Happy November everyone. It looks like our streak of warm weather is going to continue for at least the foreseeable future. These warmer fall days may not be the classic fall weather, but it’s still pretty nice to enjoy Montana at its fullest without a full on winter blizzard. This warmer stretch has extended our fall fishing season beyond what we normally see, and things have been pretty good lately.
The Yellowstone River has been fishing about as it has over the past few weeks. The streamer bite has been reasonably solid, especially on cloudy days. On this brighter days fish a brighter fly, and keep changing colors, profiles and sizes until you find what they’re after. Nymphing has been productive as well, and if you’re after numbers of fish that’s the tactic to go for.
The dry fly fishing has been scattered at best. You might find some Baetis on the spring creeks and here and there on the Yellowstone, but there hasn’t been a consistent hatch for a while. Now that we’re into November, it’s time to put the dry fly rods away for a bit until winter midges hit in a few months.
The rest of the state is also shifting more into a late fall pattern. All of our local rivers have been at near record low flows for pretty much the entire year, and right now is no exception. This has concentrated fish making them easier to find but also more susceptible to fishing pressure. As the large crowds have thinned this has given fish a bit more breathing room and a chance to recover.
The Upper and Lower Madison are fishing well right now and can offer up some large fish in a classic Montana fall setting. The Gallatin has shifted more toward its winter pattern with the canyon fishing well, especially on smaller, flashy nymphs. The Missouri is about your best bet for dry fly action, and swinging streamers is always a good time in the late fall up there. The Boulder and Stillwater are both fishing well too.
The Yellowstone National Park fishing season closes today, November 7th. It’s been a good year down there, and we are already looking forward to the next! Fingers crossed for a healthier snowpack and better water conditions in 2022.
There are a lot of options this time of year for the adventurous angler. Be ready for any kind of weather, pack your bear spray and enjoy the solitude. Late fall fishing is a treat. Get out and enjoy the blue skies and solitude! Come down to the shop for the latest info and all the gear you need to stay warm and dry this fall.