Trip Report Grande Ronde at Hilgard 2021

Hello folks. Again it has been a while.
I move slow. Sorry. Anyway, In June this year My wife and I went camping. While there I broke out my fly rod. Waddled my way done to the bridge there. I wasn't looking for much, just one fish was all I was asking for. Didn't even care what it was. Anything would do. Only took one fly. Figured if I caught something that would be enough. If I lost my fly I was done anyway. Ton of casts into various places under that bridge. Finally made a last cast and I knew that my fly was gone. Just felt it. So I went back to the camper. Dejected.
The next day I grabbed my bait cast rod. Brand new. Had to assemble it before I could do anything. 5 minutes later I was waddling back to the bridge. Got down there. Put on a spinner and made a cast. Then another. After several casts I was starting to panic. Waded out a bit and made a cast upstream. Boom, Fish on. I was thrilled. Well it turned out it was a small pike minnow. Great little fight. Got him in and unhooked. Took a couple of picks and set him free. Yes I let him go. Sorry folks. Better fight, much tougher fish, Still strong and ready to when I put him back into the water.
Caught another and did the same. I decided to stop there. I had caught 2. I was content. First fish in a number of years.
I was unhappy, I didn't do it on the fly. I am going to wait until October. The waters should be much cooler. The fish should be more active then. I hope. Water levels are down right now. Hope we get some more rain soon.
Hoping for the best.
Wishing tight lines and big fish for you all.


Active Member
I grew up over by La Grande. Never have I heard anyone talk very favorably of the trout fishing on it from the Grande Ronde valley till at least several miles above Hilgard. The water that doesn't get pumped out for irrigation gets pretty warm until the weather makes a more permanent change for the rest of the year.

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