November Missouri River Fishing Forecast
October has slipped away from us here in central Montana and left us with November. Commonly called Movember here in the canyon we welcome the change.
Why? Well the last month was not all that stellar. Front end was strong, middle not so good, while the tail end showed signs of improvement.
October was decent, but not the all-star month we always envision with daily dry fly action, unreal streamer fishing, off the charts nymphing. Moments of brilliance, but the entirety of the month did not stand up to our lofty expectations.
As we look ahead we are deeply entrenched in the Trout Spey game. It becomes our focus for the next several months. While we are still tossing the single hander nymphing, streamer pulling, and Headhunting daily too.
November Missouri River Weather
Our average high temperature for the month is 43F. Yes, a cool 43. The average low in the month is 23F. You certainly need gloves along with all of your cold weather gear to get through most days in November. Hand warmers are important too!
If you are spey casting you will be standing in the water. Commonly the water temps are warmer than the air temps! Wool socks, insulated pants, boot-foot waders are all part of the November equation. I love fingerless wool gloves! HH has a full array of winter type fishing gloves, and clothes to keep you warm out there. Don’t forget about the Elmer Fudd SIMMS hat. It really is the gold standard for winter hat warmth!
The wind may blow as well. We commonly get SW winds at 10+ mph. One day a week we endure wind out of the north, straight upriver. The 7th day of the week we have calm conditions. Plan your day around the calm conditions day!
Rain? 0.59″ is our average precipitation in November. A bit less in December. Some of that comes from the sky in the form of snow.
November Missouri River Hatches
BWO’s are about the only thing that will get us excited. You may have a decent midge hatch as well. Also look for the hold over sz 16 caddis. You may entertain yourself with an October Caddis if you wish. But don’t hold your breath on that front.
The best bet is the BWO. But, most may have hatched already. Only the insect gods really know what will happen. We are hoping for more action so we can fish more dries, and swing a few up on the Trout Spey rod.
There is a streamer hatch!
Also Sow Bugs are out there hatching and growing and such. So you can catch the hatch subsurface.
Nymphers in November
Rainbow Czech nymph, a sow bug, and a Zebra, or a small BWO nymph. A GRHE up top is how I have been rolling. Good times with this classic pattern. For those of you who are not 50+ out there, Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear is the conversion on that one. The jigged classics like the HE and the PT are a good option for your non leaded rigs. It gets there eliminating the need for that additional hinge point.
The entire river is fishing well. The water level is rising today to 4300cfs. A good thing for winter fishing. The higher water levels are better man.
Most of the weed has gone downstream. I still hear complaints about the weeds here on the Mo. Mostly from those who have not fished here for um-teen years. Truth: There are weeds here on the Mo. It is where all of our bugs live. It is a fact. A reality that you will come to love the more time you spend here. Weeds the past couple weeks have been a dream. Not too many out there. Bodes well for winter fishing, swinging, enjoyment of the river.
November is the last month were you get to through real insects at our trout. Then we morph into 5 months of PINK. Yuck. Get out here before your pattern options are limited to a specific color. We like PINK, but not yet!
November Streamer Lovers Unite!
Smaller streamers have been getting love from our trout. Leeches, medium sized soft hackles, classic wets. That is the most common and reliable streamers for this month. You can through the bigger stuff if you like, but you should save your sore arm for the spring. Then toss the big junk.
HH has the best swinging, two handed, trout spey, and deep dredger patterns for your November stripping solutions. Come by and check it out.
Dry lines, intermediate tips are the way to go with the weeds in the river. Yes, they are still there, but not too many drifting away. The elodea weed is a constant. So we lie to keep the streamers above the weeds. The number of options with tips, lines, and leaders in the current marketplace is wonderful. If you have not replaced your streamer line in several years, you are in for a surprise. Lots of lines out there to suit your every need. Buy what you don’t need on some sort of discounter site because it is on sale. Lots of dudes go that route. See them in the boat all the time. The wrong line for nearly any situation, but they did save 20 bucks on it. Spend the time to learn about what is right for you , support your local fly shop, and get the right product. Try to return that no good for nothin’ line at your on-line discounter!!! At Headhunters of Craig we guarantee your purchase. If you don’t like it, think you may need something different, we will make it right! Yes we have an unconditional fly line guarantee. We do not want you to fish with the wrong fly line. Come back in and we will change it, refund you, we will make it right.
Customer service is KING here in Craig. It is what differentiates HH from the rest! We are interested in helping your catch fish. That is the primary goal of a fly shop. If it is not what drives your shop, maybe it is time for a change?
Pretty good this past week. Hopefully that carries through the month. Historically November is a good month for the dry fly angler.
One word. Cripples. Use the cripple. Find one you can see and fish it.
Trout Spey Missouri River
Lots happening here on the Missouri River. Tons of spey anglers out there hooking up. We are Montana’s HQ for all things spey. Demo lines (100’s), demo rods (dozens), more retail options that the rest of Montana combined. Honest.
The Headhunters staff is privy to all things trout spey. Line recommendations for many rod you may have. We are out there fishing daily with the spey rod. Again, one of the things that differentiates HH from the rest is the “on the water time” with the products we sell. We have tried them all, fished them all, and understand them all.
Leeches, small soft hackles, small streamers are all good options for your spey love. Scandi lines are what most are throwing. We will get into the Skagit systems later in the season. The fish are in the upper end of the water column in faster water. Focus on that kind of water first and then move into the deeper buckets if it does not produce.
All of the new fly lines are in stock here at HH. The new 2018 RIO InTouch Trout Spey lines, the new smooth OPST integrated lines, and the entire catalog of Scientific Anglers lines too. We have the Wulff Lines as well. Don’t forget about the Airflo Trout Spey lines. We have them all folks. Call us today and let us help you find Spey Greatness this Fall!
Along with the discounted Spey Trips we offer Spey Casting Lessons too. Want to come update and improve your cast? Call today and schedule a Casting Lesson with us.
Guide Trips/Lodging in November
We are open for business. Guides available daily. Most of the HH guides live in the canyon full time so they are ready to work! $550/day for the dry fly, nymph, or streamer trips.
$400/day for the Trout Spey Guide Trips. Our Spey Especial runs through the end of the year.
Lots of Lodging available. Right here in Craig we have the Craig Trout Camp with several options for you.
Headhunters Fly Shop November
Open daily from 8-6. A nice time of the year with good to great fishing.
Happy November. Hope you enjoyed this comprehensive November update. When the others close, we roll on! Call us today.