How well do you understand snow pack? How does it affect the rivers and aquifers. A major influence to these questions are affected by the ground. Some years the ground freezes before the snows begin stopping the earth from absorbing the melting snow. This year the snows came early and the ground beneath the snow is not frozen. This phenomenon allows much of the melt water to enter the under ground aquifers of our area. This is a good thing as it is these ground waters that feed and cool the rivers in the hot summer months.
Ground water is 48 to 52 F year round. When this cool water feeds the river via an under ground spring, many trout will hold to that hole during searing hot spells.
Another weather influence is the northern jet stream / polar vortex / Canadian clipper / Nor' westerner...whatever you call it...this arctic air front has been down as far as Kentucky several times this winter. This weather pattern has staved off the snow pack melting thus far and creates a chance for a massive melt off. The size of our snow pack this year is so massive will we get both ground water build up and surface flooding?
The facts are, there is a lot of potential water sitting on the ground right now. Snow depths we have not seen in years. So what does that mean to fly fishing. I believe inland rivers will be flooded, and over their banks until end of May. The larger rivers run off actually washes more food into the Great Lake which can handle this volume of water and needs it.
Does that mean swift rivers and muddy water will delay spring hatches. Streamers, spawn and nymphs will be the best choice? Who knows? I do think the big rivers that flow into the Great Lakes will be the best fishing for late March to May, hoever right now your guess is as good as mine. So the great 2014 spring melt off will be interesting to watch. The Man versus Nature, routine for outdoor sportsmen, continues.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.