Winter Flows

by | Feb 26, 2010 | 0 comments


These taste better in cans……

Over the past couple of months the flows on the Madison River below Hebgen have been running just at or a little over 1000 cfs.  The flows dropped yesteday to 841 cfs…..finally. Did you know that PPL was afraid to run the river at 1000 cfs last summer during August and Sept?  Our warmest months. Even we we had the water.  Why run it down now during winter instead of late summer and fall?  

 According to PPL, they need to drop Hebgen Lake 11 feet from full by MARCH 1st to make room for the melting snowpack each year.  A few of us around here have nothing better to do than check snowpack and streamflows all winter long.  It is like the stockmarket sometimes.   PPL bases their flow protocols over the winter on NRCS forecasts and data, which try and predict weather and water resources 6 months or more in advance.  The Madison River Basin is currently at 69% of snowpack.  I always report the percentage that involves the snow-water equilvalent and not total precipitation.  Total Precip is 72%.  Granted, it is only Feb. 26th, but we haven’t had any consistent weather all winter. PPL has heard from some folks around here and hopefully they will continue to pay attention to the current snowpack and local weather patterns before running too much water down the river.

Steamy morning at Mid-Way Geyser Basin                         

Trout are rising everyday on the Firehole River.  Sometimes, while at Old Faithful, I’ll walk down to the river for lunch and watch this one particular rainbow rise. Is fishing on the Firehole in Winter something we should lobby for? Hmmmmmm……..  We only have a few more days to fish the Madison from Quake to McAtee and from Ennis to the Lake. The river below Hebgen should continue to have good fishing for the rest of winter.  It is 30 degrees and overcast at the house right now – 1:19 pm.  Why am I not on the river fishing you ask?  Too much shit to do and my only day off in two weeks. 


Brand new, out of the box, 3rd pair in a row.