As we approach the end of February it marks that time of year when I start analyzing our statewide snowpack to better understand and predict what the upcoming seasons of fishing should have instore. For those reading this post who are new to Colorado or the West, all of our Spring, Summer and Fall water comes from our winter snowpack, and any rainfall we receive in addition. This means that what happens from the first to the last snowfall during a year has huge implications for all residents, not just those who chase fish with a fly rod in hand.
As you can see from the graphic above, we are currently at a statewide snowpack of 112% of the historical average for the state of Colorado. This is a great number to be at for this time of year, as we have more than average but not so much that we need to be concerned about excessive water come runoff. Further analysis of the map shows that all state-wide river basins are in good shape leading into Spring, with some fairing better than others. This Winter’s jet stream has proven to be a boon for Northern Colorado, which has received numerous significant snow events throughout this Winter. And while the Southern portion of the state is lagging compared to the North, all basins are near or above the 100% mark.
But let’s remember one very important factor here, that being that it is currently February 21st, and there is still A LOT of winter left to come. Historically our snowiest months of the year are March, April and May, so this is something to keep an eye on as we head towards runoff, as too much snow will mean a delayed start to the season and hazardous river conditions. With that said, there is still time to see prolonged dry spells, which isn’t ideal for this time of year. So in short, let’s all keep doing our snow dances to help ensure our states trout have ample water to get them through the coming seasons.
And while this outlook is focused on our Summer fishing season, let’s not forget that the “Fifth Season” (March and April) is just around the corner, and we expect the fishing to be stellar. I’ll be offering more Snowpack Updates as the season continues on, so be sure the check back in to see how our Summer fishing season comes into shape.
Owner, Trouts Fly Fishing