It has been a weird winter here in Bozeman thus far. The best way to sum it up in one word, windy! It’s not uncommon to for it to be a little breezy every once in a while during the winter here in SW Montana. This year however, we’ve seen tropical force winds (gusts pushing 60-80mph) in Livingston and Lower Madison more often than we’d like. These wind storms have lasted for weeks at a time too, which is a little unusual. Maybe we’ll just have to start calling ourselves the lower “high-line”. The temperatures have been sporadic at best. We’ve seen temperature shifts of -25°F on a Friday but then by the following Monday it may be 46°F! But hey that’s Montana for you! The fish don’t care either, whether braving the wind or waiting for that perfect day, winter fishing around Bozeman has been highly rewarding as always.
The other odd thing with the weather is even though it’s been up and down; on average the temps have been a little warmer than usual. This has led to fairly thin and sparse snow covering here in the valley. So, of course I’ve already begun hearing the dire predictions of low water this summer, which I think at this point, are groundless. The mountains have remained cold enough to collect, in many cases, an above average snow-pack. All the local river basins are looking good: Gallatin 110%, Madison 104%, Yellowstone 110%, and the Jefferson 102%. Across the continental divide they have been getting hammered with snow this year, the Flathead basin is at 128% and the Clark Fork basin is 115%, both above average right now. Even the Bitterroot, which has seen less than stellar snow pack the last few years, is above average at 102%. Judging from the evidence I think we’re on track for another good water year with (fingers crossed) no river closures.
Hope to see you around this summer. Now, I’m going fishing.
All the snow pack info can be found here: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/…