This past weekend I was quail hunting in Missouri with my Dad when I noticed something as I was walking through a thick native grass field near Truman Lake. Grasshoppers were springing off the grass at my feet with every step. Big and small these terrestrials were
everywhere even in early November. The cold hadn’t gotten to them yet and I could picture the trout rising to a juicy hopper in my head.
It’s important to remember there are no set time frames on fly fishing, and the fish certainly don’t have calendars themselves. Sometimes I think we get caught up in when things should happen and where they should happen at. Which for the most part is usually pretty accurate. But every now and then you have fish based on what's going on right in front of you, not tradition or what you deem should be working.
In the Midwest hoppers can work well until late November and sometimes even beyond. But an eager and hungry trout will rise to large terrestrials at anytime of the year if you’re willing to try it. Deep into winter can produce some surprisingly thick midge hatches during periods of higher temperature. Using small Griffith’s Gnats (sizes 22-18), Parachute Adams, or Humpies can produce more fish than you may think on crisp winter days.