Jase removing snow for his mom.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. Today we are receiving yet another good dumping of snow.  While about town, I heard several people complaining that they are tired of Winter.  Tired of Winter?  Winter just got here!  Heck, at least it’s not 30 below, again yet.  Come August we will be complaining that it’s ‘too hot’, ‘too weedy’ and ‘too smokey’.  I say bundle up and be thankful for this white blessing.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself as I shovel the walk way for the upteinth time today.  Thankfully, my eldest son has decided to try his luck at being an entrepreneur with a snow removal business this winter. (Thank you Jase for taking care of family first!)

People start calling the shop this is the time of year to ask what the water levels are going to be like this year.  Ummmm, let me look into my crystal ball… Well, as of today we are 139% for snow pack levels for the Missouri River Mainstem.  Whoohoo, bring it on!   Let’s just hope the snow sticks around without an early run off, and that we don’t get extremely heavy rainfall.  Oh wait, I just saw a weather report that said it will be 40 degrees by next week.  Aargh!

A healthy Missouri River Rainbow Trout.

February, March and April is typically the time of year when our area gets its’ most precipitation.  Remember 2010 and 2011?  Those years brought us high water due to above average snow packs late in the Spring.  It was in 2010 when I came on board at CrosssCurrents Fly Shop.  I remember several incidents how the higher than normal water flows affected floating and angling on the Missouri River, as well as the Smith River.  I also remember selling a lot of bug spray! According to the National Weather Service, in the second half of the month of May 2011, almost a year’s worth of rain fell over the upper Missouri River basin.  Extremely heavy rainfall in conjunction with above normal snowpack in the Rocky Mountains contributed to the 2011 flooding event.  Thankfully, the challenges of those high water years brought us a higher population of healthy rainbow trout!


Meriwether Fire burns near Gates of the Mountains Wilderness near Craig. Montana.

Everyone remembers the infamous Yellowstone Fires in 1988.  What about Montana’s long drought period of the 1990’s and early 2000s or the Meriwether Fire of 2007?  The recent lightening struck fires of 2012 and 2013 in Wolf Creek and Craig with our average snowpack are reminders that drought nor rain are ‘normal’. They both are normal as climate cycles, not chance, are at play.  When it comes to the great outdoors and Mother Nature:  you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

As I type this, the snow keeps coming down.  Bring it on!  Unlike the sandy beaches of California’s Lake Tahoe, we have snow.  More Snow = More Water = Good Streamflows = Healthy Fish = Happy Anglers.  So let it snow, let it snow let it snow.  Here’s to Happy Anglers for the Missouri River!
3 Responses to Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
  1. Untrue about rainfall. May and June are the two months that receive the most rainfall, precip. Feb and March do not even qualify. Do the research first before blogging.

    • Thank you for your input. We apologize for the unclear information. You are correct in the fact that May and June receive the most rainfall for the area. The following link shows the average statistics for Wolf Creek, MT.

      We hope you enjoy the blog!

    • Dear Concerned Reader: According to its’ definition, precipitation includes drizzle, rain, sleet, snow, graupel and hail. This year February has gone on record to be the snowiest since 1989! Yes it’s true, our area typically gets more rainfall in May and June. Thank you for helping me better clarify this fact.


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