July 2, 2022

Grande Ronde River Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Grande Ronde River Smallmouth Bass Fishing

We fish for Smallmouth Bass from the Washington/Oregon border to Heller Bar.  Our guides use drift boats and rafts to guide you to the remote hot spots.  The Grande Ronde is a very remote limited access river with a class III or IV rapid near the end of the float requiring extreme skill that our Grande Ronde River Fishing Guides have spent years learning and mastering. You won’t find another team of guides who have floated this section more than us. Fishing and scenery are unbelievable. We often see 100 fish days with great action in almost each hole along the way. While most of these fish average 14″ it isn’t uncommon to see fish over 18″ on this float. On some years we have seen fish into the low 20″ range. If you are looking for a peaceful, relaxing float with lots of action, this is your trip.

The Grande Ronde River

In the early 19th century, the valley of the river was inhabited by Nez PerceUmatillaWalla Walla, and Cayuse tribes of Native Americans. Numerous archaeological sites are on the public land around the river.

The Grande Ronde River was given its name sometime before 1821 by French Canadian voyageurs working for the Montreal-based fur trading North West Company.[7] Grande Ronde is a French name meaning “great round”.[8]

A portion Grande Ronde and its valley were part of the Oregon Trail. It was first used by settlers in 1844 when Moses “Black” Harris led his party to the river from Fort Hall and then turned northwest to cross the Blue Mountains. Harris’ navigation would be subsequently repeated, becoming a regular part of the Oregon Trail.[9]

In 1988, the United States Congress designated about 44 miles (71 km) of the river, from its confluence with the Wallowa River to the Oregon–Washington border, as the Grande Ronde Wild and Scenic River, as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

The river today is a popular destination for hunting, especially for game animals such as mule deerelkblack bearcougar, and bighorn sheep. Fishing, rafting and hiking are also popular along the designated Wild and Scenic portion of the river. Most of the middle reaches of the river are inaccessible to motor vehicles.


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