With the start of Spring a little more than a month away, it’s time to start monitoring where our Mountain Snowpack is in relation to previous winters. For anyone new to Colorado or the West, our Winter Snowpack correlates directly into what our river levels will be through the Spring and Summer months. While there are other factors that will influence river flows through the season (rain, rate of snowmelt, etc.), our winter snowpack is the foundation to which we can forecast the coming season. While this practice is more forecasting than science, history has shown that much can be interpreted from our snowpack in the latter months of winter.
I'm pleased to report at this time that our mountain snowpack is in great condition, particularly if we compare current levels to where we were at this time last year. As you can see from the following graphic, our states current snowpack is 108% of the historical average.
Compare this year's snowpack with where we were at last year, and you can see why there is reason to be optimistic as we move into Spring. As you can see from the next map, on February 20th of last year we were at a mere 73% of average with every river basis well below our current levels. While I am never one to hold onto the past, it is worth noting that our fears of 2 years of consecutive drought may not come to fruition.
With all that said, we are by no means “out of the woods”, and there are still 3 months where we need to see productive snowfall to ensure we don’t end up in another below average year. The good news here is that March, April, and May tend to be three of our snowiest months of the year, so while we are by no means celebrating, there is reason to be optimistic.
In the interim, we’ve got snow forecasted for the Colorado Mountain through the holiday weekend, which will only add on to our current snow levels. And for those of you looking to avoid the crowded ski slopes this weekend, fishing across the state has been nothing short of stellar. Tailwaters and freestones alike are fishing fantastic for this time of year, and a day on the water should certainly be a part of your holiday plans.
Be on the lookout for my next Snowpack Update in the coming weeks, but always feel free to call either of our store locations with any questions you may have about current fishing conditions.
Owner, Trouts Fly Fishing.