Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We've Got Water - Yes We Do!!!

While the winter of 2012/2013 officially ended on March 20th, spring in Teton Valley and Jackson Hole can be mean and cruel but it also can be nice and pleasant.  During the month of January 2013, we experienced a drought weather cycle that brought only an estimated 45 inches of precipitation to our area.  This came as a worry as we desperately needed a strong winter snowpack after last summer season's abnormally hot and dry conditions to recharge our river systems and reservoirs.

At the current moment, the Snake River Basin is sitting at 77% of capacity.  This is a good thing!  Jackson Lake is 76% of capacity, Palisades is 48% of capacity and American Falls 97% of capacity.  The Henry's Fork drainage is look good as well; however, the shallow nature of these reservoirs and lakes allow them to fill easily.

While flows where very low on the South Fork during the winter months, it looks like the Buero of Land Reclamation was able to save and store some water for the summer.  Flows have been increased on the South Fork of the Snake the past couple of weeks to around 3,800 cfs, which is not unusual.  The 67 year average of flows shows median discharges around 5,000 to 6,000 cfs during this time of year

And some more good news!  Like it or not, the nasty winter weather we have been receiving the past couple of weeks has really helped us out.  Our snow pack this year, which normally decreases as in the spring of 2012, as been increasing and the cool and cloudy weather has been helping us sustain our snow pack during the days where we haven't been receiving any moisture of precipitation.  Currently the Snake River Drainage is at 103% of average and the Henry's Fork/Teton Drainage is at 100% of average.  The Bridger-Teton National Forrest Avalanche Center told the Jackson Hole News and Guide, that “Up in the mountains, it’s the deepest depths we’ve had all winter.”  More good news.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that we continue to receive some moisture and precipitation through the rest of the spring months.  This spring precipitation can make our summer much more enjoyable since it will help sustain our water supply that fill our lakes, rivers and streams with the water and in essence make our aquatic bug life, trout and anglers happy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Skwala's Spotted on the Snake River!!!

The first major large insect hatch of the season has commenced and sightings of the infamous Skwala stonefly have been reported on the Snake River in the Jackson area.  Bring on the dry fly fishing!

While the Teton Valley and Jackson Hole areas do not receive a significant and widespread hatch of these bugs like the Yakima and Bitteroot rivers; their are enough of them to create some great dry fly fishing opportunities with big bugs.  Basically, who doesn't like fishing foam bugs in the spring after a long winter of snow, wind and dreary days?

Tips for Skwala patterns!  Leave your fly on the water.  This is not the Salmonfly Hatch!  Water temps are still on the cooler side, so sometimes it takes fish a little longer to find the fly and raise up through the water column to eat it.  As we say, cast to your likely fish holding spot, mend, mend, mend and let that fly hunt!