Fishing the Grand River By Tedy Gordon, SFBCA member
The Grand River is a well known trout stream in Ontario. A quick internet search will bring up many pictures of people showing off their catches. This was a great motivator for two members of the Scarborough Fly and Baitcasting Association to go out there and try our luck. Geoff Chambers and I, Tedy Gordon, drove up to Fergus Ontario to fish one of the best known fishing spots on the Grand: The Cedar Run. We were caught a bit by surprise by the coolness of this September morning. The temperature had gone down to 2 degrees c. earlier, but when we arrived at the river it had warmed up to probably around 4 degrees. We thought the fish would not be very active. I had previously looked at the current flow information provided by the Grand River Conservation Authority, which rated the river flow at 9.8 cms. Based on conversations with another club member, Ray Kendrick, I thought the river wold be running a bit faster than usual but not too fast for some nice fly fishing. We fished The Cedar Run all day long, trying different fly patterns. Because of the coolness of the morning, there were very few insects flying around, so I second guessed myself on what flies to try. First I used a caddisfly and then a copper john, but the water was very stained, so I switched to a streamer. I was lost as to what fly to fish with, and when this is the case, I almost always resort to my favorite fly for prospecting unknown waters, the stone fly. This change paid back, and soon I caught a nice brown trout, well, I almost caught a nice brown trout: while I waited for Geoff to come over to take a picture, I lost the fish.
In the afternoon, I fished dry flies. By around 4 pm, the day had warmed up quiet a bit, I think the temperature went up to 14 degrees and it was sunny. A hatch started, we could see a lot of blue winged olives and small caddisflies. There were also a few fish rising, one of them was rising consistently, Geoff was nice to give me a Blue Winged Olive 18: I tied it and cast it. No luck. After multiple casts, I switched to a caddis emerger on a size 16 hook. The pattern I chose was one developed by Gary LaFontaine. It imitates a hatching caddisfly that has come up to the surface of the water and is struggling to rid itself of its old body. I cast multiple times and was about to loose hope when the trout took it -I set the hook and after a short fight was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a beautiful brown trout between 12-14 inches.
I have caught multiple fish with dry flies in the local creeks east of Toronto, but all of them have been rainbow tiddlers or small brown trout, so nothing like this one. We took a few pictures and move up the river to cast to another rising trout. This time, a couple of casts were enough and the fish to my fly – but this time I failed. I set the hook and ripped the out of the trout’s mouth, so no catch. The day ended slow with a few more casts but no takes even though fish were still rising. A pint and burger in a local restaurant completed our fishing day.
A lot has to be said for the hard work of people like Gary LaFontaine. His book Caddisflies is an in depth look at this creatures that make a great portion of the trout’s diet. Take the time to study and tie the patterns developed by Gary LaFontaine and you will sure to have a good time catching trout.