Grande Ronde HELP 11/2-11/4

Nate Dutton

I'm a teacher, I fish to eat!
Hey fellas heading down to the Ronde for some steel here on thurs night. I am tryto to land my first steelhead on the fly down there so any help would be appreicated. We are going to camp around bogans area and will fish below bogans and up to cottonwood. Some generic fly choices for nymphting would be apperciated since this will be my first time exclusivley fly fishing this river. I have been gear chucking there for 6 or 7 years so i know the water pretty well. Any help would be awesome! and if any of you are going to down there maybe we could fish an afternoon or moning together! Thanks in advance.


Typical response here. Have you done a search for the info you seek? You'll find years worth of info if you're willing to sort thru it.

Glo-bugs, stoneflies, yarn on a hook, chenille on a hook, dubbing on a hook, any large standard trout nymph (PT, Prince Nymph, Hare's Ear, etc) will all work. Confidence is probably more important than which fly you have on. In that case I'd call a flyshop and ask which specific pattern they'd recommend and then just stick with it. If they have confidence in a pattern then you should too. All you need is a willing fish and the right presentation. Steelhead are a pretty easy fish to catch if they're around.

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
From you post it seems you're looking for some rigging advice. If so, my $0.02 is below, if not...ignore me.

If all else fails throw and orange (my fav) or pink (prolly a better color choice) weighted Girdle Bug (with lots of wiggly rubber, say on a size 4) and a trailer that is a smaller, less shocking nymph (prince, bead head, size 8-10). Another good weighted fly is a black Egg Sucking Leech (or black wooly bugger).

Some folks like the heavier fly on the point, but I like the little one there. It harmonizes with my drift fishing experience to have the "wieght" (Girdle Bug) in front of the "lure" (Prince). I'm just used to angling with this arrangement and I pickup grabs better with this arrangement. But that's me...

If you use a large strike indicator (i.e. a red and white float) you can make the setup drag along the bottom or swing in the upper water column. If you have enough current to swing w/o the bobber, just pop it off. But be aware that you're really just "jig and bobber" fishing with a flyrod.

Which is cool with me but the other kids (i.e. peckerheaded flysnobs) might make fun of you :)

Good luck and have FUN!!


Active Member
So flyfisherman that flyfish are peckerheads huh? The guy wants to catch a fish on a flyrod, not on gear---didn't you read the post:D

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
Swing and nymph smaller darker bugs. Princes are a good start. To give yourself a better chance at that first fish stay deep. The fish will be relucant to move far to a fly now as the water cools. Also try to find unhit water (a bit of an oxymoron on that river) and cover it well. Swinging has for some reason been all most more productive for me this year on that river, but I have had most of my fish swinging very deeply with type 6 or 8 tips and slow swings.

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
So flyfisherman that flyfish are peckerheads huh? The guy wants to catch a fish on a flyrod, not on gear---didn't you read the post:D

Oh don't crap your pampers. I was only intimating that "flysnobs" are peckerheads. Not the general flyfisher, as flyfisher != flysnob. Next time I will be clearer :)

FWIW I was trying to leverage gear tossing experience as a gateway to flyfishing.

So as one of my daughters says to me from time to time...."Leave me alone you meanerhead!!"

And Nate...if it comes to taking my advice or Andy' you self a favor and take Andy's :thumb:


I have had most of my fish swinging very deeply with type 6 or 8 tips and slow swings.

Which is a lot like nymphing without an indicator. And I'm not saying that as a smart ass.
Haha, yes and swinging a hairwing on a floating line is even more like nymphing with an indicator because the floating line is the indicator, and I'm not saying that as a smart ass. :rofl::rofl:


Which is a lot like nymphing without an indicator. And I'm not saying that as a smart ass.

Everytime we dissect this sport into nymphing/swinging we all come across as being a bunch of peckerheads.

I'll leave it at this. On the westside, sometimes we have to use a type 6 or 8 to get down in 4-6' of water because of the heavy flows. And if you're any kind of fisherman you know we're not just grease lining the bottom hoping to get our leader into some fishes mouth so we can hook 'em somewhere around the face.


Nate's asking for advice. He specifically asked about nymphing. A couple people gave him good advice. You don't have to be skating a dry to be a flyfisherman. Why can't it be left at that?


New Member
I do not nymph for steelhead so can’t help you with that but if you choose to swing flies you can do it a number of ways. Yes it’s true as the water temps get colder the fish become less surface oriented but it has to get a lot colder. I will still swing a dry during the first week of Nov. You can use a dry line with a long leader (10’) with a basic skunk pattern or if you need to get down a little you could use a boss or something with lead eyes. If the water temps drop into the low 40s I will go to a sink tip. I use a 15’ type 6 almost all of the time. If you need to get any deeper than that you might as well be nymphing. I fish a strip wing fly that has a red and black body, black hackle and a peacock feather wing. Orange and black and blue and purple also work well. If I was to pick one fly for someone looking for their first fly caught fish it would be an orange tailed black bodied, red hackled size 4 boss on the swing. I will see you up there. :beer2:


Tight line takes ain't no fakes!!
I agree Zen,

The difference between a deeply swung fly and a dead drifted nymph, bouncing along the bottom are not even close to the same. Two completely different looks to the fish.


Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
I can't say I've ever caught a fish on a fly that I am swinging during the drop. I know it happens though. Most of my fish come either right in the middle of the swing or as I am bringing the rod towards the shore to move the fly a bit more after it has finished its normal swing. Rarley I get them in the first 5 seconds or so as the line starts to tighten and the fly speeds up. It's a lovely feeling it hit a fish that early in the swing and battle it across the entire river to you.

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