Grande Ronde River Reports

  • By Dylan McGregor

    Fall Smallmouth on Washington’s Grande Ronde (1)

    I recently went to the Grande Ronde to target some bass. The fish were very active and eager to fatten their bellies. My technique that I found the most effect was a swing style technique with a sparkle minnow. I had fish eat it on a slow strip at the end of the swing. I also had some fish eat it on the hang down.

    You can still find active fish coming up and eating poppers on top. Fishing poppers in the early morning and later in the evenings provides a better chance due to the water being cooler. If you aren’t getting fish to come up to the popper the later you’re getting into the day, I’d switch it up and throw on a streamer. I like using floating line because around this time of year because the water is at a lower flow stage. Less chance of a hang up and having to wade out to release the snag.

    Fall Smallmouth on Washington’s Grande Ronde (4)

    The water was warm enough to wade wet and the temperature definitely catered to it. However with the weather that is coming up in this next week, it may be a good choice to wear some waders. Washington has set a no limit retention on bass. This is a good opportunity to have a delicious fish fry and help keep that bass from eating anadromous fish smolts.

    Fall Smallmouth on Washington’s Grande Ronde (3)

    Recipes can vary, each person is different with what they like. I recommend using a few seasonings that you enjoy. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Make an egg wash, mix your seasoning in with the breading of your choice. Then you’ll fry each side for about 4 minutes.

    North 40 offers a variety of seasonings that you can use. I like Alpine Touch all natural seasoning with sea salt. We also have the various flies that you will need, and can demonstrate the different techniques.