Smoke has been billowing out of our chimney the past two mornings, as the first dose of cold weather is upon us. Ten degrees yesterday morning and twelve degrees right now at 7:15 am. A mound of fire wood (we need more) is sitting out the front door waiting to be split and stacked…..for now it can wait. Is winter really that close? No, but it’s looming over us. Cold spells like this are customary throughout the next two months and fly fishing for trout is now a gentleman’s game. No need to rise up at the crack-ass of dawn (unless you want to swing flies in YNP) and head to the river. For those seeking the dry fly opportunities; you might as well make another pot of coffee, tie a few more flies, walk the dogs, check the email, check the weather again and then make the drive to the river. Sit, watch and wait for a rise. Approach like a sniper and make the first cast count. There have been some BWO hatching on the Madison in YNP, the Madison in Montana and of course the Firehole River. When trout eat the BWO, you will often find them munching the emerging nymph just under the surface. While it looks as if they are eating the duns, they are not. If you sit and watch, you may notice the dorsal fin and tail pushing out of the river and not the head of the trout……this type of rise form is what happens when they are eating nymphs just under the surface. Don’t get frustrated, get even. Grease up a Pheasant tail (without a bead) and sight fish. Sight fishing is technical stuff, but it will teach you boat loads about trout behavior – try it.
In just a few minutes, I will be headed down the road to the Missouri River for a string of guide trips. The Missouri has been fishing quite well river wide with the recent cold spell. The past two afternoons have found BWOs hatching in the upper reaches of the river with fish up and willing. Tomorrow’s forecast is for bright sun and then some big puffy clouds for the next few days, high temps in the 50’s ad 60s…..beautiful weather.