Much like many of the western states, Colorado’s snowpack is up over the annual average and there is still more snow to come. So exactly does this mean for the fishing and fisheries?
2018 broke a lot of hearts. Like a high school crush turned angsty pop punk song subject; the 2018 Colorado trout season left us bruised, disenchanted, and thirsty. With an abysmal snowpack, followed by a summer plagued with fires, flash floods, and fish kills; we were ready to bury the memory of this bizarre year.
Our expectations in tatters for the 2019 season, we still kept a secret candle of hope lit for better snow. And then, the unrelenting forces of nature took to work and produced something extraordinary. Our expectations have since been obliterated in the wildest possible way: this is one of the best snowpacks in recent memory.
As I write this, we are sliding off the tail end of March and the mountains of Southern Colorado are still getting crushed with snowstorms. Precipitation will continue on through the weekend, as will the spring storms into May.
For those with a statistical mind, we are currently sitting at 160% of average snowpack…or almost 300% of last year’s dry winter and we aren’t even done yet.
So what does this mean for spring fishing in Colorado? Well, first of all, we can expect a large runoff with some massive peak flows. How quick runoff comes and goes really depends on how fast the heat of summer rolls in. Even then, we still have lot of snow in the high country to get down the mountain.
We are expecting big water to last a while, potentially most of the summer. This is pretty incredible as Colorado could use a good long float season. Throwing big dries from a boat through the majority of the summer months is a far cry from last’s year’s heart-wrenching events.
Hopefully, you are busy at the vise right now, cranking out some big trout snacks. You are going to need them.