November Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

November Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

November Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

We are looking forward to the month ahead. November is great fishing. Some of the best parts of the month include the lack of anglers around. Another highlight is the fish that like to rise. Yet another is the opportunity to have the river to yourselves. Another, the quiet-ness. And if you like to boat fish, you amy be the only one on your reach.

November Hatches

Monday Missouri River BWO ImageBlue Winged Olives may last through the Thanksgiving holiday. We sure hope so. What is nice about this month ahead is the lack of angler participation. Yo can find a flat that has your name on it. If the month is warm you will find quite a few anglers out there. Your favorite dry fly flats will be fished if the air temps are similar to this previous year.

If you remember the fall of 2016 you will remember that it was warm until Turkey Day. Lots of anglers around. The fishing was pretty good. The swinging was the theme for ’16 and we believe it will be the same in ’17.

Hope for the BWO to hatch in number as to get those finicky trout looking toward the surface. Also hope for a moderate change format this fall so we can extend the good fishing period. If it gets really cold really fast, then all bets are off.

That tiny two winged short and fat and grayish black bug is out there too. Some tiny midge looking things too. We like to toss the cripple of the BWO. We also like the emerger. Some like the big Adams, meaning me. Some like the giant cripple that looks like the Callibaetis. Some like a baby Chubby with a tiny PT off the end.

Whatever you may want or need or if you have any questions about the current hatch cycle and when they are coming off or if they are even coming off you oughtta stop in the shop or give us a call as we are open longer than the rest, here daily, and full of all kinds of information, enough to make both of us blue in the face. Yup.

Missouri River Flows and Water Temps

The water flows are quite stable in November. Mid 3K range is the norm. Check out the graph and you will see that not too many fluctuations occur. We do prefer that the water flows run closer to the historical average in the 4.2K range. Will they move that direction? Recent history states that it will not. The model has changed. No longer does the chart below reflect our current history. It reflects the previous 70+ years. It has changed, the model. And, just like fishing reports, the water chart shows you what has happened, not what is gonna happen. Truth.

The water temps are in the high 40’s and will stay in the 40’s all month long. We like them to be for certain. We do not want them to fall too quickly. And they won’t. Maybe.

Missouri River Guide Trips

Trout Spey comes to the forefront this month and the months ahead. You will find on any given day more anglers tossing the two handed than a single handed rod. Why? Because the water levels and the fish are ready for the swinging action that the Trout Spey rod provides.

We have several Trout Spey Specialists including John Arnold and Whitney Gould along with Dewey Sutphin and Mark Raisler. All will be happy to show you what the Missouri River has to offer. A perfect swinging river with wide open runs full of trout ready to eat your swung fly. Headhunters is your education fly shop here in central Montana. Free Trout Spey Clinics coming up in December along with private casting lessons by both Whitney Gould and John Arnold. We never stop learning here @ HH.

Nymphers Unite during November. Good to great. Some of the best afternoon sessions of the year. You like to have the rod bento over? November is one of those months. Some like to watch the bobber in the morning hours and switch to the dry fly in the afternoon. A perfect plan.

Or swing in the am, toss a fly at specific trout in the afternoon. What else could you want to do? Call us up for available guides and available days. Pretty loose here in November. A good time to be on the river!

November Missouri River Weather

November Missouri River Fly Fishing ForecastColder this month than last. Duh. But may not be all that cold. Average air temps in the month of November is 33.4F. Average lows in the low 20’s and the average highs in the mid 40’s. Not too bad. The fish like it too. Overcast skies are what we are hoping and praying for this month.

What is good about that is that the trout like to rise when the clouds are obscuring the sun. They do not have eyelids and cannot squint. Therefore the overcast skies are favorable.

Streamer fish like it too. They lay in the thinner less watered flats and are available for action.

About 8 inches of snowfall in the month of November. We may have that entire total this week ahead. Looking for about 12 inches from this slow moving storm that is bearing down on us currently.

Restaurants, Bars, and Lodging

Quiet streets in the neighborhood. Shotgun Annie’ in Wolf Creek open for meals Wednesday thru Sunday. Last meal at 745pm. Bar open all 7 days. Joe’s Bar in Craig open daily 8am til 2am. Pizza and dogs daily. Two bars open for business in Cascade. The Driftwood and the Angus. Both feeding you til about 9pm. Call down there first to make sure you can get a bite. Izaak’s of Craig and the Taco Cart closed for the season. The Trout Shop has been open for dinner nightly since the closure of Izaak’s Call them up to see if they are continuing. The Oasis of WC is closed for the season.

You can get a bite if you search a bit. A drink for sure. Call HH for any info we may have in regards to food.

Craig Trout Camp open every night of the year. Your favorite Craig Lodging sites Rainbow and Brown Cabins including the Craig House for larger parties or all of them in conjunction with each other for your entire family including friends is available. Lots of other options for th time being too. Some of our properties will be closing for the winter months. Call up our crack staff to get up to date on your nightly lodging options.

Headhunters Fly Shop Hours

We will be open daily 8am til 6pm. Our normal winter hours. We are open everyday but Christmas. If the weather is too frightening we do occasionally close for safety reasons. When the mercury drops below zero, we are closed . But do not hesitate to give us a call for the wind and temperature along with shelf ice when that occurs…we are your information source here on Montana’s Missouri River. 

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  • Mark:

    I saw you on the new Fly Fisher. You made an interesting comment, “We do not fish egg flys on the MO”. I found this to be very interesting given your Rainbow trout population and there penchant to egg eggs. Also. I am sure you have some rainbow strains that spawn in the fall due to old hatchery strains that were developed to do so but now comprise wild self sustaining populations so egg patterns would be a wise fly choice in the fall, winter and spring. So please explain your statement.


    • We don’t fish eggs as a philosophy James. Fishing eggs to me means fishing them over redds. And we don’t kick pregnant women in the stomach. Therefore we don’t fish egg patterns over spawning trout.

      Yes there are fall spawning rainbows here.

      Thanks James, hope this helps.