Accessing the Tailwaters of the Grand River
These access points to the Upper Grand are presented with the distinct request to keep the waters clear from all debris.
Please feel free to remove any trash that you find whilst you are enjoying this pristine fishing destination.
You can also be aware of the Ontario Fishing regulations and Fishing License requirements.
The Grand is restocked annually by upwards of 20,000 brown trout. In addition there are the older wiser fish that overwinter in the river.
Fly fishing the tail water necessitates use of a single barbless hook, and all trout are to be released.
Here is the same expandable Google map of the Upper Grand so that you may orient your self with the access points outlined below. Ease of access is rated from 1 star to 3 stars. (3 stars is more difficult terrain).
Always check the river flows before you visit the Grand, as the flows are subject to variation according to the outlet from the Shand Dam. You can find river flow information on the Grand River Conservation Authority site.
Before a day’s fishing it is always a good idea to pop in to speak to Tania or Scott at the Grand River Outfitters; they will be willing to share with you the recommended fly of the day, and they are always on top of the daily conditions.
You should also check this hatch chart so that you will have a good idea of the usual hatches on the river.
If you live in the area, and you wish to be involved in conservation efforts, contact anyone at the Friends of the Grand. They do stellar work in maintaining the river and the access points.
Some tips if you are planning a day on the Grand:
It is worth noting that, in the early half of the season, as you travel upstream the waters are cooler the closer you get to the Shand dam. Because of this you are able to follow the insect hatches upstream from day to day. It can take a week for the Hendrickson hatch to migrate from Wilson’s Flats up to the Dam area.
Also, if the waters are murky in the lower reaches it may be because of the contributions from the Irvine River in Elora; the waters are sometimes surprisingly much clearer in the upper reaches on those days. You will be able to experience the prolific hatches that the grand has to offer.
Here is the list of access points.
You can click on any one to expand that section. (The* rates the difficulty of access).
Weisenberg Rd. (Iron Bridge). *
(Pictures are taken from the southerly approach).
Continue along Weisenberg Rd (Township Rd. 60) for about 2 km. It is a dirt road.
There may be a sign half way across the entrance to Weisenberg Rd. that warns that there is no exit, but this is just to warn that there is no road beyond the bridge
The road ends at the Iron Bridge.
There is Parking before the Bridge and there is now a barrier across the bridge to stop vehicular traffic.
View of the bridge from upstream.
View down stream, from off the bridge.
Wilson's Flats. *
(Approaching from the south on Wellington County Rd. 21).
Travel about 1/2 km down 8th Line W
The parking lot is under the bridge abutments.
This video shows a Black Caddis hatch at Wilson’s Flats.
Inverhaugh (Blondies) **
Musselman's Gate ***
Elora Gorge Conservation Area *
Racquet Club ***
You will be travelling North from Elora along Wellington County Rd 18.
About 2 km out of Elora you will pass The Quarry Conservation Area. Keep going until you see the Racquet Club sign on your right.
The parking lot is the NEXT turn on the right after the Racquet Club turn off.
The path from the parking lot is steep as you approach the river and can be very muddy after some rain. Be careful.
The Trestle **
The parking lot is easy to miss. Go under the Trestle on the Wellington County Rd 18 heading North, and watch out for a narrow opening on the right.
It is an acute turn, so make sure you give ample warning to any traffic behind you.
If you are still on the highway on a left hand bend, you have gone too far.
From the parking lot, take the trail and follow the right fork, through the bush.
The trail is well demarcated. You will go down a slow slope for about 1/2 Km. and eventually come to a stairwell that leads down to the river.
Watch out for the hogweed in this area.
Angel Run **
Please be aware that both Can Robert and Angel Run parking spots are in residential areas; so have respect for the neighborhoods.
Can Roberts **
Continue North along Wellington County Rd 18, and turn right at Can Robert St.
Go all the way to the end of the street.
Hydro Lines,Tombstone and Snakies *
Exit Fergus travelling North.
Wellington County Rd 18 becomes Andrews St. East. Go through the lights at Scotland St and continue along Andrews St East. You will then take the right fork to Lamond St.
Follow Lamond past the school and around a left curve.
Keep going until you reach the T junction and turn right onto Anderson St North
The parking lot is on the right.
From the parking lot you can take a direct path to the river or take a meandering path to the right.
You should go through a small rivulet then past some brush then onto a flat rock that you can carefully descend into the river. There is also a continuance of the trail to your right through some cedars.
You can access the river via a steepish path to your left or you can continue until the path takes you to a right elbow in the river.
There are some deep pools in these areas.
This is a shot taken in the morning at Snakies:
There are some large browns to be caught; here is a video taken by chance one afternoon whilst fishing at Snakies. (With apologies for the big thumb!).
This fish was caught,using a size 20 green midge pattern, then revived and released.
Streamer patterns work well in early mornings at the beginning of the season, then caddis in either tan or black can be productive. Towards the end of the season you will find that a switch to a size 18 or 20 midge with fine tippet 6x or 7x will be needed.
The Cedars *
The Cedars and the Culvert Run can also be accessed by wading upstream from the Hydro Wires.
An alternative and simpler access can be taken by driving across the river in Fergus then turning left onto Wellington Rd 18.
Fishing tight to the cedars with a dry, tan, deer hair caddis sized 14 or 16, or a blue winged olive in size 18 can be productive.
2nd Line Bridge *
Travelling further North along Wellington County Rd 18, you will see a the 2nd Line Road on the left, just as the main road curves to the right.
Turn Left on the 2nd Rd
There is limited parking on the right side of the 2nd Rd. The river is straight ahead and you will have to climb over a small step in the left road side rail, then down to the river.
Shand Dam at Belwood Conservation Area *
Always check on the Shand Dam discharge rate and be aware that the outlet from the dam can be dangerously high after a rainfall.
Also be aware that there is an entry fee for the Area and that the main gate closes at sunset.