With the snowpack well above average this year the dam release flows will be much higher than usual for the Green River in Utah. The Bureau of Reclamation has issued release Flows at 4600 CFS throughout March, and are likely to continue to increase as the season goes on. Don’t let high water scare you- nymph fishing should be good! And the dry fly fishing after the flush is typically extraordinary.
Snowpack levels are above average and near 200% this year. Expect higher than average water flows through at least March 2017. See info from the Bureau of Reclamation below (to read the full article click the link here):
“(Last Updated:February 13, 2017)
Releases are currently 1,800 cfs and will be increasing within the allowable parameters of the Record of Decision, limiting increases to 50 cfs/day through the end of February. Releases will be increased to 3,000 cfs through March 2, 2017, according to the linked schedule. The February water supply forecast of the April through July unregulated inflow volume into Flaming Gorge Reservoir is 1.65 million acre-feet (169 percent of average). Additional storms throughout the basin increased the current projection to 2 maf (~200 percent of average). Current snowpack is 180 percent of median and we have received 124 percent of the seasonal peak for the Upper Green Basin with additional storm systems anticipated through February.
Flaming Gorge will be operated with the utmost caution to address the forecasted runoff. Extended bypass releases will be required to manage the runoff this year. Reclamation is advising all its stakeholders early of the extended bypass releases so that planning for the season may occur.
The Yampa River Basin has not seen commensurate snowpack accumulation to the Upper Green. The February final forecast for Yampa River flows during the April-July period is 1.4 maf (113 percent of average), with the most recent raw model guidance decreasing to 1.377 maf. Yampa River flows are largely uncontrolled, which means the current forecast provides potential relief to forecasted peak magnitude flows this spring as compared against 2011. There is always the potential of increased snow accumulation within the Yampa River Basin, so please plan accordingly.
Unregulated inflow into Flaming Gorge Reservoir during the month of January was 49,000 af, or 122 percent of average. The reservoir elevation is 6,022.9 (82 percent of live capacity) and decreasing.
The February final forecast for inflows for the next three months projects above average conditions: February, March and April forecasted inflow volumes at 50,000 af (112 percent of average), 135,000 af (132 percent of average), and 225,000 af (169 percent of average), respectively. “
Guide Ryan Dangerfield headed out to the river the last few days and landed some nice fish on streamers, and on the dry dropper. Later in the day when release flows increase the fishing tends to slow down quite a bit. Expect high flows this year- we’ve had lots of snow and the lake is high!
Anglers are ringing in the new year with streamers this January on the Green! The weather has cleared up from lots recent fog and inversion, but still cold. If you are willing to brave the drift down the river in January temps the streamer fishing is reported to be great. The trout are also up for eating small midge patterns, and BWO’s in certain areas. Bundle up and get out there! Send us your pictures, and like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/dryflyutah.
If you’re looking for alternative fishing destinations in winter time, consider heading west to Pyramid Lake, Nevada- home of the world’s largest cutthroat trout- the Pilot Peak strain of Lahontan Cutthroat. Guides on Pyramid Lake report monster fish in higher numbers than past years. A small fish caught on this amazing lake is usually around 20″, and the more coveted size is closer to 20 pounds! Since the reintroduction of this massive strain in 2006 the largest we have heard of is 28 pounds and we are waiting in anticipation or someone to break that 30 pound mark! Put this destination on your bucket list and contact us for all your guiding, fishing, and lodging needs. Check out Pyramid Lake Guides website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram @pyramidlakeguides for the most up to date fishing conditions. Pyramid Lake Nevada is on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation 25 miles north of Reno.
If you’re willing to face the cold and wind on the river this holiday week and plan on fishing the Green River UT watch for fluctuating water levels. Release flows from Flaming Gorge Dam will have the fish discombobulated so your best bet is going to be during stabilization periods.
For dry fly fishing use a BWO or small midge in back eddies. Nymph fishing should be a safe bet overall- try midges, eggs, or pheasant tail. Streamer fishing should produce early or late in the day when the water flows are typically changing. Bundle up, stay safe, and MerryChristmas!
Winter has arrived and the snow is blowing up on the Green River in Utah. Guide Wade Isaman and his buddy Dylan were not afraid of the cold and headed out to huck some streamers during the Brown spawn. They broke out the grill and had a blast- bundle up and get out there!