Grande Ronde in Late October

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by slim, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. slim Fish or Ski...Fish or ski....fish!

    Posts: 208
    Spokane Washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    This year's float trip down the GR from Shumaker to the mouth got moved up a week to the last week of October. We have been fortunate in the past to have numerous camp sites available the first week of November but I've heard horror stories of all the guides setting up camp for the month of October on all of the legal campsites. Can anyone tell me how true this is. We are still going down, but dynamics of the camping could change. Thanks!
  2. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,237
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +220 / 2
    If the upper Columbia tribs are not open, then I would imagine that would push more angler effort onto those areas that are open per the regulations pamphlet, i.e., the Ronde. From what I heard, the guide pressure was down a bit last year, probably because the fish numbers were down. Typically the month of October is considered prime time for the floating line and catching fish in general and therefore, will probably have the most campers. I think the camp spots are first come, first served. I have also heard that many of the guides actually don't have the right permits (BLM?) to be hosting commercial guiding operations and therefore, some have changed their itinerary to use Boggans for their clients and/or float different sections where they can use WDFW campgrounds. I know there are others who know more about this than I do. Perhaps they chime in.
    Rod Wittner likes this.
  3. DKL Nude to the board

    Posts: 171
    West Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    I can say that I was there at the end of Oct last year and there weren't nearly as many people around. This year doesn't look to be too different from last year so I would imagine the number of people will be down again by then.

    DKL
  4. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,568
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +322 / 0
    Most of the heavy guide pressure ends on day 2X of October, except for the local guides. It takes about 5 minutes of googling guides to find out.
  5. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,976
    Walla Walla, WA
    Ratings: +775 / 0
    Bring warm duds, but there should be room to park and nap. Legal, schmegal. If you're floating on a private trip, just avoid using someones front yard (i.e around the narrows) and I don't think you've much to worry about.
    rwbailey05 and Rod Wittner like this.
  6. Rod Wittner Active Member

    Posts: 554
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +69 / 1
    We did the middle of Oct. last year and had no problems finding a spot to set up a base camp for a couple of days. The fish numbers were down, as they are this year as well, so the fisherman numbers seemed to be down equally. We caught a few fish, but had to work hard for them. Damn, what a shame, we had to fish a lot and put in a lot of effort...;) Looks like we are doing the first week of Nov. this year. Right, Wayne?
    constructeur and PT like this.
  7. slim Fish or Ski...Fish or ski....fish!

    Posts: 208
    Spokane Washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    Rod, that's when we went down last year and had about the same luck. We found fish and lots of camp spots, but had to really work for them. Guess that's steelheading right..
  8. ChaseBallard bushwhacker

    Posts: 67
    Seatown
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Heading down to the Ronde for the first time in late Oct, and not overly worried about camp spots, there's a lot of primitive land back there... but more concerned about the state of Schumaker Grade road.

    Anyone been down that road this spring and can give a report on the conditions? Figure as long as it doesn't snow it shouldn't be too bad with 4x4, but curious what intel is out there having never been. Thanks in advance.

    Pretty stoked for the trip, I've swung flies on nearly every other PNW steelhead river south of Canada but the Ronde. About time to check it off the list.
  9. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,568
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +322 / 0
    Schumaker is usually fine. As long as you remember the gear down going down, you should make it back up no problem.. I remember going down behind a suburban a few years ago and by halfway down the hill I was almost sure his brakes were on fire. He stopped and the smoke was just rolling off the brakes and the paint was bubbling on the center of the rims..
  10. Cruik Active Member

    Posts: 467
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +142 / 0

    I definitely have to take couple breaks on the way down that road in my truck. Downshifting didn't slow me enough to where I didn't think I was going to burn up my brakes. Not sure I'd like that road in the snow or heavy rain.
  11. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,568
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +322 / 0
    I just put it in third, in 4 low, on the way down and crawl at 12 mph..
    constructeur likes this.
  12. Matthew LeBret Active Member

    Posts: 749
    clarkston, wa
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Nothing like washboard on a good down hill slope and a drop off on ether side of you to get the ol ticker cleared out before you start the day. As long as it's not ice just keep it in low and take your time going down. I was down there this spring when the blues were in runoff and it wasn't all that different. That road is just about consistently shitty any time of year
  13. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,976
    Walla Walla, WA
    Ratings: +775 / 0
    The Shu always scares me the most when it's wet. Slick rocks, clay mud. Like it's been said, take your time and all will be well. On your first trip, take it "old man in a hat" slow.

    It really is not that bad.
  14. rwbailey05 GO COUGS

    Posts: 619
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +43 / 0
    SHUMAKER IS IN TERRIBLE SHAPE... Nobody can make it down.

    I would suggest avoiding it at all costs this year. ;)
    David Dalan likes this.
  15. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,628
    Ratings: +431 / 0
    Gee, that's not a hint that it's fishing well is it? :rolleyes:
  16. rwbailey05 GO COUGS

    Posts: 619
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +43 / 0
    There are no fish in the Ronde
    Matthew LeBret likes this.
  17. Troutrageous Active Member

    Posts: 422
    Yakima
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Also, no birds, deer, nor elk, anywhere in that corner of the state. Only catfish and suckers to be caught, if you don't mind using corn.
    Blake Harmon likes this.
  18. Matthew LeBret Active Member

    Posts: 749
    clarkston, wa
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Can't forget the lack of big horn sheep.
  19. rwbailey05 GO COUGS

    Posts: 619
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +43 / 0
    I think the best part is the smell of fresh cow shit that lingers all day along the river. What a terrible place to fish
  20. Matthew LeBret Active Member

    Posts: 749
    clarkston, wa
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    I went down there last week and counted 127 rattle snakes all over 8 feet long