There is a secret kept in the canyons of the Wallowa and Grande Ronde Rivers. That secret is a blue-ribbon trout fishery that few realize is there and even fewer fly fishing guides know the seasons, hatches, and tactics to entice trophy sized rainbows to the fly. One reason this fishery is relatively unknown is the fact that it exists in a 40 mile roadless canyon federally designated as a wild and scenic river. Accessing this special place requires a commitment of 3-5 days but the rewards are great with exceptional trout fishing and arguably the best river camping to be had. A guided fly fishing trip on the roadless Wallowa and Grande Ronde Rivers is what a trout fly fishing trip should be: Clean air filled with the smell of confifers, cottonwood, and wildflowers. A haven from the abrasive sounds of roads and cities allowing you to hear the rifflling sound of the water, birds singing on the banks, and the wings of ducks, geese, and eagles as they cut through the clean mountain air. And big, fiesty wild rainbows leaping on the end of your line with a basalt rimmed canyon as the backdrop. It does not get any better than this my friend.
For those unable to commit to the multi-day wild and scenic guided fly fishing trip, we also offer guided day trips on the Wallowa Highway Section. You might think since the highway section is . . . well, beside the highway, it would get heavy fishing traffic. Although it does see more pressure than the roadless section, the Wallowa highway section sees relatively low fishing pressure during trout season. If you only have one day or half a day to get away, join one of our knowledgable fly fishing guides to make your day by the highway into a spectacular Wallowa trout fishing experience.
Beginning in early May with the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch along the Wallowa River, good trout fishing can be had throughout the spring, summer and fall as river flows cooperate. Our first focused trips of the year target the Stonefly hatch, beginning in early to mid-June continuing into early July. We provide anglers the opportunity to experience this exciting dry fly hatch by doing a one-day Wallowa River float, or by doing a multi-day float where you get to see the hatch evolve as we float from the Wallowa River into the Grande Ronde through the course of the trip. During the summer months of July and August, the Grande Ronde and Wallowa can become too low to float. However, there is over ten miles of road access along the Wallowa river that can provide an exciting day of fly fishing for anyone from the first timer, to the veteran angler all summer long. By the time September rolls around, we once again focus our efforts on the multi-day roadless section of the Grande Ronde. During September is when we see the LARGEST rainbows of the year. In both the Grande Ronde and Wallowa, the fall produces an excellent time to fish for large trout among the beauty of the changing season.
Equipment and Techniques
When targeting trout, we utilize a wide array of rods a tackle to best suit the situation. While four and five weights may be used to throw dry flies, there is likely a six or seven weight rod ready to go for heavier streamer and nymph setups. However, the larger weight rods can often be necessary to handle the obese rainbows that may latch on to your fly.