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Trouts Journal

Colorado Snowpack Update - 1/12/23 Edition

Tucker Ladd / Jan 12, 2023

From the desk of Trouts' Tucker Ladd

Across the West, the early months of winter have proven to be fruitful with large bounties of snow falling across the Rockies, and Colorado is certainly no exception. Consistent storm cycles from November through early January have provided the Colorado high country with a solid snowpack that is always a welcome sight at this point in our winter season. As you can see from the following snowpack map, our statewide snowpack is well above average, with only 2 river basins coming in below 100%.

This is very reminiscent of 2022 in regards to snowpack levels, but it is noteworthy that the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) of our snowpack is well above average compared to previous years.

As the Vail Daily noted earlier in January, “Diane Johnson, a spokesperson for the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, said Vail Mountain’s Jan. 4 snowpack, measured in snow water equivalent, sits at 10 inches. The last time the snowpack was that deep on Jan. 4 was in 2011. Numbers in the decade-plus since then generally ranged from less than 5 to 8 inches”.

This is particularly notable as the depth of our snowpack is certainly important, but the amount of water held within the snow translates to more water in our state's rivers, which clearly benefits us all.

But, it is important to note that while we are certainly doing well in regards to snowfall and our current SWE, there is still plenty of winter to come, and not all of that time will be snow-filled. National weather forecasts are predicting a drier January, with lesser snowfall totals than we have seen in the previous couple of months.

While this is not the ideal forecast for those looking to enjoy epic powder days, it isn’t the worst news for those looking to break their fly rods out of the closet for a bit of winter fly fishing. As usual, you can count on Trouts to keep you up-to-date on all the most current and relevant fly fishing information and reports to ensure you get the most out of your time on the water.

With winter in full swing I’ll be sure to keep my Snowpack Updates coming as conditions and weather dictate, but always feel free to reach out if you have any questions about what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

On a side note, I did want to take a moment to thank all of our faithful customers, friends, and followers for helping make 2022 into such a memorable year, and I can not thank you enough for your continued patronage and support. And with 2022 now in the rearview mirror, all of us at Trouts are excited about the coming year and all that it will have to offer. As always, our home is your home, or hopefully, we’ll see you on the water.

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