Grande Ronde (Drift boat, pontoon or wade?)

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Angler 77, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

    Posts: 160
    Port Townsend, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I'm hoping to make a first trip to the Grande Ronde and try my luck for some Eastside steelhead. I'll be heading over in mid-October. I'm curious if you experienced guys would suggest I hook up the drift boat, float in the pontoon or simply wade.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks
  2. TWD Travis

    Posts: 201
    Kirkland, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    pontoon or db, grab a shuttle from the diner or hook up with a river buddy

    you might want to call the diner and see if the fish are "in". What are you thinking for lodging? Have slept in my car several times ... easier than a tent in the rain

    cheers
  3. southpaw22 member

    Posts: 82
    troutville
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    watch out, its combat fishing with the locals. you can do it in a drifter for sure. bogans is the place for dinner, shuttles, and reports. peace
  4. Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

    Posts: 160
    Port Townsend, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I hadn't put any thought into lodging yet. So "combat fishing" huh. Hoodsport hatchery in mid chum run being a 10 and an un-named creek flowing into a hike in alpine lake being a 1, where does the Grande Ronde fit in this scale of fishing company? I don't mind other fisherman as long as I don't feel ashamed to be around them if you know what I mean. I can't imagine it's a snagfest or is it?
  5. southpaw22 member

    Posts: 82
    troutville
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i think it feels like huddle. you got guys everywhere, at least thats my take on it. you might have to check it out yourself.
  6. gearhead Active Member

    Posts: 661
    Renton, wa
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    four! Quality company.
  7. D3Smartie Active Member

    Posts: 1,987
    WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    pontoon boat.
  8. TWD Travis

    Posts: 201
    Kirkland, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    strangely enough I have never encountered any pressure in three trips. You can walk down river from Boggan's or up river via car for miles. I haven't fished the snake confluence which i understand is quite busy.

    the drive into boggan's is a very twisting mountain grade so you might want to plan it for daylight on a first try. Just take the 60 switchbacks slowly and you should find any problems

    I have a raft and will likely make the trip if not heading up to Skeena. Any interest in people getting together and saving some gas money? I would prefer a weekend trip ....leave friday, some back sunday fishing on sat/sun. last weekend before halloween?

    cheers
  9. Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

    Posts: 160
    Port Townsend, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Thanks for the input guys. :thumb:
  10. Jake Smulkowski Throwing hoppers into baetis falls

    Posts: 483
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Boggan's Oasis
    509-256-3372

    Yummy milkshakes too.
  11. Terrydav New Member

    Posts: 2
    .
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Combat fishing?? Maybe at the mouth, but not up from Boggans to Wildcat. You will find folks in runs as you drive up/down the road, but turn the next corner and what do you know, an open run.

    I would leave the drift boat at home (just my call) and depending on the river level bring the pontoon. However, if its low enough you can find some tail-outs to cross. I've made the trip annually for the last three years and I have had no need for anything but wading. This is a great river that can produce fish if you now what your looking for and can set-up the fly with a good presentation.

    My only other advise is to purchase an Oregon license to complement your Washington FL, so you aren't limited by an imaginary jurisdictional line. Don't let anyone tell you that the only fish are found below Boggans, its not true.

    Have fun and skate away. :thumb:

    Terry D.
  12. ssickle1 Slow and Low

    Posts: 171
    Hood River, OR
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You will beat the hell out of your DB. I take a raft. Also worth note is running the Narrows (if your going to the confluence). We ran it last year at 950 and drug the raft several times, lined the first narrow and ran the rest.

    Happy trails.
  13. Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

    Posts: 160
    Port Townsend, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Alright sounds like dragging the drift boat isn't the way to go. Have any of you guys done an extended float and camp from 129 down to the mouth? I think that might be a cool way to spend a few days, perhaps really cool depending on the weather.
  14. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,585
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,709 / 0
    77,

    I've floated from Boggans to Heller Bar on the Snake many times, but not in the last several years. It's a wonderful trip, and I'd highly recommend it, except for two things. Over the years, almost every piece of private land over that 26 river miles is posted, so no camping there. And the remaining public land seems to be staked out by guides/outfitters who set up season-long camps, using all the other good campsites. You could still camp on public land - there's quite a bit. However, you won't have solitude, and it won't be a prime site for either camping or fishing, but it's doable.

    As for what water craft, I think one would scrape many, many rocks at 700 cfs in a drift boat. I don't really even like to fish it at less than 700. I guess it just came up over 500 this weekend. It will probably come up more when the Oregon irrigators end their seasonal diversions. You can float it at any flow in a pontoon or small raft. I'd rate this as the best multi-day float trip in WA state for scenery, wildlife, fishing, and relative solitude.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
  15. ssickle1 Slow and Low

    Posts: 171
    Hood River, OR
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I think it's the only multi day in Washington. Boggans to Heller bar is fun. Be careful passing empty camps because when you hit the private stuff you are out of luck.

    Try the John Day for a better experience
  16. luv2fly2 Active Member

    Posts: 1,581
    .othello
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    they need to have a map of where you can camp and where you cant along the ronde.. above heller bar it all fun fishing but at the mouth it is rough tough fishing. it should be catch and release up to the narrows or maybe to shumaker or maybe to boggans or maybe to the border. mike w
  17. TWD Travis

    Posts: 201
    Kirkland, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i would wholly support that for native fish but realistically most of these are hatchery
  18. pwoens Active Member

    Posts: 2,570
    Spokane, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    definately leave the DB at home....boggans has a shuttle service for $50.00 back to schumaker for a half-day/day run. Take your time if you float boggans to schumaker as it is a short run but has a lot of holes.

    As for the pressure...nothing like your side of the state ;) You never have a problem finding a run to yourself...granted it seems to be getting a little more pressure the last few years, but whats new??

    best of luck and have a safe/fun trip
  19. jabseattle jabs

    Posts: 1,122
    Desert Dweller
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Angler77-

    Tightline and myself are planning a mid Oct weekend trip to the GR. This 206er is a virgin to this water so I could not give advice on experience with this water. We are taking pontoons and should work out fine from my understanding.
  20. Angler 77 AKA Scott Jones

    Posts: 160
    Port Townsend, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    pwoens,

    I kind of thought the pressure would be a far cry from what I commonly see on the Westside. I've got to say I'm a little bit conflicted with this being a first time trip for me. I want solitude and an uncrowded river, but I'm one more jerk off adding to the pressure, that I don't want. :beathead:

    I don't know, maybe I should stay close to home and fish my regular waters and complain about the jerk offs who travel far distances to crowd "my river" :hmmm: