Trout Spey Fishing Report for Late-October
We are in full “swing” on the Missouri River, and it’s easy to spot anglers exploring the Missouri River with their Trout Spey rods. Recent warm weather has hurt the fishing for both the single and two-handed crowd. “Inconsistent” would be the best word to describe our current fishing conditions, though many anglers would describe the weather as “fabulous”. Fishing reports vary between poor and very good, but not much great. Bottom line… we need some nasty weather expedite our transition to more autumn-like fishing conditions.
TEMPERATIURE AND FLOWS
Water temps are cooling but still on the warm side – low to mid 50’s – and the river is flowing at 4000cfs, which is higher than many will be accustomed to in late-October. The weeds are finally beginning to break up in large chunks, and spey fisherman will find certain banks are difficult to swing. Focusing your efforts on upwind and inside banks usually solves the weed issue.
WHERE TO FIND THEM
Our trout are scattered right now, and you’ll find fish in every kind of water imaginable. This is not a good thing, and makes identifying productive water difficult. In general, the faster the better, but I have found fish grouped up in certain slow drop-offs. Fishing the very fastest, deepest water is your best bet if you like to throw big flies like Stinger Sculpin’s, Lil’ Kim’s, or Intruder style flies. Broken shallow riffles are the best place to concentrate smaller soft-hackle presentations.
You can choose just about any section to float or wade fish, and you should have success. If you’re looking to toss big flashy stuff, I’d head towards Holter Dam, or fish/float through the Canyon. If smaller soft hackles are more your style, areas between Wolf Creek and the Dearborn should be on your mind. Pelican to Cascade has some great water, but it’s a long float to tackle. The days are getting shorter and stopping to swing the huge areas on the lower river burns up hours quickly.
HOW DEEP? WHAT LINE?
Because the fish are dispersed through the entire river, it’s difficult to promote any one rig. A Scandi head/line with an intermediate leader will cover many situations, especially if you’re throwing smaller soft-hackles or leeches. Bottom weed growth is still pretty thick – even in faster riffles – and a Scandi/intermediate setup keeps your fly above the forest.
For those heavy, faster and cleaner spots, I would suggest a Skagit head with at least a type III tip (RIO iMOW 5×5, SA Sonar S2 | S4), if not just going to a full type 6 or more T8 tip. If you find a spot where you can fish 10’ of T8, a big streamer and not hang the bottom or get weeded, you’re likely in a good big fish spot.