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Spring 2011 Runoff Update | May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011
Author: Trouts Staff

This Spring is continuing to be as unpredictable as anything we have seen in decades.  With rain and snow falling in the high country all week, and cooler temperatures throughout most of the state, our Spring 2011 runoff hasn't even begun.  This is particularly alarming when you see the snowpack totals for much of the state.  We're talking anywhere from 150% to 200% + of our historical snow pack averages in Colorado mountain ranges.  And with May nearly over, we're running out of time to get rid of this massive amount of snow.  The ten day forecast for most of Colorado is going to be a bit warmer then we've seen the past week, but there is still a continued possibility of rain in the mountain valleys, and snow at higher elevations.

We've been fielding a lot of calls and questions in the shop about when runoff will begin and end.  Unfortunately our crystal ball is in for repairs, but our gut instinct is telling us this: first, we need warmer weather for runoff to even begin.  And second, that once it does, we all need to keep our fingers crossed that we don't see excessively warm weather in the higher elevations.  Our ideal scenario at this time is for our mountain temperatures to gradually increase during the day, with below freezing and/or near freezing temperatures at night.  This will allow the snow to melt during the day, but will keep the pace of our runoff in check.

Regardless of the kind of weather we see in the coming weeks, it is highly likely that we will see an abundant amount of snow through much of the summer at elevations of 10,000 ft. or more.  While this doesn't necessarily bode well for those looking to fish high mountain lakes and streams, it will provide us with a nice supply of high mountain water through the mid to late summer months.  So while our late spring/early summer fishing will be less than ideal, our late summer and early fall fishing should be epic.  So in the mean time, get out and fish while the fishing is good.  If you can't make it to your local fishing hole in the near future, hold off in anticipation of an amazing late summer fishing season.  We'll post another update as conditions change.


Posted in Essays |   1 Comments


#1. Posted by Tom Brown on May 25, 2011

I fished the Arkansas a week ago Monday‚Ķthe run off had started there. Even encountered several dozen rafts. It’s not at it’s peak by any means, but the water was cloudy and I had to fish the edges due to the swift currents.

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