March 21, 2017

It's coming down!

Typically our runoff gets going in April and then accelerates into May. On most years the water will remain high into June, but by July the streams are fishable. This is why, if you live back east and visit the west in early summer, many of the streams are difficult to fish.

This year may be different. The other morning I was walking alongside a stream that I fish frequently and already the runoff has begun. Typically I can fish this stream into mid April, but not this year! I usually fish it at about 60 cfs, but now it's flowing at 600 cfs -- and it may go higher. For a larger stream, 600 cfs is nothing, but for this little mountain stream that's amazing this early in the year.

It will be interesting to see how high and how long runoff is this year. We received record snow pack over winter and it's still unclear how that will affect the runoff. I might not be fishing my usual streams for a while. I'll need to concentrate on lower elevation waters.

Spring is coming, or I should say, it's here. The mountains are starting to come alive again.

Hemlocks are breaking through.

The camas are coming up.

The chokecherries are opening

Ready or not, here it comes!


  1. Hi Tom, we are having a snow year here in California similar to what you have had, which has not happened here for more than 5 years. In the past when this happened, I would fish the lakes as soon as there was access and the ice came off until the summer slow down begins to kick in. By that time the stream flows will be in their prime. Then as the low and warm water conditions on the streams sets in and it is bad for the trout to catch and play them, the high lakes begin coming into their Fall prime conditions. This is just a way to get in 3 sets of prime fishing conditions in a single season....Karl.

  2. Looks the same as here in UT. What do you do when the water is this high?

    1. I go to lower elevation streams, that are not affected as much by high elevation snow pack.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.