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I do a lot of fishing on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario NY rivers. I'm very intrigued by the Grand which doesn't look like too far of a trip. Does anyone have experience swinging this river in September/October? I'm curious about local patterns, recommendations for a great guide to speed up the learning curve and what tackle would work best here (Spey/Switch). Not looking for any secrets just enough to get started in the right direction. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Hooked4life
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My home river, I live 12 minutes drive from it.

The Grand is wide, shallow and in the lower reaches it often runs quite dirty. It has many stretches that are ideal for swinging a fly and is one of the few rivers in this neck of the woods where there's room to swing a 15 footer.

There is no stocking on the Grand so the fishing is quality, not quantity. One fish a day is considered good. It's a big river and being shallow, there's lots of room for fish to spread out. Like any river, local knowledge can improve your odds.

Brantford and above the river runs fairly clear while from Caledonia on down, the river can run dirty with visibility often less than one foot. Nevertheless, good fishing can be had in these stretches when large, dark patterns are used. The lower stretches can clear up when we've gone a week or so without rain. The closer we get to December, the clearer these stretches will run.

Unless the flow rates are up (above 50 cms in Brantford/York) most of the river can be fished with a floater, a long, skinny leader and a fly that will get down. High drag and/or slow sink flies will need a sinktip. A 15' Type 3 will fish well in most places as will an extra fast 10' poly. Whatever you use for flies in NY will work here so no special patterns are needed. (My friends and I fish both sides and we use the same patterns).

Flow rates can be found at the Grand River Conservation Authority: http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=2&Sub1=6&Sub2=4 This site also has a river map where you can locate the towns I've mentioned. Rates above 80 cms in Brantford and York will be tough fishing. 35-50 are ideal.

Any Spey casting rig wil work here, so whether you're a Skagit fan, love your Scandi heads or yearn to chuck a long belly, there's room for them all.

Rods can be anything you like. I tend to use a 13' - 8 wt. or 14' - 9 wt. for most fishing, but some guys are out there with 15' -10/11s as I have at times as well. Switch rods and single handers will work fine if you parse the river well and pick your spots. It's about 200 yards wide in Caledonia and we can wade across the entire thing at 50 cms so there's lots of flexibility for any rod size.

The season from Paris on down runs from the last weekend in April to December 31st. Some stretches require a barbless single hook, no bait, C&R only so if you're planning on keeping fish, know the regs for the area. All the legal info can be had at the Ministry of Natural Resources: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Busines...&CSB_ic-info=fishing-in-Ontario_text-link-Eng

If you plan on C&Ring or maybe only keeping a fish or two, then buy a conservation licence. Much cheaper. Regular licences assume you plan on filling the freezer and charge accordingly.

Send me a PM when you're thinking of coming up.
 

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Peter's comments are spot on i'm one of those guys with the 15'ers. The upper sections tend to have a lot of floating weed clumps in Sept and early Oct, Caledonia is a good bet at this time of year.
 

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Fish Whisperer
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PM sent

I didn't want to break any rules on posting links, so I PM'd you a link to a Grand River steelhead article I wrote that resides on a local fly shop website.

I'll be in Skeena country in September, but would be glad to show you around in October.

Larry
 

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Hooked4life
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Great articles, Larry.

Some late September, early October fish showing the water colour in Caledonia at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Grand

Hey Everyone,

Thanks so much for all of the info! It's really appreciated. There just isn't another site around with such an amazing community. Spey pages and all that frequent this site are just incredible. See you in a month or so.

Cheers!
 

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I will my friend :) I'm just tryin' to be a very good boy right now .... I just finalized dates for my salar hunt this fall :hihi: It's going to be an extended trip this year , adding the River Philip as a destination along with the Margaree :smokin: Unfortunately , the trip is right before the Grand River SpeyClave :(










Mike
 

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I would say there are two sections of the river worth fishing for steelhead
1. Brantford to Paris
2. Below Caledonia dam

I knew guys fishing the first section with single hand rods and doing fairly well. But you have to know how to get there, as in many points access is limited.

In September/October there is a lot of grass drifting on the water. Never figured where it was coming from, but it can be very annoying when fly fishing.

The section below Caledonia has poorer water clarity, especially after a rain. November and December can be dicy as the river usually swells with precipitation or carries slush by then.

With this said, I have to admit the Grand was the best steelhead river in Ontario I ever fished; big and challenging and lots of things to figure out. The only one I really miss.
 

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Hooked4life
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I will my friend :) I'm just tryin' to be a very good boy right now .... I just finalized dates for my salar hunt this fall :hihi: It's going to be an extended trip this year , adding the River Philip as a destination along with the Margaree :smokin: Unfortunately , the trip is right before the Grand River SpeyClave :(

Mike
Let me know when you have some time and we'll fit something together. I wouldn't mind heading north either.
 

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Hooked4life
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Peter's comments are spot on i'm one of those guys with the 15'ers. The upper sections tend to have a lot of floating weed clumps in Sept and early Oct, Caledonia is a good bet at this time of year.
Ya, I'm going to have to dust mine off well. Nothing like a big stick for covering the bigger runs.
 

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Let me know when you have some time and we'll fit something together. I wouldn't mind heading north either.
Will do my friend ... it's been too long :)
I'm tryin' to get out with Jim next Saturday , we will see how the week plays out for us workin' stiffs :hihi:








Mike
 

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Just as an FYI the first fish have started to show up fished the Grand yesterday afternoon and got one small fish about 18 inches. Fished "my" river this morning alas no nookies moving around only saw one wake slide through small car park but heard of a good push of fish on Thursday and a buddy got 2 slinging guts at first light. As stated earlier the Grand right now has a ton of grass sliding through it and you are cleaning vegetation off your line every second or third cast only gets better from here on out. The other river I fish has far less vegetation in it and it should be a good fall on it.

Chromerman
 

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Live2Spey!
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Just as an FYI the first fish have started to show up fished the Grand yesterday afternoon and got one small fish about 18 inches. Fished "my" river this morning alas no nookies moving around only saw one wake slide through small car park but heard of a good push of fish on Thursday and a buddy got 2 slinging guts at first light. As stated earlier the Grand right now has a ton of grass sliding through it and you are cleaning vegetation off your line every second or third cast only gets better from here on out. The other river I fish has far less vegetation in it and it should be a good fall on it.

Chromerman
Great post why don't you send out letters to everyone!!!! Also the Grand produces resident which I am sure that is what you landed due to the waterr temps. Please keep the information to yourself, do not need the meat hunters out there already!!!
:saeek:
 

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Hooked4life
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That was my first thought as well, that this was likely a resident fish.

For those not familiar with the Grand, the main stem well below the tailwater runs very hot in summer. I've measured a water temperature of 85° at the power line in Brantford in mid July. Anywhere south of West Montrose the temperatures in mid summer will be fatal to trout.

However, dotted about the Grand are a few spots where cold ground water enters the system and some of these small pockets hold trout year round, both rainbows and browns. I know where some of these spots are, but I won't fish them in summer as the act of landing the fish will drag it from the cold ground water to the hot main flow, most likely killing it from asphyxiation and stress.

If you do catch a fish in one inadvertently and if the regs allow, keep it for the table as it's most likely a dead duck anyway. Then in the future avoid that spot in summer and please, never publicize such a spot.
 

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" I tend to use a 13' - 8 wt. or 14' - 9 wt. for most fishing, but some guys are out there with 15' -10/11s as I have at times as well."

curious why such large rods recommended when all else appears modest-moderate from fly,sink tip,fish to river size?

lot of wind?
 
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