Grande Rhonde

So I've purchased an 8 weight rod, 8 weight multi-tip line and reel, and now I need to decide on the place to go after steelhead. Heading over to Kennewick to visit family and, wouldn't you know it, everyone is busy with activities except me. Doing some research, looks like the Grande Rhonde should be in perfect shape last week of October (that's when I'll be there). Did anyone read the article on the Grande in FlyFisherman? I was surprised that they didn't pick the Sky or Stilly as the best Steelhead river in Wa.
So, my questions are...
Can you do a day trip from Kennewick to the Grande?
Any particular place on the river I should hit? Are the last 2 miles before the confluence with the Snake really that crowded. As crowded as any Western Washington salmon river?
How is the trout fishing?
Any other suggestions on a steelhead river near the 3 cities would be appreciated. Thanks.
The Grande Ronde is a must see river. It is easily one of the most beautiful streams I have seen in sixty years of fishing.
You can't lose. Even if you go fishless (not likely), the river is a joy to see and to fish. The end of the month will be perfect and you should be up to your salamanders in fish.
If you have a pontoon, then arrange for a shuttle at Boggan's and fish down. If no boat, then you can bank fish with super-easy access for 17 miles up from there. One hole after the another, and you can study the run while sitting in your car. What a place!
The mouth is red hot but you must risk a punch out as things get very ugly whenever too many people are in any one place at any one time.
Fish riffle-hitched dry flies (#4 muddler minnows etc.); cast down and across and make a little wake. DON'T strike on the take! These are big fish and they must be allowed time to turn before you set the hook. Release all fish and good luck. Yes, there are trout but they are little steelhead in my book, and I always try to release them without actually touching them.
The next time you see them, they will proably weigh six pounds or more. Be sure to tell us what happened as I am dying to know. :THUMBSUP As for me, I was too early (10th to 15th) and no one else had any fish either so my ego is still intact. But don't miss this! It's bigger than both of us. You could have the trip of a lifetime. :pROFESSOR
Just returned from a trip oct 9-13 to the snake and the clearwater. the clearwater had tons of access and we saw numerous flyfishermen. 2 out of 4 in our group brought flyrods but we bounced eggs the whole time. the clearwater has big natives, all catch and release until 10/15. we fished the snake from the grande rhonde confluence down. did well in each of the rivers but not as well as we did last year the same week. i think we got the tail end of a run and missed the start of the next so i expect if you're heading over the end of this month you'll be in the thick of 'em. they do line up along the bank at the confluence and i can see how it might get hostile but it seems like they're all part of a little community and it's them against the guys in the boats competing for the same stretch of river. beautiful country and i;m sure you'll hit fish. have fun


Active Member
IMHO For a day trip I think that the Grande Ronde is 2 1/2 to 3 hours away from the Tri-Cities. The Klickitat is much closer, although with fewer fish. I have fished the Grande Ronde in Oct. Nov. Jan. and Feb. from Troy, Or. to the mouth. In Jan. and Feb. it is chuck and duck fishing with heavy flies, dead drift, stack mending, into downriver swing on the rise. In Oct. Nov. surface flies will work along with a wet fly swing and subsurface. The Klickitat flows form glaciers on Mt. Adams and is a colder river this time of year and most of the fly fishing is blow the suface to the bottom. Good Luck Craig

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