It lies there on your calendar, like a dare you don't want to take. November is a clear demarcation in the year. Spring was refreshing, Summer glorious, and even September and October had their share of pleasantness, but November throws down the gauntlet- from here on out, if you're going to fish, you're going to suffer. November can be your Rubicon, or your Waterloo.
Don't let those die-hard jerks fool you. Sure there's lots of space age materials and clothing available these days. Sure the equipment and waders, thermals, fleece and polymers are so much better today. But let's face the facts- the cold season has begun, and here in Trout Country, the weather will typically be gloomy, rainy, cold, or snowy. You may get some 50 degree days, but I wouldn't count on it, and before the month is over we'll have a skift of snow, if not a foot already. At some point if you're out there, you'll have to expose some skin to cold air and icy water. At some point, if you're going to fish in November, you'll have rain runneling off you or wet snow piling up on your shoulders.
So what are you going to do- fish, or hibernate?
Here's your opportunities in November. There's steelhead, steelhead, and St. Steelhead. Sure, go fish for browns if you like. Yeah, I know, there's chrome coho's to be had late. Or better still, kype jawed, red-flanked male coho, pissed off that you had the gall to swing a chartruese and white fly past their face. But you're back to talking moldy fish here essentially. If you catch a silver fish, I say keep it- it will be bright orange inside, and smoke up nicely, and the DNR will plant more. But if what you want is a big angry silver-plated, whale-tailed fighting machine, then swing something to Madame Chrome, because November is the month of fall steel, and aside from the more famous Great Lakes tributaries, you're likely to have the river to yourself.
So here we are, at the brink of the cold season. As Julius Caesar put it "alea iacta est (the die has been cast)". It's time to wade in.