The roads and highways are lonesome, allowing you to absorb the big sky, mountains, and valleys. You can often see the same mountain for over an hour, even doing 75. Quickly jump from river to river with Montana’s liberal speed limits. Most of the huge fifth-wheels with cars and boats in tow, Yellowstone visitors, and summertime travelers are gone.
The rivers are tranquil. The splash and giggle crowd on their rafts and inner tubes are back indoors. Parking lots are empty, or nearly so. Sunrise is at 8:00, and it’s still freezing outside. Fog shrouds most river valleys for a time. No rush. The hatch starts early afternoon, but for a few tiny midges. No sunrise tricos or early morning pmds. There’s still an evening bite, but its little blue wing olives, not swarms of caddis and mosquitoes.
A good cast gets taken. Flies are smaller, leaders are long and fine, and it’s a stalking game in the low clear waters. The fish are willing though. They still eat larger flies and ants. Cloudy days are epic, with heavy hatches and the buffet line open.
Those without dams are out of snow melt, exposing most of the stream bed that was scoured out during runoff. Where you once floated too fast and deep to anchor, you know are walking on dry river rock, or wading just over your ankles. You see the places you hooked nice trout in July, but now those runs are dry. Such is fall in Montana. Winter snow starts the cycle again. The forecast says a lot of it starting in about 24 hours, with temperatures in the teens. I think I’ll go home now.
|It Sure Did! Made it Back Just Before it Hit!|