Why should you care about the 2012 Montana Snow Pack? Well, it directly relates to the amount of water we’ll have in the rivers this summer. So as you can imagine our most common question this time of year is “How’s the fishing going to be this Summer”? It is the million dollar question, and here’s our most educated guess for you broken down by drainage.
Our Upper Yellowstone snowpack is at about 70% of normal with our precipitation at 100% of normal. Translation = get your gear ready to fish the Yellowstone River by about the 25th of June and make sure to have some Salmonflies tied up. The fishing in late June, July and August should be good with near normal water levels. Late August and September will depend on the weather conditions, but current long-range forecasts have a normal temperature and precipitation projections.
Madison & Gallatin Drainages:
These 2 drainages have about 50% of normal snowpack and near 100% precipitation levels. Translation = should be great early season fishing, but keep your eye on rising water temperatures by late July.
Missouri River Drainage:
Missouri is a tailwater (dam regulated river) so the snowpack levels are important, but it is somewhat insulated. Snowpack is at nearly 70% and precipitation is over 100%. Translation = dust off your dry fly rod and get ready for some epic topwater action this June and July. The Caddis and PMD hatches with the lower water conditions should be prime. We’ll be back up on the Missouri River at the start of June and can’t wait to see big fish sipping our dries.
That’s the current summary for our local waters, but if you want to stay up to date make sure to check out the Montana Snow Pack