Fishing the Grand River
One of my favorite pastimes is fishing. I just love being on or near the water. Since moving to Grand Rapids nearly 17 years ago, the Grand River has opened up a new form of fishing to me. Drift fishing from the shore for Steelhead and trout! It is a great way to spend a few hours with the kids!
Spring in Grand Rapids brings a swollen, fast-moving river. One of the spots I frequent is right downtown Grand Rapids between the 6th St. Historical Bridge and the I-196 overpass. It’s great because it is just a short drive from home.
I have had to learn a few new skills to keep up though but it has been a lot of fun. As with all types of fishing, some things work better than others but as they say, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. To me this just means that these 10% know what they are doing and how to make their presentation. They typically have the appropriate gear as well.
Fishing fast moving water like this part of the Grand River, requires a certain touch and familiarity and feel for what the gear is doing while working it down the run. There are more than enough rocks and structure for fish to use and also to take your gear and not give it back. It is a learned touch to bounce your bait along the rocks, dodging snags and differentiating between a rock and a bite. for me though, just being outside makes for a satisfying day. Tying into one of those silver torpedoes doesn’t hurt though!
I use a 9 foot rod with 20lb main line to which I attach a 10lb leader. For this leader, I use a fluorocarbon line. This line has very low visibility and it is very hard for the fish to detect. Most major manufacturers offer this now. For a sinker, I like to use some kind of drop sinker set up with a slinky or pencil style, as they tend to avoid getting caught up as much. The less time you spend messing around with your gear equals more time with your gear in the water where the fish are. Baits and lures vary depending on who is catching what, but yarn balls appear to be the bait of choice at the moment. These fish have an excellent sense of smell, so keep that in mind while handling your bait.
As always, be careful in the fast moving water and have fun!