Mid January Report – What Lies Ahead?

It’s hard to believe but we’re already more than half way through January. Spring will be here before you know it…just 63 days away!

As you might expect the talk has turned to snowpack and spring flows. Everybody wants to know what the water situation will be when they arrive to the Missouri this spring.

Per usual, our response has been non-committal but if pressed on the issue we’ll tell you we are cautiously optimistic that we will see a similar season to last year and that we are hopeful for, but not counting on,  a good flushing flow in the 12,000 – 15,ooo cfs range for at least a few days.

Most Missouri River blogs will spend at least a little time on flow predictions, as they should. Some have already proclaimed a great season ahead based on SNOTEL Snow Water Equivalent info which does look good at the moment  but which is always subject to dramatic change.

Others have voiced a less optimistic outlook. We are in the camp of the moderate majority believing the glass is currently half full. The glass could remain half full, it could end up near empty, it could overflow. The data we are looking at today will change as the winter progresses. It’s important to keep this in mind when trying to predict the future but there is definitely value in keeping abreast of current conditions.

Snow pack and precipitation forecasts are elements of the map. The map is not the destination but it gets us there one way or another.

So what does this mean for your 2018 Missouri River fly fishing pilgrimage? Probably not a whole lot just yet but we will be keeping an eye on the map for you and will always be happy give your our best guess of what the spring will bring.

Based on today’s map it looks like the most probable outcome will be flows in 4200 cfs range for the remainder of the winter bumping up near 7000 in May and peaking at around 8000 before leveling off in the 4500 range for the summer season.

There could me more water, there could be less but statistically speaking  the probability is high that we will see flows falling somewhere in the range presented in this chart…or not.

Our cut and paste water report proclamation….there will be water. How little or how much we don’t know. What we do know is that we will be enjoying awesome fishing on the Missouri no matter what the flows. It could be better fished from a boat, it could be a wade angler’s dream, it will likely be somewhere right in the middle.

We understand the desire to know so you can plan ahead but the best that anyone can do is keep a close eye on the available data and adjust one’s plans accordingly. A word of caution though, prime dates are filling rapidly and will continue to do so. Don’t wait too long or you will end up without a room and/or a guide for 2018.