California’s snowpack remains stubbornly opposed to melting, and the latest figures are startling; the Northern Sierra snowpack/wetpack is at 465% of normal for this time of year (May 31).
What’s it mean? It suggests California’s fly fishermen will be seeing high runoff flows far later than normal — and that the flows on many rivers now are only precursors of what’s to come.
What’s going on?
Couple a record snowpack (170% of normal at the end of the April 1 snow year) with a very cold, wet spring, and you have a situation where the snowpack is melting very slowly. In fact, recent cold storms have added to the snowpack at higher altitudes.
With rivers like the Upper Sacramento — which often features flows in excess of 10,000 cfs this time of year — still flowing around 2000 cfs, it’s clear that anglers better fish now, because once high flows arrive, they’ll stay high for some time.