande Ronde is a medium-sized river with lots of traditional swinging and skating water, it is an ideal place to learn to use the smaller Spey and switch rods we favor (11’-13’, 7 & 8 weight rods). Our guides are accomplished two-hand casters. We can help you experience this enjoyable method of fishing whether you are a beginner, or an experienced two-hander looking to tune up your Single Spey.
Lodging is available in the area to fit any budget. You can go rustic, renting a wall tent, complete with wood burning stove, or rent a multi-room house with amenities.
Fishing days can be either walk and wade trips, or float trips, traveling from one picturesque run to another utilizing a self-baling raft fitted with a fishing frame.
If you want to experience western steelhead fishing at its finest, we recommend that you spend at least 2-3 days with us. This will give you a chance to slow down, relax, and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery, as well as increase your chances of catching that lifetime steelhead on light tackle.
Bookings are limited so contact us early to reserve your Grande Ronde fishing adventure.
A NOTE ABOUT RETRIEVE: Reels are designated as either left and or right hand retrieve, which simply refers to the hand used for reeling in line. Modern reels convert easily between right or left hand retrieve. However, it is important for an angler to designate how they want the reel set up before the backing and line are spooled onto the reel. Many right-handed casters use left hand retrieve on their reels so they don’t have to switch hands between casting and fighting a fish. Other anglers prefer to use their dominant hand for both casting and reeling, so they switch hands on the rod after a fish is hooked.