Fall Steelhead Fishing on the Grand River 1 Hour West of Toronto, Canada.
September 03, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports NewsThe Grand River has won numerous conservation and management awards. It has almost 200 shoreline miles and is the largest river in Southern Ontario. It is one hour from Toronto or London with the 401 and 403 highways providing easy access. This short traveling distance allows urban fishermen to get up in the morning… spend the day fishing… and be in their own beds at night.
Fishermen can choose to float, fly or spin cast, with all techniques offering the chance to experience a “fish on”. Sunday to Friday is the best time, because Saturdays often experience heavy weekend canoe/kayak traffic from paddlers exploring this unique river.
The combination of swifts and pools in the Grand offers the perfect trout habitation. The average depth is 2-3 feet, with deeper pools at eight feet. The rocky bottom is a boulder range of stones… creating natural steelhead habitat. The food supply of minnows and crayfish make this river a “steelhead paradise”. To insure healthy fish populations, this section from Paris to Brantford is zoned as barb-less, bait-less, catch & release.
For the fly fisherman the Grand River has lots of maneuvering space. The Grand is wide, putting distance between the fisherman and snagging trees. This is an excellent river to wade, but private ownership restricts easy access to many sections. Chest waders are recommended for positioning around the pools. All fishermen should use the waist-belts on the chest waders when wading… because a fall in the fast swifts can quickly change a great time into a fatal ending.
A safer way to fish the Grand is with 14 ft platform rafts. They are very similar to a “clack” boat, but more stable and quiet. The platform deck space is about 64 sq ft allowing two people to fly fish, plus guide. The drift speed of these rafts offers numerous casting opportunities and the elevated platform position allows a better vision of the water-line. Platform rafts are for fishermen wishing to cover large distances with minimum wading. The Grand River Rafting Company has platform rafts available for guided fishing trips, but they are not available for self-rentals.
The steelhead trout caught range from 12 to 30 inches in length… and their weight easily snaps poorly managed lines. The spectacular runs and pole-bending hurtles makes this rainbow trout a sportsman’s delight. Even the casual observer is amazed at the large pods of steelhead sitting on the bottom. An excellent observation area for viewing steelhead pods is along Whiteman’s Creek just above the Grand River. This section is now posted and permission must be gained from the Five Oaks Christian Centre.
For fishermen visiting the Paris area… accommodations, restaurants and shops offer excellent service and food. Lures, fly-tying material and fishing equipment can be obtained from “Big Catch” bait & tackle along the Grand River. As well, this fishing shop rents out equipment and tackle to visitors wishing to try a day’s fishing.
For accommodation and food, fishermen can choose from the beautifully restored 19th century Arlington Hotel to the rustic countryside River Ridge Bed & Breakfast. If looking for a different flavour in town, dinner at the southern-style “Camp 31”offers an excellent taste bud experience.
The Grand is a unique river… it has all the amenities nearby within a wilderness setting. A fisherman can choose to float or fly fish… wade or drift… spend the day or stay a night. Whatever the choice, steelhead fishing on the Grand River is something no one should miss.