Snowpack update

by | Mar 13, 2011 | 0 comments

There is a Deville under there somewhere.


The Skinny….. 

Smith River: 118% 

Upper Yellowstone River: 110% 

Jefferson River: 101% 

Madison River: 104%…..West Yellowstone: 107% or 46 inches on the level. 

Gallatin River: 109% 

Missouri Main Stem: 118% 


The snow continues to pile up all over the state of Montana.   There is not one drainage that is under 100% of snowpack.  The biggest thing to remember about snowpack  – it’s only mid-March and over the past few years, the snow with the most moisture has fallen in March, April and May.  What does this mean, you ask?  Well, Montana is water heavy, rich in the stuff……..but please don’t tell anyone because soon they’ll want to sell more of it.  The long range forecast is for wet weather.   When run-off comes, it could go big.  The biologists in Yellowstone are comparing it to 1996-76.  I am hoping for a long cool spring which should allow the snow to melt consistently and not blow up.   

The Madison is flowing 963 cfs, up  a 100 from a couple days ago.  Looks like someone is paying attention to the snowpack and making some room for whats to come.   The boys in Craighave been keeping me updated on the Missouri throughout the winter.  I have yet to get up there, but plans are in the mix.  The Missouri has been flowing above normal all winter long providing for some consistent angling in Craig.  Having been at the vice a bit lately, I have a new pattern – a variation of one of my dry flies – that I am dying to try in April….it’s a stonefly. *

Spring 2010....

More snow is coming and they are calling for rain as well in the lower elevations.  The ice has melted out the Madison River near Ennis during the past warm spell.  I hear rumors that boats are sliding down Varney, over the snow, and able to get out at 8 Mile……rumors.  Check it out before you head on upstream to Varney.  Sounds a bit sketchy, but worth the run for sure.