The Grande Ronde River originates in the blue mountains and flows 182 miles northeast to meet the Snake River. The Wallowa River travels 55 miles from Wallowa Lake to the Grande Ronde River, where it joins it. The Minam River travels 51 miles from Blue Lake to Minam Lake before joining the Wallowa River.
Our trip begins at Minam, Oregon, where the Wallowa River joins the Minam. Before entering the Grande Ronde, we float the Wallowa River for ten miles. Our trip ends at Troy, Oregon, after a total distance of 52 miles. Our float is Wild and Scenic for 43.8 miles. The Grande Ronde River is the most wilderness river we float.
About Your RRO Grande Ronde Fishing Trip
OUR GRANDE RONDE RIVER TRIP
Our Grande Ronde tours are either 3- or 4-day rainbow trout fly fishing experiences. We also provide spectacular rafting and drift boat trips for two, three, and four days. You will fish from a McKenzie River drift boat on our trout fishing trips. Your guide will slow the boat down as you toss dry flies close the shore, where trout are waiting for their next meal. Your nights will be spent in a deluxe camp with meals made especially for you by our camp host. You will not go hungry because your guides will make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you.
WHAT ARE WE FISHING FOR?
We’ll be looking for native rainbow trout to catch. The Grande Ronde offers fall Steelhead and spring Chinook salmon runs throughout the year. The Grande Ronde also has a healthy population of protected bull trout. The huge, native rainbow trout are our target.
Dry fly fishing is our preferred form of fishing. There is a good hatch of olive and golden stone flies from mid-June to late-July. This time of year, there are also caddis and mayfly hatches. Stripping streamers and nymphs can also be very effective. The Grande Ronde is a shallow, fast-flowing river that forces trout to eat in deep holes and along the shorelines. While you cast your fly to the shore, your guide will slow the boat down. Because these trout are spoiled (they have plenty of food), your cast must be flawless. The casts are short and many.
The majority of our fly-fishing guests carry their own rods and reels. Each guide, on the other hand, will have everything you need to have a good trip. A 9-foot, 4- or 5-weight fly rod with a decent floating line one line size larger than the rod’s specified line size is recommended for short casts (match your 5 wt rod with a 6 wt line this will make a world of difference when casting short). We also recommend a 7½ foot 0x leader. Every cast is inches from the brushy shore, and the trout aren’t shy of the leader. If you want to bring your own flies, we have provided fly list.
CAMPING AND MEALS
We have at least one guide who will be our camp host on every trip. Their task is to find us a spot along the river where we may camp in one of the many gorgeous spots. Everything will be ready for us when we arrive at camp, just as if we were walking into a lodge. We will stop for a shore lunch on the first two days of your trip at NOON. The guiding crew will prepare your breakfast and dinner—we’re sometimes better chefs than fishermen. Lunch will be served at the takeout on the final days.
From mid-June until mid-July, we have our Grande Ronde season. Our adventure begins in the mountains of Minam, Oregon, at an elevation of 3,583 feet. The weather here can change in a matter of minutes. Although the weather in late June and July appears to be stable, you should come prepared with warm clothing and bring rain gear.
You should stay at LaGrande or Enterprise, Oregon, the night before your trip. Minam is around an hour apart from both LaGrande and Enterprise. In our steps below, you’ll find a list of places to stay and eat.
MORNING OF DEPARTURE
You will drive to Minam after breakfast at a restaurant of your choice, where we will meet at 9:00 a.m. We’ll finish shuttle arrangements and packing here. After that, we’ll string your rods, choose the morning’s fly, and go fishing.
Our trips come to a close near Troy, Oregon. Enterprise is 1 hour away from Troy, while Enterprise is 5+ hours away from Portland. After your trip, we recommend staying in Enterprise for the night. Joseph, Oregon is a 15-minute drive away and a great place to visit. Another 15-minute drive from Joseph brings you to Wallowa Lake, which is definitely worth the drive.
Trip Preparation Details by Step
The information below will be explained in detail on the following tabs. These steps are designed to make your trip run as smoothly as possible.
STEP 1: The Packet
STEP 2: Shuttles
STEP 3: Things to Bring List
STEP 4: Fishing Gear, Rod, & Tackle List
STEP 5: Flies
STEP 6: Places to Stay
You will receive a copy of our trip release waiver in your trip packet from RRO prior to your trip. Please review carefully, sign, date, and either mail or email back to us. All guests must sign the waiver prior to trip start date. Craig will have extras on hand.
We will make all shuttle arrangements at the river. You will need to have our vehicle shuttled to our takeout location. Please be sure to have a full tank of fuel and a spare key.
THINGS TO BRING LIST
Pack your luggage as directed on the “Things to Bring List.” Your luggage will be repacked into waterproof bags so please follow directions. Excess luggage will be left behind!
- 2 changes of clothes (combined fishing and camp attire)
- 1 warm jacket
- 1 wind breaker
- 1 pair of shoes for camp (tennis or hiking shoes)
- 1 pair river sandals (We like Chaco’s or Teva)
- 1 set of quality rain gear (pants, coat, and hat)
- Good sleeping bag and pad (cots are provided)
- Good waders and felt bottom wading boots (recommended)
- Polarized sunglasses, chums, and holder to prevent loss
- Long-billed hat
- Greaseless sunscreen
- Small flashlight
- Personal toiletry items
- Camera/cell phone
- Liquor and mix (plastic bottles please)
- Iced down or cold beverages (We provide one case of assorted soft drinks, water, and lemon aid in each boat)
- Do not forget your Oregon Fishing License
EXCESS LUGGAGE AND SUITCASES WILL BE LEFT BEHIND. Pack no more than you will need for the river trip. We suggest packing cloths in large zip lock bags and then into a duffel bag or stuff sack. Duffel bags will be repacked in special waterproof dry bags. Sleeping bag and cloths all should fit easily into our waterproof dry bags. All camping equipment tents, cots, chairs and all meals are provided.
YOUR FISHING GEAR, RODS, & TACKLE LIST
Pack your fishing gear in a separate small boat bag, include fishing gear, wind breaker, rain gear, sunscreen, all things you will need during the day.
Anglers visiting the Grande Ronde are recommended to bring at least two fly rods. One for dry fly fishing and one for nymph fishing. Our guides have extra rods however, we recommend 1 extra rod per every 3 fishermen, and this can save a trip in case of a broken rod (PLEASE NOTE: if you break a borrowed Rod, you are responsible the replacement, with an equal valued rod).
- Dry fly fishing: 9 or 9½ 5 wt. for the big flies
- Nymphing: 9½ or 10 ft. 5 or 6 wt. for mending and lifting line
- Dry fly fishing: 9-foot 3 wt or 4 wt for the small flies
- Nymphing: 9½ or 10 ft. 4 wt or 5 wt.
A reel is a line holder however you do want a reel with a good smooth drag especially when fishing light tippet.
Lines are the most overlooked and maybe the most important. Make sure your lines are clean. We recommend a weight forward or a cut down double tapper. I also like to overload my rod 1 line size especially when casting larger flies.
Leader and Tippets:
Each angler should have 2 good leaders. We recommend a 7½ leader for fishing the larger flies and a 9-foot leader for the smaller flies. Tippet is important I am a big fan of flouro carbon tippet. For the big flies you will need IX, 2X, and 3X tippet and for the smaller flies you will need 3X, 4X and 5x tippets.
Early June – Stone Patterns
- Norm Woods special (calf tail wing stimulator) #8, #10
- Chubby Chernobyl #6, #8
- Stimulator (orange, yellow, olive) #8
- EC Caddis #14, #16, #18
- Elk hair caddis #14, #16
- Comparadun # 16, #18
- Purple haze #14, #16, #18
- Parachute Adams #14, #16, #18
- Bead head prince #6, #8, #10
- Bead head pheasant tail #12, #14, #16
- Copper johns #14, #16, #18
- Bead head hairs ear #8, #10
- Case caddis #8, #10
- Kaufman stone #8, #10
Flies are listed in the order of most recommended
- Good wading boots (felt sole, spiked sole or both)
- Polarized sunglasses
- Dry shake
- Nippers or scissors
- Strike indicators
- Pinch on Split Shot
- Fly vest
- Long billed hat
- Rain wear
PLACES TO STAY
We recommend you arrive to the area the night prior to your scheduled departure. We have a list of places in La Grande and Enterprise to make your stay more enjoyable. Also, we have listed a few restaurants in both areas.
La Grande – Places To Stay:
The La Grande Inn
The Best Western
Super 8 by Wyndham
La Grande – Restaurants:
Ten Depot Street (Steak house)
Side A Brewing (Pub)
The Dusty Spur (Café)
La Fiesta Mexico (Mexican)
Enterprise – Places To Stay:
The Wilderness Inn
The Ponderosa Motel
Eagle’s View Inn
Enterprise – Restaurants:
Terminal Gravity Brewing (Pub)
Range Rider (American)
Red Roster Café (Café)
La Laguna Family Mexican Restaurant (Mexican)
Interested in Booking?
Contact Tina by filling out the below information or giving her a call at 888-767-3144. Check availability on the booking calendar page.