Back on the water. It's been a long month! The entire month of February was one long arse below zero, snow filled, horrid month of weather. Perhaps one of the hardest winter months in recent memory! We maxed out at a whopping NEGATIVE 38 degrees the first weekend in March. In like a Lion was right! But we'd been dealing with that kind of sub zero temps for a month already. More like another swift kick to the mid section..... Weeks of below zero temps sure did a number on the rivers around here. Massive ice jams have built up. We typically see them around the middle of the valley at Mallards, Loch Leven, etc. but typically they don't hit the upper valley too. It's the last week of March and "normally" all this should have been in the rear view mirror with the ice jams having dissipated by early March. Today we fought to launch the driftboat at 26 Mile, 6 miles upstream from the flyshop! Look at how impressive the ice is here!
So- a quick run down on boat ramps and their accessibility:
Carter's Bridge: OK and clear
Pine Creek: Ice on the ramp. Marginal but probably do able. Ice jams visible along the banks.
Mallard's, Loch Leven, Mill Creek Bridge: NO GO, Ice jams and shelves that look like the picture above. Easily 6-8 feet of ice
Grey Owl: Usable. I'd say take out only b/c downstream is major ice issues. You'd have to float to Pine Crk
Emigrant: Usable. A little ice but certainly fine
26: Shelf ice not quite as bad as in the picture here (which is just 1/4 mile downstream). Have to slide boat over ice to reach the river. NOT a takeout option
Point of Rocks, Carbella and on upstream: Reports are all are OK.
And for the fishing? Slow, but what a nice day to get back on the river!! Deadrifting smaller buggers, rubberlegs, large Princes is the only thing that moved a couple fish for us. Water clarity was OK, not great. I'd say less than a foot, but it was glacial green which can be good. I didn't take a water temp other than to quickly put gloves back on after dipping my hand! It's cold!