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Royal_Dutchman

2016 Rainy River Conditions (Ice Out)

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Royal_Dutchman

February 26th, 2016:
Grant's dad, Jim went to International Falls today and checked the river at Pelland Landing and where the open water was. He said he could see open water 2.5 miles west of Loman, MN. Here is a picture of Pelland Landing from today:

02.26.16  2.5 west loman.jpg

March 2nd, 2016:
Grant and I headed over to International Falls this afternoon to check on the river. We hate to say we don't feel the river has moved at all because of the cold days and nights we have had. It looks like a lot of the spots have refroze as you will be able to see in the Kuttes Landing picture. We could see quite a bit of open water at the Big Fork which is 25 miles east of Birchdale. There is a point west of Loman where you can't see the river for quite a while and we feel the river is open around 18.2 miles east of Birchdale and in spots it looks to have refroze. The open water is 41.3 miles east of our place. Since the river hasn't moved much we most likely will not check it until mid week next week. Unless we get word from some friends that it has moved quite a bit then we will make the trip again. Here are the picture we were able to get.

Kuttes Landing in Pelland you can see that it has refroze:56d796bf399b4_03.02.2016KuttesLanding.th

Here is what it looked like 14 miles east of Birchdale Landing, it was very spotty for another 3 miles towards Birchdale with big spots that were open but it is not open the entire way there are sections to the east where it is completely froze still

56d796cef36db_03.02.201614mileseastofbir

Open water at the Manitou Rapids:

56d796d60ad14_03.02.2016manitourapids.th

Open water at Franz Jevne:

56d796dc902b2_03.02.2016franzjevne.thumb

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ANYFISH2

Thank you for posting!

With sporadic open spots it seems it will go real fast.

Thanks again.

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IceHawk

 Welcome Royal Dutchmen! Love the reports should be a good one this spring cant wait I'm pumped,

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Royal_Dutchman

March 7th, 2016:
We had a friend check on the river for us today and she sent us a message saying it was 10 miles east of Birchdale. Grant decided since it was so nice and we had some free time that we would go check it also. The river is open 10 miles east of Birchdale Landing and Franz Jevne looked the same as last time we checked. We did check at the Manitou Rapids and it is still frozen coming into the rapids. We will probably check the river in a couple of days. It was in the high 40s today and tomorrow is suppose to be nice and rain most of the day so that will help the snow disappear some more.

Here is looking straight out at 10 miles east of Birchdale Landing:

56de27114f9f4_03.07.201610mileseastbirch

Here is looking to the east 10 miles east of Birchdale Landing showing more of the open water:

56de271a8207c_03.07.201610mileseastofbir

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IceHawk

Looking good wont b long! Thanks for the report

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LucasLongCaster

Can't wait. I remember 2012 we were out on the lake in April, I hope it's like that this year. Last year I was pushing sheets of ice around the boat 2nd weekend in april in the river.

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Royal_Dutchman

March 9th, 2016:
    I went and checked the river around noon today and the temperature was anywhere between 29 degrees and 31 degrees and has been cloudy so far today.  We did get some rain yesterday but the ground has soaked up all the water puddles in the yard.  As of this afternoon the river is open about 7 miles east of Birchdale Landing.  The pictures I took are at 7.4 miles and you could see open water close to the plant on the Canadian side.  There are a few miles where you can't see the river or really get down to it so I am guessing it is around 7 miles.  For those wondering about pushing their boats off the ice at Franz Jevne the river is open to the east less than a mile as I found the river frozen exactly a mile east of Franz Jevne.  The river is open about 5 miles east of Franz Jevne.  Today's forecast is cloudy with a high of 34 degrees and a low of 18 degrees tonight.  Tomorrow (March 10th) looks to be nice as it is going to be partly cloudy with a high of 46 degrees and a low of 32 degrees tomorrow night.  This weekend they are predicting we are suppose to get in the 50s so that will help open up the river.

Here is a picture at 7.4 miles east of Birchdale Landing (best place to get a good picture) and you can see the plant on the Canadian side:

56e07af0d2cdc_03.09.20167.4mileseastofbi

This picture is 7.4 miles east of Birchdale Landing looking straight out:

56e07af91a061_03.09.20167.4mileseastofBi

This picture is at Franz Jevne looking to the east:

56e07b00f0b26_03.09.2016FranzJevnelookin

This picture is of the landing at Birchdale:

56e07afd13ccf_03.09.2016BirchdaleLanding

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ANYFISH2

Thank you again Royal Dutchman! !

Was the ice at birchdale busted up all winter or is it moving around?

I know the ice was rough between frontier and vidas this winter, just curious if you know.

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LucasLongCaster

Gonna move quick this next week. Thanks for the updates. Keep them coming.

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Royal_Dutchman

The ice at Birchdale Landing as been like that ever since it froze.  We had a bunch of busted up ice in front of our place this year too.

March 10th, 2016:
     We checked the river later this afternoon and found open water about 3 miles east of Birchdale Landing.  We believe it might be closer to 2 miles from Birchdale as it looks like it could be open all the way to Franz Jevne now but it was hard to tell for sure.  It was cloudy for most of the morning but we ended up seeing some sun later in the day and the temperature was 40 degrees when we went to check the river.  When we went to Birchdale Landing you could not see any open water to the east so it wasn't quite there yet but after these next few warm days we are hoping it will be open to Birchdale or even past there. 

Here is a picture about 3 miles east of Birchdale Landing looking to the east:

56e215bc780d2_03.10.20163mileseastofbirc

Here is a picture about 3 miles to the east of Birchdale Landing looking to the west with my camera zoomed all the way showing where the open water looks to end:

56e215c1ec69f_03.10.20163mileseastofbirc

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slammer

Any info on how the Little and Bigfork are doing?

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Royal_Dutchman

We have not head anything about the Little Fork and Big Fork.  Grant figures with the water being low and not having much for runoff this year that it most likely will not be muddy towards our part of the river.

March 12th, 2016:
     Grant and a friend went and checked the river around 3:00 pm today there was some open water but not a lot in front of the landing at Birchdale.  There were boats that had pushed over the shore ice at Franz Jevne and Grant figures there is probably about 10 yards of shore ice.  The boats were not able to get all the way to the landing as there was some ice in the way yet.  We were in the high 50s today and now tomorrow they are calling for a high of 47 degrees and rain. 

Here is looking west at Birchdale Landing:

56e4badd4333b_03.12.2016justwestofbirchd

Here is looking east at Birchdale Landing:

56e4bacc9fad1_03.12.2016birchdalelooking

Here is looking west at Franz Jevne:

56e4bad7da734_03.12.2016franzjevnelookin

Here is looking east at Franz Jevne:

56e4bad20c5ff_03.12.2016franzjevnelookin

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slammer

Thanks again for the time and effort you put into this.

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Royal_Dutchman

Your welcome

March 13th, 2016:
    Grant's dad went and checked the river today and said there was open water 2.7 miles east of Frontier Landing.  Birchdale is open for boats to push over the shore ice but as of noon today no one had pushed boats in yet.  We have had some misting rain and little down pour today as of 4:00pm. 
 

Here is looking straight at Birchdale Landing:

56e5decca7719_03.13.2016straightbirchdal

Here is looking to the east at Birchdale Landing:

56e5dec7bcadf_03.13.2016eastbirchdale.th

Here is looking to the west at Birchdale Landing:

56e5ded157513_03.13.2016westbirchdale.th

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Royal_Dutchman

March 14th, 2016:
We went and checked the river today and were able to get in a few hours of fishing in the 60 degree weather (check the fishing report and the Spring Fishing pictures). Birchdale is open to all boats as of early this morning and there is talk that the county is going to go in on Wednesday and open up Frontier. If you wanted to you could push a boat off the shore ice at Frontier. We checked at Vidas Landing and it is getting close to having open water but it is still froze. We are not sure how far the river is west of Frontier but it was open from the last point you could see the river from the highway. Tomorrow they are calling for a high of 47 degrees and 90% chance of rain and then on Wednesday a high of 36 degrees and 80% chance of rain/snow.

Fishing Report: March 14th, 2016:
Birchdale Landing is open to all boats and since today was in the low 60s, Grant and I, decided to take advantage of the one day we could both go fishing for a few hours. We were out just a little over 2 hours and had our limit in about an hour. We caught 9 walleyes total: we kept 4 walleyes about 15 inches, let 3 keepers go, Grant caught a 21 inch walleye that was released, I caught a 23 inch walleye that was released, and I also caught a 20 inch northern. For the few hours we were out there we saw some other people from Baudette catch some nice walleyes in the mid to higher- 20s. Yesterday, we had a group that went out of Graceton Beach ice fishing and they said they had a slower day but caught a nice 27 1/2 inch walleye that made up for the bite.

Birchdale Landing is open to all boats:

56e742437e877_03.14.2016BirchdaleLanding

Here is Frontier:

56e742461bb83_03.14.2016FrontierLanding.

Here is Vidas Landing:

56e74248eba9b_03.14.2016VidasLanding.jpg

The biggest fish I caught and released today was 23 inches:

56e7423ee68af_03.14.201623inch.jpg.d8c3f

Grant's biggest walleye he caught and released today was 21 inches:

56e742414635c_03.14.201621inch.thumb.jpg

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ANYFISH2

Thanks for the updates, so appreciative to get info from 3 hrs away.  It is priceless info for us.

This being so early, I am not sure when to venture up!  Have next week off of work, perfect time to go! Or, do I wait for the big push and risk heavy rain and dirty water first week in April?

Decisions... decisions :/

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Royal_Dutchman

The first week in April might be a lot warmer compared to what they are predicting for us soon.

March 15th, 2016:
   We checked the river about 12:30pm today and found open water in front of Vidas Landing and it is open a few miles west of that landing.  The only access that was open is still Birchdale Landing.  It has been raining for most of the day and looks like tomorrow we could have some more rain and snow. 

Here is Frontier Landing:

56e88877f2086_03.15.2016FrontierLanding.

Here is Vidas Landing:

56e888830c7e3_03.15.2016VidasLanding.thu

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slammer

How bad is the snowstorm today?

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side_laker

What is the current like. 

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Tony S

Checked the USGS gaging stations on the Liitle Fork and Big Fork Rivers earlier today and they are still showing ice cover.  They don't provide good data with the ice cover there at the gage staion(s).
That might go soon then we can get good flow readings from them. When they let loose and if the water gets appreciably muddy it hopefully won't last too long and allow for good fishing to resume for awhile before the close. Long season this spring with an early ice out!  Word.

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Ballyhoo

That area got over a foot of snow yesterday so I am guessing the run off will pick up when it all melts. It was a wet heavy snow.

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Royal_Dutchman

The current isn't slow but it's not fast this is what my husband said.  On Monday when we fished we were drifting and he used a 3/8 oz and I used a 1/2 oz because I can never feel bottom.

March 16th, 2016:
   We have open water at our place and it is just starting to snow a little before 9:00 am. The dock still has ice around it.  We did hear that Vidas Landing is open to all boats and we weren't able to get out and check on the landing today.  We had one group that fished in the snow and they caught 3 walleyes and the biggest was 23.5 and they said all the other boats around them did about the same.  It sounds like it was a slow day but they still had some fun.  They did not say anything about the rain or snow affecting the water clarity.

Here is looking to the east from our front deck about 9:00 am before all the snow came:

56eb37b6e8279_03.16.2016royaldutchmandec

March 17th, 2016:
   We probably got about 10-11 inches of snow. Grant went and checked Vidas Landing about 10:30am and it is open to all boats. We will try and report more if we hear from the groups that were fishing today.  A friend sent us a picture of Timber Mill's Landing about 3:45pm and they were working on it.  Grant went and checked about 5:00 pm and the road is plowed but there is still shore ice so boats are only able to push off there at this point.  We still haven't heard or had time to go check on Frontier Landing to see if it is open to all boats.  At this time we believe they are still pushing off at Frontier.

Here is Vidas Landing and it is open to all boats:

56eb37d3c1853_03.17.2016vidaslanding.thu

Here is Timber Mill Landing right in Baudette at 5:00 pm....There is still shore ice so you can only push off as of right now56eb37c33b849_03.17.2016timbermill500(1)

 

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schucanoe

Tony S if you look at the gage height information on the USGS website though it looks like the Forks are "going out" now as the gage ht. on the Little Fork was at about 3 ft. a week ago and is now reading 17 ft.. The Big Fork has gone up about 4 ft. over this same time frame.  Not bad timing if this is the case as the resulting dirty water and debris should pass through in a weeks time I would think in time for last 3+ weeks of the season.

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Traxxx

Fished the river today and I'd say the forks let loose. Current was rippin, quite a bit of debris, sticks and floating ice chunks coming down river, clarity was 3" max. No fish for us. Talked to the DNR at the landing and he said out eight boats there was one sucker caught. 

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Tony S

Ya the gage on the Little Fork shows a huge stage increase, still showing ice at the gage on website.  If there is a piece of ice sitting on top of the gage it may read funny.  Looks/sounds like the ice definitely went, though.  I like the timing as well.  This is gonna really bring the fish on the run.  Can't wait for it to clear up.  A person could always go upstream of the Forks Rivers and fish near da Falls and be out of that mess.  A few things have worked for me in muddy water.  They don't always work, but... Try fishing with a spinner/minnow rig, much like you would in the summer on a lake. Vibration can attract when muddy.  I would almost still fish that rig in the current, or slowly work upstream. Mouths of tribs might clear up a bit and be fishable soon.  The Rapid River will be clearer, for sure.  I stumbled on this last year: I went to sturgeon fishing (after no luck jigging for walleyes) in deeper holes and no crawlers so I was putting 2 to 4 shiners on the hook for bait. I caught no sturgeon but walleyes were hitting that pretty good on a day that was slow for everyone jigging.  They bit just like suckers would. Try that. Crankbaits, maybe?  If you're fishing any type of bait rig for walleye or sturgeon shorten up the distance from your bait to the slip sinker if the flows are really high.  That helps keep it to the bottom. 

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