I awoke this morning with news, snow is coming! We could see nine inches on the ground by Tuesday evening and return to a classic winter landscape. Now I am no skier, I don’t have the knees to be a winter sports guy, but I am wholly and completely an angler. Snowfalls tend to be far more beneficial in the role of replenishing our watersheds, at least barring those ugly quick melt events that bring us flooding and ice jams.
Snow in the mountains is beautiful, particularly once the storm system passes and the sun lights up our mountainscapes. It does sadly keep this old man out of the mountains themselves, a place I have been interested in getting back to, but for my part I am willing to pay the price for a fruitful fishing season. What would really be ideal would be for our temperatures to stay right here, around freezing overnight, and just above throughout the afternoons. Snowpack with a slow, controlled melt is the situation that gradually recharges our aquifers. Melt half of that nine inches over the course of a week or two and then drop a few inches more – perfect!
I will still happily welcome a February warmup! A few days to get me out to the rivers for more than my usual walk along the river road; a few days for a real walk along the riverbanks, with bamboo fly rod in hand. I want to swing that Dazed Dace fly of mine and see what it can run into…
I certainly know that a nice, sustained snowpack won’t bring about that first hatch and first rise any earlier than usual, and it might even back it off a bit. I am still counting the days you know, but this is the time to look ahead and dream about spring, summer and autumn. The rivers, and their fishing, will be better off with filled aquifers, filled reservoirs and a nice slow melt that gets us to the promised land with perfect flows for mayflies and rising trout!