Understanding Weather and Big Hole River flows to Plan Your Montana Fishing Vacation part II
Visiting Montana in the spring and summer for a fly fishing trip is something that many fly fishers only do a few times in their life. They want to make sure that their visit to the Big Hole River, Beaverhead River or Jefferson River enables them to not only enjoy the scenery but to also catch fish. Timing their trip to coincide with good weather and river flows is key to helping ensure a phenomenal fly fishing vacation.
But all fly fishers should understand that every time we predict what the weather is going to be like, or what the flows will be, or how much water we will have in the Big Hole River come August, we are making little more than a guess. But with these tools and a basic knowledge of hydrology and meteorology, our guess is definitely an educated one.
With all this said here is our 2012 prediction. We are currently at about 90% snowpack in the Big Hole Watershed. We have had a rather warm winter so our low elevation snowpack is very thin. We predict that our spring fishing will be outstanding since we will not have huge river flow fluctuations in the spring due to low elevation snowmelt.
Our high elevation runoff typically occurs around May 20th – June 5th. We should see about an average runoff this year since our snowpack is at 90% of normal. So this is an excellent year to hit the Salmonflies in June, which typically hatch around June 10th and last till June 25th. The Big Hole Salmonfly hatch is one that all anglers need to hit in their lifetime and this year should be a good one! We should have average summer flows due to our 90% snowpack going into spring. 2012 is shaping up to be a great season, especially after coming off of the last 2 above average water flow years, which have our trout healthy and big.
April 1st we will start our Big Hole River fishing reports, Beaverhead River fishing reports, and Jefferson River flow and fishing reports, Stay in touch and get out and fish in Southwest Montana in 2012.