I was on the fence about fishing Saturday. With a high temperature forecast to be right around freezing and bright sunny skies, it did not exactly stand out as a “must fish” type of day. I really didn’t have any other plans, so when the phone rang 8 a.m. Saturday morning, Patrick and I decided to brave the temps and head out.
We ended up driving to a tailwater system not too far away (by Montana standards) in hopes of dodging the slush that had formed on the rivers overnight. The drive was beautiful, and the traffic was light. Finally reaching our end destination we were greeted with warmer than expected air and zero wind.
We rigged up without seeing any other anglers, and decided to hike in a ways to get warmed up a bit. Fishing was ok. Not great, but definitely better than sleeping in and moping around the house all day. I swung a few runs working on my snap-T spey cast and experimented with some different weight tip combos. Eventually we both ended up switching over to the nymph sticks, having some success on small firebead scuds and natural baetis nymph imitations. It was a lot of fun to explore some new water and catch up with a good friend.
This was also the first sub-freezing trek out with my (relatively) new neoprene fishing gloves. I have tried just about every glove out there and they all have their pros and cons. For swinging flies with a spey rod, these are my go to gloves. I can tie knots comfortably down to about 0x tippet sizes, and they provide just enough dexterity to make my cast. It seems inevitable that your hands are going to get cold when it comes to winter fishing. These gloves kept my hands from getting cold the longest out of all other gloves.
Overall it was nice to get out. Great scenery, no crowds, and a few fish to hand. November has notoriously been a tough fishing month for me, but traditionally as the fish find their normal deeper slow winter runs my days become easier. Really looking forward to midge dries in Febuary!!