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Rod’s take on a high water year…

Fishing in the west, it just doesn’t get any better, when conditions are right that is.

We that make our lives around the pursuit of trout on the fly begin our concern way back in December. We start our
weekly snowpack watch in the early winter months and begin to equate what our streams might
look like based on that snowpack. A big December eases our mind a little but by the time late
February rolls around the predictions run rampant. Every big snow storm or every 3 week winter
high pressure system can cause anxiety on what our summer flows will bring. To have that
concern every winter for the past 30 can be exhausting. Too little snow and we have a great
early start but mid summer heat takes a dangerous toll on the rivers and their inhabitants. Big
snow and big runoff brings on a need to be patient as river flows stay high and push the start of
our season back.

Although it shortens our summer season, this is the best situation for the
creatures we pursue. This is where we are in the summer of 2023. We have been patient and
the time is now. It seems that lately we only see 2 or 3 years like this out of every 10.
Snow patches up high will hang on into September, water levels will be ideal as will water
temperatures in months that we have grown to be concerned with and have commonly been
asked to shut down our fishing by mid-day. This summer shouldn’t see that. Water temperatures
should stay cool and lessen the concern of the so-called Dog days of August. We should get
safely to our shorter days in September as fall fishing has the chance to be the highlight of the

As far as the fish are concerned, how nice it is to have more, cooler habitat. How nice it
is to be happy most of the time and feel like eating rather than dropping down deep and sulking.
It’s no surprise and it’s quite refreshing that in years like this you almost daily hear reports from
almost everyone on how they can’t believe how good the fishing is. It is here and now, summer 2023.

Enjoy it as it has seemed to become something other than the norm. To top all of this off,
look forward to the best September and October we have seen in a while.