Being outside in the middle of January without gloves on is a bonus, floating the Missouri River holding a fly rod in a gloveless hand almost feels like cheating. In a way, it probably is; but it’s hard to pass up a few nice days on the river. Especially with last year’s epically long and brisk winter season.
This year, Mother Nature has provided us a different weather pattern that’s afforded ample opportunity to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. This past week’s weather has been especially conducive to fishing making it nearly impossible to forgo some quality time on our home water, the Missouri. Being a tail water, the Mo is fishable year round and with the exception of some shelf ice the majority of the river stays open, even on the coldest of years. It can be a great place to wet a line during the off-season and often has a completely different vibe compared to the summer time.
Over two days we floated in both the canyon and Craig sections, these areas both fished quite well and offered up some quality fish. With the chilly water temps, fish are hanging in less than exciting water. And staring at the bobber of a deep nymph rig can only entertain the mind for so long, so we made the days short and sweet. Quick floats in the middle of the day, the shared camaraderie with other wintertime anglers, and some warm soup on the water are what bring it all together. A few fish to hand are the cherry on top and the saying we hear often in the boat from our guests, “sure beats a day in the office” comes to mind. As guides, we are fortunate enough to call this beautiful place our office. However, this time of year we are just anglers out there enjoying troutopia like the rest.
Nonetheless, it is nice to put the first bend in the rod for 2019 and get some bonus river time logged before the season starts. It might only be January, but spring special trips will be happening daily before we know it.