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Thread: HIGH WATER - Neil - June 06, 2011

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    Default HIGH WATER - Neil - June 06, 2011

    HIGH WATER

    I've been waiting all winter to get out and do some serious fly fishing but it looks like I'm going to have to wait a bit longer. With the snow pack at record levels in just about every drainage in all of the states from Colorado to Montana it may well be late summer before many of the major trout streams are approachable.

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    Looks like this could become a trend for the next few years. I imagine wading across the Madison is pretty tough these days!
    Thanks for the update Neil.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by wgflyer View Post
    Looks like this could become a trend for the next few years. I imagine wading across the Madison is pretty tough these days!
    Thanks for the update Neil.

    Bill
    A "trend"? Check the data against 2010 levels:
    http://www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/data/comparison.html

    The Bitterroot drainage is at 2110% of what it was last year at this time. 2008 and 2009 were pretty good water years (after a brutal 2007); 2010 was looking pretty grim but had a damp summer that kept fire threat down. If it's a trend Montana is in for some interesting times.

    Regards,
    Scott

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    Say, thanks for that link. Very interesting. I've been following the NW snowpacks casually and can see that things are pretty socked in. I read an a headline a couple of weeks ago that Idaho may have too much water this year. I think that the northern states are in for tough times as far as winters go, and short summers, as the sun seems to be slowing down a bit this cycle, but if July and August hold true to their nature, fishing outhtta get pretty good in late summer. But look for an early onset of the cold in September, I fear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wgflyer View Post
    But look for an early onset of the cold in September, I fear.
    I was in eastern Idaho last October and had 5 days of 60-70's and sunny - great for my tan, bad for the hatches. I'll be in MT this Oct and would love some of that "early onset".

    Regards,
    Scott

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    We had 85-90 degree days the first week of October in 2010. September 2010 was the second hottest and second driest on record, and wasn't the first only because of a front that came in the 29th. Since I came to work in the region in 2001, we have had two normal snow years (2008, 2009), one much higher than normal year (this year), one year that wound up near normal only because May and June were cold and wet (2010), and the rest were substantially hotter and drier than normal, often with 90-degree days in late May and catastrophically warm/low flows on some rivers like the Firehole, where there have been a couple fish kills due to thermal stress in my time here. These hot/dry years and rapid shifts in weather are generally what the models predict for the northern Rockies due to global warming.

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