Montana Snowpack UpdateFebruary 10, 2017
The last week brought some epic snow to Montana, especially in the northern region where over 5 feet fell around Glacier National Park and the Rocky Mountain Front. Southern and Central Montana got less, but the Yellowstone region has been getting hammered all winter. Jackson Hole Resort is closed indefinitely due to power outages related to TOO MUCH SNOW. Did you know a major ski area could close long-term due to too much snow? We didn't either.
The green and blue colors on that map are the ones we like to see for good summer streamflows, and considering the weak start to winter this year that map looks fantastic. We are only a little over halfway through what is considered the 'snow season' in Montana, so lots of time left to go up or down on those levels, and of course spring rain is important too. Let's hope for lots more snow and an overall above average water year here; those are always more interesting and better fishing in the late summer.
It's still too early to make many sound predictions on how the current snowpack will affect fishing, but we'll hazard this guess - with 127% of average snowpack in the Upper Yellowstone drainage, we won't be throwing salmonflies in Paradise Valley the first week of July this year. Maybe not the second week either.
Below is a comparison map to get a feel of the impact the storms of the last week have had. You don't see a five day swing like that very often. Keep it coming Mother Nature!