Fishing Season: Steelhead, Trout & Bass

Grande Ronde River - WA

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Mac Huff's Tip of the Week

Steelhead season is open in Oregon and Washington and in Oregon trout and bass seasons are open. In Washington bass are the only fish you can keep.

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Map of Grande Ronde River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 3/18/23

The water level shot up in about 24 hours on Mar. 13 & 14 and has stabilized at the current level since then. The Grande Ronde in Oregon had 52 anglers interviewed between Mar 8 & 12 with 28 steelhead landed at an average of 5.8 hrs/fish. The Grande Ronde in Washington had 118 anglers interviewed with 220 steelhead landed at an average of 2.7 hrs/fish. The latest fishing report is for the Wallowa River as steelhead are just moving into that system. There are still steelhead in the Grande Ronde in Oregon and Washington. The good news is that there is light pressure in the Ronde now,

Techniques & Tips as of 3/18/23

Nymphing and swinging wet flies are good choices. Stonefly nymphs are favorites in the Ronde year around.

Local Species Available Steelhead, Trout & Bass

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    Trout & Bass

Mac Huff's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer Blk 4 - 2
Orange Blossom Special Fly N/A 4 - 2
Fly Formerly Known As Prince N/A 8 - 6
Bead Head Stonefly natural 6 - 2
Flashback Hares Ear Nymph N/A 8 - 6
Hot Cone Woolly Bugger N/A 6 - 1/0

Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer

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Mac Huff's Recommended Gear

Description: About Grande Ronde River

The Grande Ronde River slices a 3,000 foot deep canyon through flood-basalt flows that originated from Grande Ronde volcano when it was active 15 million years ago. This is a moderate-gradient freestone river supporting abundant caddis and stonefly populations and good mayfly hatches. The arid climate at the bottom of the canyon is warm in the summer and generally moderate through the fall and spring with some freezing temperatures and snow for short periods at the canyon floor during the winter. Pacific steelhead are the stars of this tributary to the Snake River and are in the river from October through the end of the season, which closes Apr. 15. From June through September there is excellent fishing for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass. Lower reaches of the river favor bass and higher reaches favor rainbows. The trout fishing is usually a mix of dry and wet fly fishing, starting the day with nymphs and streamers and switching to dries in late morning. June's hatches favor stoneflies and caddis and July, August and September dries are 'hoppers.

Nearest Airport:

Walla Walla or Spokane, WA; Lewiston or Boise, ID


Stonefly nymphs are still good choices, as are caddis nymphs - using the two patterns together is a reasonable option. Note - The Muddler Minnow can be fished effectively dead-drifting as a hopper pattern, or waking or subsurface.

Best Time to Fish:

All day

Best Stretch:

Pawatka Bridge in Oregon to Washington state line and the Wallowa River in Oregon. Washington is closed to angling.

Best Access:

Troy, Oregon on Oregon Hwy 82 and WA Hwy 129