Run-off fizzles, fly fishing great!
by Wyoming Game & Fish
July 16, 2006
The snow pack information of early April had Wyoming Game & Fish fish biologists optimistic of runoff persisting into July and increased water levels in Wyoming's depleted reservoirs. But the usually reliable April and May moisture failed to grace Wyoming and hence anglers are facing another water-beleaguered summer.
Nature's faucet shut off so completely that early July stream levels look more like late July or August levels in many areas. A moderate plus side to the situation has been fly anglers getting on streams earlier than expected and stream anglers are encouraged to take advantage of it while they can.
The exception to the runoff disappointment is the Snake River drainage that received better spring moisture and had greater snow pack going into spring.
Hilda Sexauer of Pinedale recommends taking advantage of cooler water temperatures at dawn and dusk if planning to release fish in the Upper Green. She also recommends anyone wishing to float the upper Green River - which had been fishing "very well" this season -- to do it soon due to dropping flows. "In addition to getting little spring snow, we have not gotten hardly any rain and it has been extra hot and windy," Sexauer said.
Looking at U.S. Geological Survey records, Sexauer said on July 13, 2005 the Green River at Warren Bridge was running over 1,000 cubic feet per second, compared to 694 CFS this July 13. By July 21 last year, the flow had receded to around 690 CFS.
Wyoming at least has one watershed that is an exception this year in the Snake. The drainage had great winter snow pack and average spring snow to fill Jackson Lake and Palisades Reservoir and keep the Snake River high into July.
"Overall, the Snake River drainage in Wyoming is experiencing a good moisture year," said Rob Gipson of Jackson.