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CALIFORNIA SNOWPACK UPDATE: May Storm Dumps Over 2 Feet in 1 Day

snowpack view NASA

Just when we thought our snowpack updates were tucked away with our winter gear, Mother Nature threw us a chilly curveball! On May 5th, a particularly snowy day at Donner Pass saw an impressive 26.4 inches (67 centimeters) of fresh snow, making it the snowiest day of the 2023-2024 season.

This unexpected snowstorm, captured by NASA’s Terra satellite at 11 a.m. local time on the same day, blanketed the Sierras in a thick coat of white (see pic above!). The impact lingered, causing treacherous driving conditions and even closing sections of Interstate 80 over Donner Summit.

Not to be outdone, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area reported a substantial 10 inches (25 centimeters) of new snow, and Yosemite Valley showcased its iconic landscapes in a dazzling fresh coat of white.

You might recall that the winter started dry, but later storms significantly bolstered the snowpack across the Sierra range. So what does this mean for fly fishing?

Snowpack is a boon for the ecosystem! Initially, the melting snow will lead to higher and muddier waters in the Kern, but this phase is short-lived. What follows is a refreshed, clean, and thriving environment, ready for adventure. However, as the snow melts and the waters rise, we recommend venturing beyond the Kern River for the best fishing conditions.

If you haven't yet tried fly fishing at Lake Isabella, now is the perfect time to explore this diverse fishery, nourished by the waters of the Kern River.

Lake Isabella, a great spot for topwater fishing, offers a diverse fishery where you can catch various species. Whether you’re floating on a pontoon, cruising by boat, or casting from the shore, it promises great fun and fantastic fishing opportunities.

fishing on lake isabella
Lake Isabella catch

Planning a fishing adventure on Lake Isabella? Consider booking a guided trip with us for an expertly curated experience! If you prefer to explore independently, stop by our shop to gear up with all the essential flies and gear for a successful outing. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is also on hand to provide helpful tips and insights.

Be sure to check out our latest fishing report too, for up-to-date information and intel on making the most of your time in this fantastic fishery.

Pack your gear, prep your lines, and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors. The great outdoors is calling, and it is more alive than ever!

Stay tuned for more updates, and as always, tight lines and happy fishing!

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