I have had a few people lately asking about the snowpack levels across Montana and how it is going to affect the fishing this season. While it doesn’t feel like it, the Snotel Graphs continue to show snowpack throughout the state as right around average. If the snow continues to fall at this slowly but surely rate we will in my prediction have an excellent year of fishing on the Bighorn. Flows will stay more consistent throughout the year and we shouldn’t see the huge jumps in flows towards the end of May and throughout June. This should make the dry fly fishing to be especially good. The baetis hatch should last a few weeks longer and the pmd and yellow sally hatch should come off when the water level is more conducive to wade fishing.
At this point this is all speculation….. While the snowpack appears to be at average a good 2 foot dump of snow would do wonders for snowpack across the state, which I hope we get sometime in February or March. In my opinion, the only thing that could possibly screw up fishing on the Bighorn this year would be getting a large amount of rain again in May as melting snow is already filling the lake. Record rainfall is unlikely two years in a row, but who knows. At this point lets hope for more snow throughout the winter keeping snowpack between 95% – 120% of average and a spring that doesn’t bring heavy rain showers and we will have excellent fishing on the Bighorn River.
Current Fishing Report: With the overall mild winter we are having the Bighorn has been fishing excellent with both nymphs and streamers. You can find occasional fish rising to midges throughout the river. Pink and grey sowbugs along with assorted colors of midge larva have been effective. Streamers in white and olive have also been good.
Below is the snow water equivalent percent of average graph posted today from Snotel. This graph is updated daily and is broken up by basin.
|Basin||Snow Water Equivalent Percent of Average|
|KOOTENAI RIVER BASIN||96%|
|FLATHEAD RIVER BASIN||85%|
|UPPER CLARK FORK RIVER BASIN||90%|
|BITTERROOT RIVER BASIN||96%|
|LOWER CLARK FORK RIVER BASIN||94%|
|JEFFERSON RIVER BASIN||80%|
|MADISON RIVER BASIN||76%|
|GALLATIN RIVER BASIN||70%|
|HEADWATERS MISSOURI MAINSTEM||107%|
|SMITH, JUDITH, AND MUSSELSHELL RIVER BASINS||91%|
|SUN, TETON AND MARIAS RIVER BASINS||105%|
|MISSOURI MAINSTEM RIVER BASIN||98%|
|ST MARY AND MILK RIVER BASINS||87%|
|UPPER YELLOWSTONE RIVER BASIN||87%|
|WIND RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||89%|
|SHOSHONE RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||92%|
|BIGHORN RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||97%|
|TONGUE RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||122%|
|POWDER RIVER BASIN (WYOMING)||106%|
|LOWER YELLOWSTONE RIVER BASIN||98%|
Categorised in: Fishing Reports
This post was written by Bighornangler