Weekend Warrior: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Remember that warmup a few weeks back? That ain’t it. It’s cold and rainy and dropping snow in the hills around Missoula. With temps hitting the upper 30s at night, and the browns about to spawn, the streamer game has been the go-to this week. But will that hold for the weekend? It just might, but a little relief from the chilly rain is also predicted, and temps are supposed to hit that wonderful 70 degree mark by Sunday before another wet weather pattern slides in next week. What does that mean for your fishing? Well, it’s a crapshoot kind of weekend. Rivers have been bumping from the rain all week, and streamers cast high and tight to that structure is always a great play in times like these. Stout tippet, short leader and good knots are necessary, and always bring a few more than you’re willing to lose when you’re going for those risky casts. When flows are high look for fish where the water isn’t pushing quite so much, and be changing the retrieve constantly until you find some takers. Dead drift! For whatever reason, jigged and dead drifted streamers seem to stir up fish when the rivers are up.

Time for your favorite streamer to shine. You could hook into your best fish of the season this weekend.

Dry fly opportunities might present themselves a little more readily this weekend, if the clouds hold and the temps rise a bit. Look for mahoganies and BWOs in the afternoons, and don’t be afraid to throw on a bigger parachute-style fly and search out some willing takers if you’re feeling it. Nymphing is always a great option to find fish when the rivers are up, and if you’re still happy to watch a bobber you’ll find them on whatever setup you’ve been going to all season. Add an egg pattern to a bugger and you might be surprised, as fish begin to see that protein source more often. In all, this weekend could be a great one to get out and get some fishing in between storms. I wouldn’t go anywhere without a streamer rig, but fall fishing is all about getting out for those last casts and enjoying the time you’ve got, so do it your way!

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