Weekly Runoff Update & Forecast: First Weekend of Summer Edition
More Good News!
Welcome back to another installment of the Trouts 2017 Weekly Runoff Update & Forecast. There’s been some misinformation circulating this week, so I’m eager to set the record straight as it pertains to this year’s runoff. First and foremost, as I noted in last week's forecast, our 2017 runoff has peaked. Yes, Peaked. Meaning that for the most part we have seen the largest flows we are going to see this runoff season. We may see small upticks of flows in certain river drainages, but for the most part runoff is in the rear-view mirror and we can all start planning our post-runoff fishing adventures. I will be the first to say that this has been the most bizarre and unpredictable runoff season I have experienced in my 37 years in Colorado. Our snowpack and snow water equivalent (SWE) has fluctuated weekly over the past 3 months, and the most recent report is even more inconclusive and head scratching.
As you can see the Gunnison, South Platte and Arkansas River Basins are showing a “Missing or Invalid” status, with a state-wide SWE at 154% of average. These numbers are obviously skewed and invalid, so let’s analyze our runoff situation based on the available data of river flow and weather. Over the past week plus, we have seen dry weather and above average temperatures across the state. Through this weather pattern, river flows on a majority of river systems have peaked, or nearly peaked. This is a clear indication that the bountiful winter snowpack is starting to decline, and that river flows should start/continue to drop in the coming days.
There are reports circulating that our annual runoff is still on the rise and has yet to peak, and I want to adamantly deny these claims. Current flows and weather trends clearly indicate that while there is still snow to come down, the majority of it has already done so and the remaining snowpack will act as a continued supply of cold water for the remaining months of our summer. Trouts offers guided trips from Denver to the Roaring Fork Valley, and our guides are reporting ideal fishing conditions on all of our fisheries. So while there are far too many anglers sitting on the sidelines with reports of poor fishing conditions, those in the know have been enjoying week after week of lights out fishing on countless Colorado fisheries.
Now let’s get to the “forecast” portion of this report. With an upcoming forecast of hot and dry temperatures across the state, we will see a good portion of our remaining snowpack disappear. But this melt will have little to no impact on river flows and clarity, so fishing conditions should remain optimal on most Colorado river drainages. With that said, there will be rivers that are still in the throws of runoff based upon their location and the river basin’s snowpack. But these are isolated, and can be seen by watching their daily river flows. As always, if you’re unsure about where to go fishing, come see us at either our Denver or Frisco locations to inquire about where to find optimal fishing conditions. Otherwise we hope that you all have a great weekend of fishing.
Owner, Trouts Fly Fishing