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Old 03-06-2014   #1
SoggyBottoms's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 19
Fly Fishing Grand Canyon May?

Just joined and excited to participate on the buzz as i do more rafting. While fly fishing is still my first passion, rafting has been slipping closer every season. I have been lurking in the shadows for a while, just reading and learning; hopefully soon i will be able to contribute as i gain more experience.

I searched the site and read all there was, but most of it was spotty here and there in different forums, the only other specific topic has been inactive for 4 years so thought there might be some new information out there.

I have a May 6th launch date for the Grand, this will be my first trip longer than 4 days and am excited beyond words. I was wondering if anybody had any tips tricks advice or whatever about fishing once your below the put in. I have consumed almost all I could find, and it sounds like people fish down at phantom ranch a lot, does that mean there is good fishing all the way down to phantom?

I do realize that the fishing is dependent on clarity and that depends on the rain but beyond that i have little information except for the stretch between the putt in and the dam.

Also, should i bring my fishing platform for the front bay, i could row other members of the trip or anchor and fish the seems, or is almost all the fishing done from camp?

Any and all info welcome.


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Old 03-07-2014   #2
rivh2o's Avatar
p.c., confused
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 140
Fishing can be done (and good i might add) all the way down to the little colorado riv. From below there I've been able to catch fish at most of the side streams were they join the main river. As long as the river stays clear fishing for trout is best. All the other fish are endangered and protected.Be sure you have a license and good luck.

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Old 03-07-2014   #3's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 498
if you fishing platform has a tall knee brace I would leave it at home. you will find that most of the time the river smooth enough that standing up or kneeling on any flat surface is easy enough. I would pack a fast sinking 10 foot poly leader like AirFlo for fishing the camps with no side streams and the deeper water. I never saw much top water activity in the main channel.
I have attached a photo to get you pumped up for fishing, taken from about 75 feet above the side creek. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2014   #4
SoggyBottoms's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 19
Thanks for the advice. I am definitely getting a license i am hoping to get there three days early and fish the stretch below the dam.

I guess you are right too, about the knee brace, we wouldn't be fishing through any of the rough stuff so i can just stand on my dry box.

How big are those side streams, would a 9' rod be fine or would it be beneficial enough to bring my 7' 3wt to get into tight places.

Thats an awesome picture, these side stream look gin clear if they are not washed out, do drys work in these or should i mostly stick to nymphing like in the big water
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Old 03-07-2014   #5's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 498
9 is fine, but I always carry a back up having once lost my only rod I had with me on Green below Flaming Gorge. I Never have tied on a dry on the GC so don't know is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2014   #6
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Definitely take your fly rod! Fish streamers stripping towards the shore through the usual pockets that hold Rainbows. Try to keep a hooked fish out of the fast water as the current is powerful. Fishing from the boat is challenging as the lines through most rapids won't take you to good fish holding water. Leave the fishing frame at home, you don't want to be near that thing if you have a flip which is always possible. Fish the mouths of creeks where they come into the river, Tapeats, Bass, Phantom, etc. I have even seen a friend catch one beneath Deer Creek Falls! Take attractor dries for Tapeats. It is all about water clarity so good luck! One flash flood can stay with you for days.
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Old 03-07-2014   #7
B.V., Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 192
I had an amazing couple hundred yards of fishing after launching from lee's ferry. Then the Paria river came in and muddied it up for a hundred miles. They sell fishing licenses at the Marble Canyon Lodge.
"Huck Finn?...more like huck-and-swim"
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Old 03-07-2014   #8
Las Vegas, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 97
I have always just fished with spinners in the river. The upper portion of the canyon (above LCR) is usually really good. As others have pointed out, below LCR, your best bet is side streams. Watch out for the Chub, they are endangered, so mouth of LCR, Shinumo, Havasu will have chub. Z-Rays work really really well. I have caught lots of fish with them. South Canyon is a great spot.

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Old 03-07-2014   #9
SoggyBottoms's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 19
Thanks guys, I am bringing some extra rods i used to give to my clients when i was a guide so backups won't be an issue

Here are the rods i was planning on bringing for my personal use
7wt 9' streamer rod with a sinking line
6wt 10' nymph rod with a floating line
5wt 9' nymph/dry fly rod with a floating line

I will only probably have one rigged at a time as i have broken to many rods on raft trips i tried to force fishing into. I was hoping to do some night fishing for browns maybe strip a mouse pattern across some slack pools around camp. I doubt a lot of people do it and i am hoping for a monster brown. and then use the streamer rod for bass or stripers towards the end.

What about an anchor? are there any places this might work or be useful or is it just too deep most of the time
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Old 03-07-2014   #10
Radville, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 26
The colorado is great and all, but don't over look the tribs/creeks. there are over 20 tribs with trout. I've taken a rod each time i've gone. i've never taken anything more that an a 5wt - but i've also never gone after bass. The last couple of times i've gone i've just used a 4 wht.

Leave the anchor behind. the increased risk it adds to the whitewater isn't worth the reward. you're not gonna find a lot of riffles to sit next to, and your group will hate you for slowing them down. the river is generally deep and swift ans swirly - you're better off nymphing from the boat.

i've had great luck on foam anything. as well as pretty much any classic fly (esp buggers).

i've seen photos of big browns in there, but never got one myself. share photos if you do.

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