Late Autumn is here with an exclamation point! The mornings are at or below freezing, it “warms” up to the 40’s and 50’s in the afternoon and the wind blows steady. Sounds like steelhead weather to me! (More on that in a future post!) Why would you fish to the MO in mid-November? It’s not because of the awesome weather -it’s because of the awesome fishing and solitude. With the Missouri being a tailwater fishery (below a dam), the water temps are buffered from big swings -both daily and seasonally. When other rivers in Montana succumb to frigid temperatures (30’s) and the trout in those waters slow down and go into their more mellow winter mode, the Missouri it still going strong with water temps in the upper 40’s and low 50’s. As a result, the poikilothermic bugs and trout have a grand time in November. We will have heavy hatches of Baetis and Midges everyday and the trout will move to eat them. They will also chase streamers for that big bite of calories. While trout on the Blackfoot are chillin, the MO trout are chuggin. All the homeothermic angler needs to do is stay warm and they will be rewarded with a scrappy trout on the end of their leader!
Another advantage to getting out on the MO this month is the solitude that it can provide. With every hunting season open and football in full swing, hockey, basketball, schools in session and couch potatoes are doing their thing – that leaves the rivers like the Missouri to us more dedicated anglers. (Yes, some people call us stupid or crazy, but that’s okay. A 20″ trout on BWO or a Bugger makes up for any dent in my self esteem by name callers!)