|the big October brown I was looking for|
In the middle of hunting season, its hard to take days that could spent in the woods and head to the water. I've missed the bulk of fall's fabulous fishing for too many years. I swore this year would be different, but so far I was wrong. I had two November days penciled in on the calendar for fishing, and those were at the request of a friend to float some out-of-state family members of theirs down the Missouri for a weekend. I really enjoy taking folks, especially now that I have a highly functional river boat, but that still wasn't going to be my time for pursuing the lunkers of fall. Although we did catch a few good ones those two days.
But, the need to travel for work came to my rescue. Turns out I'd be crossing over one of my absolute favorite rivers for browns as I headed to a few job sites. It's a somewhat obscure river in terms of Montana fame, although by no means unknown, but I still hesitate to mention its name. I set out for my field work early in the day, preserving the afternoon hours for the water. After all, this was very likely going to be my only day in all of October to fish, and October was nearly gone. I arrived with a couple hours of daylight remaining. I started probing the depths of a large hole that's treated me well in the past with an 1/8th-ounce jig . Pretty quickly I landed a nice brown. Last time I'd fished this river in the heat of summer it had taken me a lot of hard work to locate a fish as nice as this first one. But as time wore on, I wasn't finding them as quickly as I'd hoped. I figured pre-spawners would be stacked in this hole, with good spawning riffles both above and below. It seemed a slow-rolled jig bounced in front of their noses would be the ticket. But as I reflected back on all my casts so far, it seemed that the follows, swipes, and hookups I was getting were on the retrieve, not the "jigging." I swapped out for a sinking plug and went to