We Got The Rain
Want a latte? Calgary cold brew.
Thanks for the rain, please stop now. That was the sentiment this week across Southern Alberta as the precipitation event we so badly needed became cause for concern. The City of Calgary declared a local State of Emergency and erected a temporary berm with heavy pumping equipment in place along Memorial Drive in addition to closing the road. While years of flood mitigation efforts are nearing completion along the downtown core, memories of the 2013 floods are not forgotten. The river is dropping from its peak flow at 400 cubic meters per second a few days ago. More rain is forecasted for the next seven days. Boating is not permitted for now.
In anticipation of heavy rain being a catalyst for runoff and potential flooding, TransAlta water regulators have been emptying the Glenmore and Ghost reservoirs to just a fraction of their capacities. Some of the water in our swollen rivers can be attributed to this dumping of the reservoirs. Although there is risk of flooding from potential extreme precipitation events, dropping levels at such a brisk pace could mean that a very hot summer has the potential to dry both our rivers and reservoirs straight back to the drought conditions we experienced last year. Let's hope these guys know what they're doing. Looks like they may be able to handle the bump that is yet to come. There's still plenty of snow in the Rockies. Late spring is not a bad thing for our water temperatures.
Almost no water in Glenmore Reservoir...
Same story at Ghost.
Likely our water regulators are warily eying the situation south of the border in Montana, where heavy late spring snowpack brought forth record-obliterating flows on the Yellowstone River. Flooding caused heavy damage to homes, roads, and the rivercourse in areas like Gardiner and Red Lodge. All entrances to Yellowstone National Park are closed. If you had plans to go fish the Yellowstone area this summer, those may need to be adjusted.
Memorial Drive and the Peace Bridge after the clouds parted.
Use extreme caution anywhere near the river, as currents are strong and the turbid coffee colored water conceals significant amounts of debris, including root balls, trees, concrete, rebar, and tons of other hazards. It's not recommended to enter the water at all if you don't have to. Many pathway closures are still in effect. Fish still need to feed though, and some big pike will be found in the murky back bays of the Bow. Fish big, black streamers and heavy black stonefly nymphs. There are plenty of bugs around, Caddis and little Yellow Sallies are partying on the banks.
You can click here to view a map of pathway closures.
Head to the lakes to fish when the rivers are blown out or try fishing seasonal ponds that connect by braided side channels along the Bow. These marshy zones swell during runoff and spring rains. Large trout will move out of the Bow, sometimes originally travelling from a reservoir, and into these areas to retreat from the fast water for a time. Sometimes after high water the odd Laker might find itself in the Bow.
Where do I put the worm?
Mountain Streams Opener
Cutthroat season is officially underway but with so much water ripping through our watersheds, many of the mountain streams likely won't be crossable at all this week. There will be some places that are fishable, perhaps. High Streamflow Advisories abound throughout the Eastern Slopes from ES1 up to ES2. Well known waters are flowing at rates far, far above average for this time of year. One creek in ES2 saw flows increase from under 10cms to about 100cms in just one day, and overland flooding affecting an adjacent campground. The intrepid creek angler might be able to make it happen. Maybe. Dropping water is at least a step in the right direction.
Dolly Llama, Black #2
Galloup's Dungeon, Black #2
Brennan's Iceman, Black 5/0
Intruder, Black #1
Galloup's Boogeyman, Black #2
BH Rubberlegs Stonefly, Black #6
RIO's Worm Farm TB, Brown #12
Flexi Girdle Bug, Black #6
Tungsten Squirmy Worm, Black #14
TB Prince Nymph, #10
No dry fly for you