Late January Fishing Update

Fly fishing Montana in Winter.

As I write this short fishing report, snow is falling outside and the feeling of winter is definitely still here. However, this past week some tolerable weather was enticing enough for my semi-hearty soul to make a trek out to the Missouri, paying a visit to several trout I haven’t seen since October. Even though surrendering to the overwhelming call of a warm couch and binging another season of Stranger Things on Netflix is tempting, the feeling of a bent rod seemingly made sense in the face of cabin fever.

The good news is those trout I haven’t seen since fall are still thriving and seem pretty happy. They are still facing upstream, eating properly presented flies, and put on a show after the hook set. Overall the fishing has been exceedingly good and at times it feels just as fantastic as our spring fishing. A few slower spells on the water remind me it’s still January, but just being on a river this time of year and enjoying some solitude is worth the trip.

Aside from having the entire river to myself, I’ve really been enjoying some wade fishing while swinging flies with the two-hander. There is just something about the rhythm of spey casting and holding on to a tight line while waiting for the grab that keeps me wanting more.  And since I’ve added a few new lines to my trout spey arsenal it’s been a blast testing them out on a few of my favorite winter runs. Luckily, the fish have been willing to take a swung fly and when the conditions align they are very active on a slowly fished streamer.

All the while, things are shaping up for a good season. We have snow building in the mountains and lots of hungry trout waiting for the first big hatches of the year. It has been enjoyable getting out and checking in on our local water, but frozen toes and cold hands have me longing for Chaco tan lines and wide brim hats. I can’t wait for the warmer part of the season to kick off.