04/02/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    Blue-winged Olives and Little BWOs
2.    Blue Quills
3.    Quill Gordons
4.    Little Short Horned Sedges
5.    Little Brown Stoneflies
6.    Hendricksons & Red Quills
7.    American March Browns

Most available/ Near hatching and/or other types of available food:
8.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Planning Your Western Fly Fishing Trip:
Montana/Wyoming
Western Montana and northwestern Wyoming seasonal snowpacks  are near normal
this year. That is a very welcome change from last year when many areas were
completely blown out. Near normal fishing conditions in Yellowstone didn't exit until the
end of July. As of now, the snowpacks are normal. The Madison is at 100 percent,
Bighorn 115 percent, Missouri 110 percent, for example. Don't forget about our
Yellowstone website.

In case your not familiar with exactly what this means to your trip to the Yellowstone
area, it means the fishing conditions will be very good. The water you fly fish for trout in
the northwest Rockies comes from the snowpack more than anything else. In the
Smokies, most of our water comes from rain with a smaller portion from melting snow
but that isn't the case in the Rocky Mountains. If your planning a western trip to
Wyoming/Montana this season, your selecting a good time to go. All you have to worry
about is getting your loan approved to purchase fuel or your airline ticket which is
largely based on fuel prices. I just had to throw that in, didn't I?. I guess things are
never all good.

You can get these snowpack figures
from this website for all the rivers and streams in
the area. Oh, by the way,  the great trout streams in Idaho and Utah are also in good
shape.  I didn't intensionally leave them out. If Oregon and Washington has a problem,
the world is coming to an end.

Colorado
The average snowpack levels for the Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado isn't so
good at the present time. Keep in mind there's still time left for snow in the high
elevations but right now, it isn't looking very good for the fishing conditions this coming
season.

The levels vary from drainage to drainage, or stream to stream but none are in good
shape.
This website will give you some great information about the snowpacks for the
entire state and comparisons for other years. Just click on the stream menu and format
menu by the areas on the map. Right now, the Arkansas River, one of our favorites in
the state is looking better than most of the others. That's where the large Mother's Day
Caddisfly hatch takes place in April. And, by the way, I'll get to the great trout streams
in the Southwestern Rockies soon.

California
The state of California isn't doing any better than Colorado. Keep in mind when
reviewing this data, the state of California is very different -
imagine that. All three major
areas shown have trout streams, including Southern California. In other words, high
mountain ranges extend into southern California. You can also see the streams in the
middle and southern parts of the state are suffering the worse from a snowpack
standpoint. The average snowfall water equivalent for the entire state is only 52
percent of normal.

This website shows you what you need to know for the different areas. As you can see
this includes the Trinity, Feather & Truckee Rivers in the northern part; Yuba, Merced
& Walker Rivers in the central region; and the San Joaquin & Kern rivers in the
southern region. The Klamath basin is doing the best. The upper Sacramento River
was only at 35 percent of normal through February. The Sacramento and other central
and northwestern parts of the state are improving and should continue to do so. The
drought monitor below will show that.

Drought Monitor:
This map should give you an even better general idea of where the problems exist.  By
the way, notice Tennessee and Western North Carolina. We don't have a problem in
the Smokies and this is the first time we haven't in a long time.

Trip Planning Information:
All of these streams are including in our stream section of the Perfect Fly website. This
will give you from two to four pages of trip planning information on all the streams in the
western areas and everywhere else in the nation except Alaska which is coming soon. I
have a friend who is going to keep me an extra room at his new waterfront home soon
to be in Alaska so I can fish there anytime I want to. I may even borrow his new bamboo
fly rod that he won't need up there. Walter Babbs better add an inner steel shaft or
even the graying might break it.

I'll soon find out if he reads my articles because if so, I'll hear from him. He is now in
Afghanistan serving our country.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh