Um, Excuse me bear.

The snowpack is stout!

Everyone likes a hardy snowpack.

One of the most important indicators as to how our summer fishing season will play out is our springtime snow pack. Ultimately our aquifers, lakes, and rivers are recharged annually by the amount of snow we received throughout winter and spring. Fortunately for us, we are able to get an idea of the amount of water we are likely to have throughout the summer through a common snowpack measurement known as Snow Water Equivalent (SWE). The government did a damn fine job of explaining SWE as “the amount of water contained within the snowpack. It can be thought of as the depth of water that would theoretically result if you melted the entire snowpack instantaneously.” 

As of last report 4-14-20, the Flathead watershed is sitting at 117% of normal. Finally, there is something positive in these times we currently find ourselves in. Barring a dryer, hotter than normal, spring and early summer we should be looking at a strong runoff early and cool water temperatures throughout the dog days of summer. If we are fortunate enough to get those two things, we can look forward to no “hoot owl” restrictions and great fishing throughout the summer. We don’t normally worry about “hoot owl” restrictions in the Flathead Valley but those times are likely to come in the future. With a fully recharged aquifer we will have a good source of cold groundwater to mix with the river in area known as “seeps” located in various places high and low on the Flathead watershed.

As I write this, it’s April and seems like it has been snowing most of the month. I’m ready for the winterly, cold weather to be over but I sure do like a cold river dunk in the hottest days of August.