The Grand River near Fergus Ontario is likely the best brown trout river in all of eastern Canada, and because it has such good fishing there are many Grand River fishing guides. It’s not uncommon to see 4 or 5 Grand River fishing guides on the water in a day, but as one of the top river fishing guides in Ontario, my advice is to stick with only the reputable guides.
The best Grand River fishing guides will have extensive knowledge of the river, the fish, and the methods that work. Choosing the right Grand River fishing guide will be your best bet if you want to hook into multiple trophy brown trout and if you want to learn how to fish the river effectively.
The Grand River is stocked with 20,000 to 30,000 brown trout around 5 to 8 inches every year.
This makes for some great river fishing and it makes it easy for Grand River fishing guides to look good. Even the less experienced guides can do well with all the dumb little stocked brown trout.
Any guide can get you into some trout on the Grand River, but it’s the experienced Grand River fishing guides that will get you into the bigger wiser trout and give you the chance at the most trout.
The stocking of brown trout on the Grand River usually takes place around the second week of May.
The stocked brown trout that survive to the following summer will be around 12 inches. The ones that survive two years in the river will be around 16 inches. On average they grow about 4 inches per year.
These stocked brown trout have be known to grow over 30 inches in the Grand River and some will weigh over 10 pounds.
The best Grand River fishing guides will know where these big brown trout live and feed. Where they feed is the key to the most big trout as you will see below.
The Grand River is so well known for its abundant big brown trout that it has even got the attention of anglers that come from all over Ontario and from the USA.
Most anglers are lucky to land a few big browns a year on the Grand River but I have had days when I have hooked more than 10 brown trout over 20 inches on size 16 to 20 flies or on streamers.
The right flies combined with the right methods and in the right spots will allow you to catch big brown trout more consistently. That is what the best Grand River fishing guides can teach you.
Having the right gear to fish the Grand River also help you catch more fish and having the right gear can also help your guide get you into more fish. check out my page Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners: Everything You Need.
The guides at A Perfect Drift Guide Company have been guiding the Grand River for 15 years and have had some days when their clients will catch over 100 brown trout a day. This is great fishing for new anglers and for kids but the impressive part is their clients are catching multiple big fish in a day.
They have also had some clients that have hooked over 6 brown trout that were over the 20-inch mark in a single day.
Many of the big brown trout caught by there guides come from less popular and unusual spots that most Grand River trout anglers miss.
The Grand River is a favorite among fly fishing anglers because it’s big and wide and it has a lot of room for casting. t also has good access and has a lot of trout in it. This makes fishing here easy for everyone.
Because it is often easy to fish, the Grand River can get busy at times, but the more experienced grand river fishing guides will know where to fish and catch big trout with fewer anglers.
On many of my guide trips, we would not see another angler because there is about 30 kilometers of trout water to fish and I like to avoid the crowds.
Most anglers go where other anglers go because they don’t know any better, but as an angler with 30 kilometers of river to fish, you just need to know where to go to catch the big ones and smaller ones, and that’s what the better Grand River fishing guides can teach you.
The other reason I recommend using only reputable Grand River fishing guides is that Grand River brown trout are very predictable and the best grand river guides will know where there are some big ones for you.
I have put hundreds of clients onto big fish that I knew were there. Not just in the pool but some of the best Grand River fishing guides will know where the big ones are within a few feet and they know where they feed.
The Brown trout are so predictable that I would bring my clients into a spot in the morning and say “at around 9 pm when the bugs start to show up there is a big 23.5 inch brown trout that will swim up out of the deeper part of the pool and sit right in front of that rock in 2 feet of water”.
I would point the rock out and say “start fishing and let’s wait and see if he shows up to eat today”.
9 out of 10 days that fish would casually swim up and I would point him out to my clients as he got closer and he would stop exactly where I said he would, and we would almost always catch him.
Being able to predict that a big brown trout will swim up and sit exactly where I said it would made me look like an all-star, but when you fish the same river, and the same spots 7 days a week, for 15 years, you get to really know the spot, the river, and the fish.
I had over a dozen fish between 20 and 26 inches that I knew exactly where they would go to feed within 2 feet that same year.
90 percent of the big brown trout my clients catch are ones that I already knew were there before I even show up to the river. Only the best Grand River fishing guides will be able to provide their clients with the type of knowledge and expertise.
Small Flies, Big Fish
The Grand River is known for it’s big brown trout that eat a lot of small flies.
The best Grand River fishing guides will have an extensive knowledge of what the trout eat and when those bugs should be on the rivers. The Grand River has a huge population of aquatic insects and all the trout, even the big ones will eat lots of bugs, which is why the brown trout grow so big so fast.
Many of the big brown trout that are caught on the Grand River by guides and their clients are caught on small flies in the 16 to size 22 range.
If you have the right Grand River guide he will be able to show you what flies to use and give you a lesson on how to use them.
The big brown trout can be caught using streamers, dry flies, wet flies and nymphs.
The Best Grand River Fishing Guides
I always recommend the full-time rivers guides and I recommend avoiding the part-time guides.
It’s not that the part-time guys are all bad because there are a few good ones available. It’s just that many of the part-time Grand River fishing guides will lack the skills and the training as a guide.
They also lack the time on the water to be able to guide you the same way that the full-time guides can. They may be great anglers, but great anglers don’t always make great guides.
Some part-time guides work all week so they aren’t on the water seeing what is going on day-after-day as the full-time guide can. The full-time and long-time guides will know where the big fish feed and at what time they are feeding at or on what bugs.
One of the pools on the Grand River that I fish is almost 100 feet long but I catch 90% of the big brown trout in a 5′ x 5-foot section. If they are not feeding in that section I know where they go to rest and I can sometimes pick them up there.
Some of these part-time guides also just want to fish on their day off from work. I’ve watched part-time guides from some of the local fly shops set their clients up on a spot and then wander off and go fish the next spot while they leave their clients to fend for themselves.
Doing stuff like that makes fishing guides look bad, but rest assured, there are way better Grand River fishing guides available so you don’t need to hire a guy like that.
Part-time guides also often lack the training that the full-time guides will have.
That is why all the guides at A Perfect Drift Guide Company are trained by me and are held to higher standards than independent or guide shop part-time guides.
I am the head trainer at A Perfect Drift Guide Company, and I have 20 years of guide experience and I have trained with professional anglers, world champion fly anglers, and even a former head coach of the USA fly fishing team.
I train my guides to be professionals, with the focus on how-to guide properly, not just how to fish.
Grand River Fly Fishing Guides
Most of the river guides on the Grand River are fly fishing guides but some also will also use other methods. They specialize in fly fishing which is great because the Grand River is well suited for fly fishing and I would say that 90% of the anglers that fish the Grand River are fly anglers.
There are many Grand River fly fishing guides to choose from so stick with the ones with the best training and a great reputation.
Head guide Cody from A Perfect Drift Guide Company is a good choice when looking for a good Grand River fly fishing guide.
Cody is well versed in fly fishing, spin fishing and Centerpin fishing and has had days with 10+ large 20-inch brown trout in his net.
Is The Grand River Fly Fishing Only?
A question I get asked often is the Grand River fly fishing only? This is a bit of a misconception because there is a large portion of the Grand River that has special regulations banning bait and only allowing single barbless hooks.
The Grand River is not a fly fishing only river and any method of fishing in allowed as long as it is single barbless hooks, no bait and you release your trout. This means you could use a plastic worm, or a mepps spinner or a spoon that all have a single barbless hook. ( means 1 point only).
I have done may trips with spinning rods and centerpin rods.
Grand River Spin Fishing Guides
The guides at A Perfect Drift Guide Company guide with spinning rods and reels. They are excellent at float fishing and using lures or even jigs for brown trout.
Jig fishing has produced some very large brown trout with the occasional walleye, carp, bass, and pike which all co-exist in the same part of the grand river.
Grand River Fishing Guides For Bass
The smallmouth bass fishing on the grand river can be excellent with good numbers of big bass located throughout the river.
Some of the stretches of the river above and below the trout section are warmer and can be better for the bass.
Bass can be caught using spinning reels, or by fly fishing.
The guides at A Perfect Drift Guide Company offer guided bass trips in July through September on the Grand River near Fergus.
Grand River Fly Fishing Lessons
Some of the better Grand River fishing guides offer fly fishing lessons for small groups of anglers.
Smaller classes are better than bigger classes because you get more of your instructor’s time and therefore you are likely to learn more.
It makes sense to take classes put on by instructors that guide for a living and have the skills to teach.
Pick The Right Guide For You
There a few great reputable guides that I know and work with on the Grand River. There are great guides for other great Ontario trout rivers too.
If you are not sure what guide to go with, my best recommendation is to do your homework. Ask around, look for reviews and testimonials and look at the pictures the guides have on their website. If 90% of the pictures are of the guide and his buddies holding fish, it could mean they don’t have a lot of clients catching fish.
You can also check out my page Best River Guides In Ontario