2011 & 2012- Seasons of Extremes
There is no doubt that normal weather and climate patterns are changing, this I think we can all agree without getting into the political and environmental aspects of that debate. Everything is in a constant state of change but in my opinion as an outdoorsman nothing compares to the radical swings we are seeing all across the globe. For instance, last season the Northern Rockies had a tremendous snowpack topping 200% or more in some drainages bringing delight to whitewater enthusiasts and the typical pains to the angler. While this season contrasts the complete lack of snowpack in many vast regions and could eventually spell out the beginnings of a major drought. Only time will tell but state hydrologist say they have never seen two record breaking seasons back to back, both at opposite ends of the spectrum- One for the record books!
Dave Smith and Louie checking out the soon to be fish n chips(lake trout).
In the meantime, we are fishing and all indications point to a long productive season. Our runoff has shifted on & off with the passing warm to cool trends but now seems to be in full swing. The outlook is for med-high flows through May with a fairly quick decent into the middle part of June. By July most areas will be clear and fishable, perhaps even the mighty Snake River here in Jackson Hole will fish by the 4th of July... in 2011 it was closer to August 10th!
In many areas we are a good month ahead- with local temps in the 70's the lakes are turning on and flying ants are out in down timber. The word is the Salmonflies are moving up the Henry's Fork near Vernon this weekend so be prepared for the fiberglass hatch as well. Yellowstone Park opens to fishing on May 26th and the Firehole should be producing some fabulous hatches with the warm conditions in that area too.
Best to all... and get out to enjoy our beautiful natural resources!