2015 Montana Snow Pack


2015 Montana Snow Pack Preface:

Why would anglers want to know the 2015 Montana snowpack conditions? Well, if trout live in cool waters then trout anglers should have a keen interest in researching how much cool water might be in store for the fishing season.  Cool water lends itself to happy, healthy trout – and what Montana fly fishing aficionado wouldn’t want that.

One thing we should point out is that in 15+ years of professional guiding and piscatorial acumen (define as  “fish freak”) the weather trumps all snowpack conditions.  A couple of weeks of seasonally high temperatures can turn high snowpack into below average.  At Montana Fly Fishing Guides we can only speculate based on experience and some research.

Current 2015 Montana Snowpack Conditions:

While much of the West is in some level of drought; most notably Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California, yet somehow Montana as eluded this latest dry spell.  As you can see from the graphic below some parts of Montana are doing better than others.  The Northwestern part of the state has unusually low snowpack.  The Missouri River, Jefferson, Smith and Gallatin systems are near 100% of normal with the Madison River at 25% below normal.  Good new for our anglers is that the Upper Yellowstone River basin is at 101 % of normal.

2015 Fishing Outlook:

As we head into Spring and the wet months of March, April & May we’ll look to the temperatures and amount of precipitation instead of the 2015 Montana snowpack.  While much of the country is still in Winter’s icy grip, Summer seems to be trying to skip right past spring here in Montana.  As we wait and see what spring brings us we should point out the National Weather Service has forecasted a weak El Nino.  What does this mean for Montana? Typically it means a wetter and warmer summer.

Our prediction?

We’ve got a hunch that fishing will be really good this Spring since most of the low snow has already melted and the warmer temps are going to make those bugs pop!

Or maybe that’s our ever optimistic nature. How about summer fishing? With slightly above average temperatures forecast and an equal chance of above average precipitation summer should be just about right – not too hot, not too cold.

If you’re looking for more detailed information or would like to talk with us further please Contact Us and we’ll do our best to help you out.

2 thoughts on “2015 Montana Snow Pack

  1. Great report. Thanks. All we can do is put our energy and optimism into the wet and cool spring/summer! Don’t want all the dry low elevation to suck up the mountain runoff before it hits the rivers!

    1. Chad – agreed. I’m guessing with most of the low snow already gone (at this point at least), we might get some really good early season Spring fishing. We should keep our fingers crossed for good moisture AND a killer March Brown / Baetis / Mother’s Day Caddis hatch this year!
      – E

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