The 2022 fly fishing season is rapidly approaching, and now that the first official "spring-ish" month is upon us, it seems appropriate for our first fly fishing report of the year. We are in the midst of more snowfall here in southern Wyoming, so there is nothing to actually report on the frozen freestones in the area - but, hopefully the recent snowfall means good things for the outlook of this year's fishing season in the Laramie and North Platte valleys.
Last year, much of Wyoming and most of the western United States were well below average for snowpack and precipitation for the year, resulting in a significant drought across the west. By May 1st, the Snowy Range mountains were at 109% of average on the Laramie (eastern) side, and 83% of average on the North Platte (western) side. While half of the mountain range fared decently enough, the half that primarily supplies the North Platte drainage was pretty well below average, and minimal precipitation throughout the summer months affected both the North Platte and Laramie River drainages.
As of today, we are just below 100% and fairly even on both the Laramie and North Platte portions of the Snowy Range Mountains (92% and 97%), with the rest of the state below average. The recent snowfall provides hope in our area for reaching or exceeding 100% by the spring months, provided we get a few more spring storms. We will keep our fingers crossed for a very snowy March and April across the entire state.
Northern Colorado is also worth noting, as the Upper North Platte drainage is fed by many tributary and headwater streams in North Park.
The Laramie and North Platte drainage pointed out on the top of the map sits at 94% of average as of today, so compared to much of the west and much of Wyoming we are looking alright for snowpack in these drainages up to this point. We will have to hope for continued snowfall and a lot more summer precipitation to make up for a lack of water last year.
If the current snowpack levels can hold up, a few more winter storms make their way through southern Wyoming and northern Colorado, and if we receive a little more precipitation throughout the summer months, we can expect a bit more productive and healthy fishing season than we had in 2021.
Last year, a weak snowpack on the North Platte side of the Snowy Range, coupled with a severe lack of precipitation from May - October, made for very low water on the North Platte and its tributaries by late July and early August. The fish are still there, the hatches still happen, but low water can make for tough fishing, and can additionally be stressful to the fish as water temperatures tend to climb a bit higher by midday and into the afternoon.
We will hope to avoid that this year and watch for the snowpack to compound onto where it is now, ideally providing us with a lengthy and productive fishing season.
Freeflow Outdoors Fishing Report
We will continue to keep you updated on the southern Wyoming fly fishing report as we move into the 2022 fly fishing season. Be sure to check out the "Fly Fishing" tab on our website for updated fishing reports, more information on our local fishery, fly shop and guided fly fishing trips in southern Wyoming!