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  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    The June Gloom

    How To Predict Your Day
    choices expanding
    .. It's here and it's grand! Visitors to Yellowstone National Park during the month of June often ask, "Does it always rain here?" Damn straight; and it's wonderful. The rain is not constant, the clouds break up occasionally, and many different sorts of bugs burst from our rivers nearly all day long. What more can one ask?
    .. The Gibbon River is finally in shape to fish, (not the best choice but getting better by the day.) The Firehole River has hit it's stride and will provide excellent catching for at least 30 days, (probably more.) The Madison River is lagging a bit but coming on strong. The Gallatin River is cold but very clear and the trout are surprisingly hungry.
    .. All these rivers have seen precipitous drops in discharge over the last 48 hours. All are near, at, or even below seasonal averages, (see sidebar for links.) Not only are the waters slowing down, the temperatures are moving into a most favorable catching range, even the Gallatin River is seeing consistent 50 degree temps. The west side choices in Yellowstone National Park are getting better by the hour.
    .. You can find some of the best reports about these rivers at Madison River Outfitters, Blue Ribbon Flies, and Chi Wulff. The sentiments are similar - it's about time: now do it.

    .. There is an interesting and informative type of weather forecasting available from the Weather Underground. It's called AVN MOS. Technically speaking it's:
    "The Aviation (AVN) Model Output Statistics (MOS); a forecast product produced by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. This forecast product gives detailed weather information in three hour increments spanning the 48 hours after the Aviation Model (A Numerical Weather Prediction Computer Program) is run. The forecast weather information includes temperature, dew point, wind speed and direction, cloud cover and obstructions to visibility, probability of precipitation, precipitation form (rain, sleet, freezing rain, or snow), and probability of severe thunderstorms.
    .. The forecast weather information is derived from equations which relate the forecast output of the AVN to what actually is observed at the forecast location. In other words, a forecast is first taken from the AVN weather model. Based on how accurately this weather model has predicted weather in the past, NCEP has developed equations to skew the model's forecast output to make it more accurate for the location for which a forecast is being produced. The final "skewed" product is the AVN MOS product presented on the Weather Underground site."
    It looks like is this:click on image for larger view

    .. Although the information and the modeling are designed to help pilots, it sure is handy for deciding where to fish in our neighborhood. With our choices expanding rapidly by the day, this is a useful tool.
    .. The cloud cover, precipitation, temperature, wind speed and wind direction information are all useful for deciding on targets.
    .. Should we target a hatch? Should we target a picnic spot? Should we target a sheltered river run? How about the leeward shore of a lake? Should we take the 'big boxes,' 'little boxes,' or all boxes and the kitchen sink?
    .. This weather forecasting product is produced in 48 hour chunks and helps planning for weekends, holidays, and fishing trips. We've used it for several years.
    .. We've also been astounded that most fisher folk neither use it, nor care about planning to this degree. Granted, the visceral pleasure of 'discovery through not knowing' is the stuff of stories; we're just a ways past that time in life where it's O.K. to screw up on a daily basis - and enjoy it.
    .. Every year we look forward to the JUNE GLOOM: The clouds are stunning!