Fishing Report and Water Update for Pinedale area (Winter/Spring 2012)
by Mike Kaul, Two Rivers Emporium
February 6, 2012
During January and February the fishing action centers on connecting with big hungry trout by jigging some type of bait or lure through the ice on one of the many fine lakes we have in the Pinedale area. The less hardy fishers who prefer to wait until there is some open water on our local streams stay indoors and talk about the two big "W’s" weather and water.
I am frequently asked by prospective clients to give them an idea of what the fishing water conditions will be like during their visit. My standard response is that "normally" (a weather guesser’s hedge word) the best water for fly fishing occurs from the second week in July through the second week in September. This is when we have the best water, weather and hatch conditions. We usually have a couple of weeks in late April and early May, before the run-off, when the weather and water conditions give us excellent fishing opportunities on some of our streams. There are also top-notch fishing conditions to be found on our local lakes in May and June as the ice recedes.
Taking a look at this year, weather experts say we are still under the influence of La Nina, a weather pattern created by cooler ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific which usually brings more moisture and cooler temperatures to our part of the country. So why was much of the Rocky Mountain area bereft of snow until late January? There is another phenomenon that enters our weather equation known as arctic oscillation, where strong surface air pressure traps the moist air that would bring snow to our region up near the Arctic, leaving the Rocky Mountains with low moisture levels. During the La Nina cycle it is just a matter of time before the arctic oscillation pressure weakens, allowing moist air to escape southward which will then bring snow for our mountains in Sublette County.
It is easy to participate in weather science particularly with the advent of the internet, but individuals who are planning a trip to our area like to communicate with someone who has extensive experience with the local weather and water conditions. In this regard I feel comfortable in projecting that we will have decent fishing water here in Sublette County again this season. I base this projection, in part, on the fact that being born and raised in Wyoming I know we will have snow fall in the mountains, albeit sometimes more, sometimes less; sometimes early in the winter, sometimes late. I have been chasing trout in our local streams for well over a half century and have found there has always been enough water to maintain a good trout population. We are very fortunate to live next to the Wind River Mountains where elevation and a unique permanent glacier system contribute to a good supply of fishing water.
One thing is certain, the weather and water conditions will periodically change throughout the next several months. Please feel free to contact me for current fishing and water projections. Mike Kaul, 1-800-329-4353 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.