The Grande Ronde River known locally as "the Ronde", simply put, is an amazing river. We'd argue that an October float trip from Minam to Troy to fish for bows' and Steelhead should be on any serious anglers bucket list. It can offer stellar trout fishing in early summer when the rafts are thick and the water is cool, turns into a good small mouth fishery below Troy later in the hot summer months, and transforms once again into a regional magnet for steelheaders beginning in early October and holding strong through the winter. But for all it's fabled glory and picturesque Wild and Scenic River miles, its remains an adventure to get to. Close to no where, and far from from everywhere else, we are lucky to call the Ronde our local steelhead water.
Some of our favorite Grande Ronde Fly Patterns :
Dries: Kaufman Stimulator sz. 8 -14 , Parachute Adams sz. 10- 16 , Purple Haze sz 10 -16, Foamulator sz. 6-12 , Caddis sz 8-16, Hoppers sz 6 - 12 , Yellow Sallies sz. 12 - 16
Nymphs: Princes sz. 6 - 14, Rubber Leg Squirrel sz. 8 - 14, Copper John sz. 12 - 18 , Lightning Bug sz. 14 - 18, Bead Head Hare's Ear sz 8 - 16, Wooly Bugger sz. 8 - 12, Kaufman Stone Nymph sz. 6 -12
Streamers: BH Rubber Leg Black or Olive Woolly Bugger , Sculpin , Muddler Minnows , Leeches
Steelhead: Black and Purple Hobo Spey , Purple Peril , Summer Run , Green Butt Skunk , Gold BH Black Woolly Bugger , Egg Sucking Crystal Leech , Copper Swan , BH Prince , Jumbo John , Egg Patterns , BH Rubber Leg Red Squirrel , Possie Bugger, Starlight Leech, "Magneto" Stone
Bass: Chubby Chernobyl , BH Green Wooly Bugger , Poppers , Muddler Minnow
Stream flow data:
Grande Ronde River Reports:
8/16/19: Bill at Bogans (restaurant and guide headquarters) on Hwy 3 told me the bass and trout fishing was “good” this summer. Echos the reports we have been getting.
7/29/19: Pretty warm to be a great trout fishery this time of year, but try casting into the white water where trout find more oxygen. Or fish for bass.
10/09/18: Nothing new. The Troy area in Oregon, and above and below Bogan”s in Washington, are seeing fair numbers of fishers. The catch rate remains steady, but but requires 15 - 20 hrs per fish according to the creel checker. We had steady rain in Joseph last night and snow this morning, so hopefully a bump in water levels will move fish upstream.
10/05/18; I finally got back to the shop. I personally know of a dozen steelhead caught on flies near Troy this past week - but I estimate 15+ hours were put in for each fish. Latest ODFW figures estimate the Wallowa.Grande Ronde/Imnaha return to be only 25% of the ten year average. On the positive side, the run is slightly earlier than last year and the fish are bigger (60% one salt, 40% two salt). You may recall, two years ago the run was 80 - 95% two salt fish (a near collapse of 2014 brood stock run). Last year the run was 90 -95% one salt fish. Soooo …. this year’s return to normal splits suggests, to quote Jeff Yankee the area fish biologist, “that while down, our fish are not out.”
9/5/18: NOTE: IN SEPTEMBER PLEASE CALL THE SHOP FOR REPORTS: 541-432-4343.
9/4/18: Bass have started moving downstream to the Snake. Steelhead run will be small again, but ODFW is expecting a normal split of 50% one and two salt fish.
8/20/18: Bass fishing remains good. The lower Wenaha is also producing nice rainbows near Troy, and large bull trout up high on the river. We will start reporting steelhead info as we get it.
7/12/18: Some great bass fishing around Troy. Use a green bugger or a green bugger.
7/4/18: Sorry, I got behind on my reporting. Last week the river was still high, and full of rafters, but some big fish were caught during the salmon fly hatch (now over). The river has dropped sharply the last few days and should afford more bank fishing. The Ronde gets too warm to be a great trout stream, and some bass have already moved upstream past Troy.
6/6/18: Lots of rafters, but the river is still too high for decent fishing. Salmon flies and Golden stones are moving upstream quickly from Troy to the Wallowa. However, we aren't seeing surface trout feeding. Best luck for this high water is probably a large streamer - bugger or dali llama. Or possibly a caddis or parachute dry in the back eddies along the bank.