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Joe

Rainy River Fishing Report

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HawgHauler

Doug--

Your post about the Kooch County Crew not cleaning the ramp this year is pretty concerning...

Not cleaning the ramp will lead to two things, and they are both bad: People not coming and supporting the Kooch and Lake of the Woods County economies, or, hundreds of people coming and risking life and limb backing big boats over shore ice. I've done it, it works okay, but let's face it, its a matter of time until someone takes a permanent swim or dumps a full rig in the water. I sure hope they step up like they have (wonderfully) over the past 10 years I've fished the special spring pre-spawn...

...concerned, but coming anyway...

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Royal Dutchman

Yeah, I would like to see the ramp cleared also. The statement I received was from a county employee but he could have been misinformed or misunderstood. Maybe there's still hope.

Luckily, there is not much ice on the ramp or in the river for that matter. Wouldn't take much to clear it with a couple more days of good weather but not sure when we'll get that. I'm betting that the county will be busy for a few days with the weather coming in anyway.

River is open for about 2 miles below B-dale. Carl & I fished 4 or 5 hours mid-day with only 1 bite. Carl reminded me that last year our first day was the same and 2nd day was fantastic.

Water has heavy stain but not muddy with about a foot of visibility even with the very heavy cloud cover today.

Water temp actually rose from 33.5 to 33.6 while we fished so hope the good stuff is coming.

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lakowoods

leaving now for the evening bite on the river by the golf course will report water and fishing conditions later when I get back.

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fumanchew44

i heard a rumor that getting bait might be an issue in the area. Will be up there next thur am. Is there any truth to this???

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walleyes29

Bait????? Use plastics or gulp...That minnow bucket water is too cold...

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lakowoods

Went out for the evening bite on the river, water was alittle swift 3/8 oz. on one pole and 1/2 oz on the other did'nt get to much debris on lines but the fishing was great for the hour and a half I was out caught my limit 2 , and threw back 5 slot fish 22in to 26 in. and 2 small eyes. hope that gets ya going. oh yeah I just used fathead chubs

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kosterguide

when do you guys think we cn get some bigger boats in the water or can we already, i wish i had a small boat so i could throw it acroos the ice right now

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rangerboy

Hey Tim,

Are you up there right now?

Were you able to get your Ranger in yet?

Hard to tell from some of the pictures whether there is a big shelf or not.

Thanks for the information!!

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Tim_Anderson

No, I'm still watching just like everybody else!

Judging by the pics I've seen, there doesn't look like there's that much ice on the ramp. The county may come and clean it, but if they don't, it just might take care of itself within a few days. The current and some traffic makes a big difference every day.

I can't go up tomorrow, but if it's open, I will go up Saturday or Sunday. Even if it's not open, I will be going up on Monday for sure. Like I said, not much ice on the ramp. Looks like a guy with some sand, salt, and an ice pick could get things in order without too much work. I'll be bringing that and my waders.

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Diesel man kevin

Birchdale at 10-ish this morning

img0128w.jpg

jonny p, My friend and I are going up to his cabin (Backus) for a week next week. (march 30- april 3rd) We dont have Internet access at the cabin and was wondering if i could get your cell number if you dont mind letting us know if we can get a 17' crestliner on the river at birchdale. Silverram323@hotmail.com

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fishing-g

thanks for the info. i to am going up from the brainerd area but not until next thursday. was up to the river to check it out and do a couple other things oon tuesday. birchdale had about 40 feet of shore ice at that time and looked to be open water about a mile or so west at that time.

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Royal Dutchman

Just got a call from DNR Fisheries in Baudette. They had a coordination meeting with Kooch County and several other agencies a while back and there where definite plans to clear the ramps. SO.... the guy I talked to either didn't know or was messin' with me.

No schedule but rest assured they will clear them as soon as conditions allow and it is safe for the crews to do so.

Hope to head up there this afternoon & will post later.

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lakowoods

There was 22in yet and 100ft away from me was 32", I Falls area they have 2 gates open and plan on opening 2 more probably tonight due to the high level of water on Rainy Lake.

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Fishing Realtor

So with the gates open resulting in higher, faster water - can this be as bad in terms of water clarity as when the Little Fork breaks loose?

Reports say that the Little Fork is "starting to give" and "there is some debris" from the rapidly rising water.

Any thoughts or more up to date condition reports would help those of us for this weekend...

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rangerboy

It can be very dissapointing if the forks go out (not sure about the dam). We were one day late 3 years ago. There were limited reports about the conditions the day before we went, we got the boat ready, packed everything, and drove all the way up there. It went from outstanding the day before to horrible. You couldn't even fish there was so much debris on your line, the water was chocolate milk, and current was so bad we had a hard time even loading the boat on the trailer. Let's hope we arent' going to see this already. The last two years good clarity until the end of the season.

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computerboy

High water alone won't make the river as turbid as when the Forks break, but it will definitely affect water clarity. Mud isn't the only factor conspiring against us though. The main problems with high water are heavy current and floating debris/ice. Heavy current makes vertical jigging next to impossible, and fast-floating debris/ice makes for treacherous boating conditions.

The best case scenario would be for progress to slow significantly. The cooler temps will help, but if they really are planning to open up two more gates that's definitely not going to help matters. If guys are already using 1/2 jigs to stay down, we'll be using downriggers to get our jigs to the bottom by this weekend. smile

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FishnUMD

general question- do you think a 14' deep v boat with a 9.9 johnson can make it through the current?

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Jim Uran

oh yeah it can. I remember taking a 14 footer and a 6 horse up there. It'll work.

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VIZSLA_NUT

got up there at 9 am and it is definately flowing fast, 10mph by gps drifting with the current could hardly keep a 1 ounce jig on the bottom never caught any debris of any kind except ice i dont think the forks let loose yet because it wasn't that dirty but the high water and fast current must be busting up the ice up current pretty bad because it was like fishing in a giant slushy you had to flop your jig into the water like a ice hole that hasn't been cleaned out yet and once it does break through and start falling a bigger piece of ice flows by and hooks your line and brings your jig back up as fast as it went down boated down to where it was locked up still and the ice was piling up so fast were loosing roughly 1oo yds of open water every 10 min so i figure at that rate birchdale landing where i put in will be one big ice jam by tomorrow

so other than not a single bite or hearing of anybody else getting a bite and the ice flowing under my boat and shearing off my transducer it was a great excuse to get out of the house

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Royal Dutchman

The ice jam actually started clearing out late yesterday and had opened down to about mm 151. The ice floes definitely cleared out later in the day as the 2 additional gate cleared everything from the Falls down. Drove to the falls about 6 PM and hardly saw a piece of ice left in the river.

Should make significant progress as temps and sun work for us next few days.

I understand having to use a 1 oz. jig as you were being carried along with the ice at surface flow speeds. We were not having any problem keeping a 3/8 oz. down while slip-drifting and vertical jigging later in the day when ice cleared out.

Fish were caught but not by us. The good stuff is yet to come!

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kentfast

Friday

3 in my boat fished friday for 5 hours

zero bites, saw no fish caught. Heard a few guys say they caught one walleye.

Can only see your jig down about 6 inches. Had absolutely no problem keeping and feeling a 3/8 ounce jig in about 20 FOW.

Saturday we ran up to the dam and fished the dam down to the golf course, caught one 20" walleye and a small pike, saw many other pike caught.

They dont have any of the gates fully open, they are all very slightly opened, the current isn't faster than normal. Water clarity was about 6 feet, from the dam all the way to the Little Fork.

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Royal Dutchman

Hey Kentfast,

When you were at the Little Fork confluence was there heavy flow and/or color? Thanks!

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whitetail_freak

my dad managed to get his ranger into the river this morning, he said it was very dirty water, did manage to catch 7 walleyes, but that was it.

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kentfast

all that garbage is coming from the little fork, we never made it down there, but two other boats did and reported 6 feet clarity just upstream, and less than 6" of clarity at the mouth of the river.

The ice isn't off either of the forks yet, and didn't look 'that' weak as we drove over the bridge.

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Tim_Anderson

Water is clear above the Little Fork. Water is stained below it, but with very little debris. And it is still locked in ice.

Logically, the muddy water must be coming through under the ice, and it stands to reason that it could eventually clear. 10 day forecast shows very little time above freezing if any, for at least a week or so. This could give the LF some time to flush out the muddy water, and potentially the powers that be up at I-falls to start closing things up a bit.

Granted, with some cool temps, that water temp is not going to come up much in the main river, but I would rather see the LF stay locked up cuz if that lets go we are done for sure (just my experience, plus the high water levels this year could get ugly for debris...my prediction). In the meantime, more and more fish are moving up. So put all of this together:

1. Stable temps at or below freezing both day and night.

2. Time for Little Fork to clear.

3. Enough water let out of Rainy Lake to close down the gates and reduce the current.

4. Weatherman is right, and we don't experience unexpected warmth or moisture. We need zero chance of runoff right now.

5. Big run of hungry walleyes up the river, who have a small window to feed up before they go into their spawning ritual. 40 degrees or more is ideal, but I have whacked the walleyes when the water temp was 37 or 38.

This could happen! We still have two weeks, and I am not giving up yet.

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