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SM1

Losing Ground

14 posts in this topic

With the colder temps this week, what are the chances the river will have any freezing?? Or will it continue to slowly eat away at the ice front? In the last day I have noticed some of the ponds around home are now skimmed over with ice- Not what I was hoping for!

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It might slow the thaw, but there's no way it'll freeze back up any real amount. Its probably a good thing to slow the runoff right now since the clarity is improving the last few days and people are at least getting a few walleyes now.

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Sorry Gorilla but just what I was hoping not to happen--did. The thawing progress the river made up to early this week did a big reverse. Instead of having open water to #151, cool temps have froze floating ice chunks together pretty much back to birchdale. There were a couple (like two or three) boats fishing right infront of the access, but they had to break ice all the way to find small pockets of open water. Unless the temps actually do warm up the river conditions will probably stay like this for the next few days. Maybe at the end of this week the river will open back up to #151??

I dont like to report bad news but for going to the rainy I watch this site very close and like to see new reports. I base my fishing plans a lot on what is reported on this site so I hope my report helps others as well.

On the bright side, I have heard some very good walleye reports from the lake. If anyone is unsure about the river make the best of it and consider ice fishing. Also consider making your reservations at places like the Royal Dutchman & Clemenson Resorts. I have nothing but good things to say about them. Good Luck. SM1

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OOPPS...

I forgot we're in MN.

I was wondering if anyone could report how Pelland access is in the last two mornings...

Do-able? I've got an older 16 lund built for ramming ice(too a point). I'd like to say, I coming up tommorrow regardless, but I'd like to make sure my plan B is even workable...

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Just got back without putting the boat in the water! frown.gif As stated above, river re-froze to about 1/4-1/2 mile below birchdale. The ice the guys were breaking thru was 3-4" pack-ice for about 100', then another 100+ feet of varying thickness skim ice. Took a scouting trip on Saturday because it was 17 degrees and blowing 20-30 mph. I-falls launch (Shorewood) looked fine, even a dock in the water there. Pelland (Kuttes) launch as well as the river around it was 98% clear. Only problem was the end of the launch ... river's so low that most of the concrete pads are above water. You go to drop a boat in and you fall off the last concrete pad. No problem for putting in, but for getting out it would create some troubles. I've got a warrior trail bunk trailer, and I know I would hang a cross-beam on that last pad before my tires reached it, thus making it tough getting out at all! Some guys were pulling it off, most had roller trailers with smaller boats, or a dual-axle set-up. If you try it, think about taking something to wedge between your tires and that last pad, might make it easier. Manitou Rapids & Franze Jevne launches had a ton of shore ice, as well as more fast-moving chunks out in the middle. Looking East from Birchdale, all you see is WHITE ICE! I think with the re-freeze, the ice that is moving is jamming up somewhere between Franz Jevne & Birchdale. We thought that if the river does start moving again, a guy could be in trouble at Birchdale. You could get out OK, but if that shore ice starts moving and packing-in, good luck busting through that stuff getting back to the launch. Conservation warden @ Birchdale about 3:30 PM said that that same thing happened earlier last week, guys got out but had a terrible time getting back to the launch. The groups that have made it out (and we happened to notice they were all much younger ... 20-30 ... than us grin.gif) were catching some fish, but no real "banner" numbers. Also ... because of the strong N winds over the last three days, all pack ice is being pushed against the US side. Every last boat at Birchdale was fishing in Canada. The C.O. didn't care, he said he had no jurisdiction (makes sense). Anyway, figured maybe we'll return late this week. Last night the temp was 8 degrees, and we were pretty sure without looking at Birchdale again what was going on over there. Only thing that we were PO'd about was we forgot the ice-fishing gear! Multiple groups were doing good off of Grayson (sp?) Beach on LOW thru the ice. Oh well ... somedays mother nature makes you tuck your tail and say, "You win". We'll be back!

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By the way, Doug & Marilyn @ Royal Dutchment are the best! If you're looking for a place to stay, it comes highly recommended from me!

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Smeds,

Looks like you made it home safe but I'm afraid you're going to miss some good fishing. Hope you can get back up later in the week.

At 5PM Birchdale was open bank to bank. Temp hit 32 today, first time in a week, and the river started to act appropriately (finally). Was at Birchdale, talking to a local guide who had caught 28 in 5 hours this afternoon and were making plans to fish together tomorrow when a boat came flying off the trailer on the ramp. We got it back on and I didn't ask him how far down open water was or how big his fish were. I was too excited about fishing tomorrow.

Forecast (for what it's worth) is thumbs up. Guide reported good clarity. Sunshine, low wind, & upper 30's tomorrow. I'm going to sunburn my head & smack some eyes!

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Dutchman,

Thanks for the help on the shore fishing. We travelled to wayside park this afternoon. We got a chance to fish some openings between ice chunks, but as the afternoon went on, there was too many chunks floating downstream, and kinda plugged the area up. Fished about 3 hours, no bites, tried floating jigs, then switched to gulp shads. One boat was able to make it all the way to the park, but said he had only caught a couple. At the rate is was going, it should get to you guys fairly fast.

Would it be possible to rent a boat from you guys in a couple weeks for sturgeon? Hopefully the river is completly open by then.

Wallegator

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Hey Gator,

Were you in a Red PU? I stopped on the way to B'dale to check things out and saw you there. Thought about coming down but didn't want to ruin my spiffy new tennies. If I'ld known it was you I would have hollered. Sorry the catching wasn't better but shore fishing the Rainy is a tough one.

Glad to hear the boat made it down to there! Hope he made it back up.

Yeah on the boat, let us know when your thinking about sturgeon fishing. Hope it works out.

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Hey Gorrilla,

I can tell you that I was able to put a 619 Ranger in at the Pelland access last weekend (March 31) without too much trouble. Like Smeds said, there's about a 4-6 inch drop off the end of the ramp. My trailer is a low rider, but it's a tandem. She rubbed a little bit going in, but did fine coming out. My biggest concern would be coming out late in the day when it's icy. The ramp is kind of steep, like Birchdale. Now the question is, where is the river level at compared to when I was there? If it's gone down any, that could make the pelland access a bit more interesting/risky.

Sounds like Birchdale is shaping up again anyway (see dougs/royal dutchman post). We caught fish in that awful weather the past few days. Things could start heating up around Birchdale in short order! I'd plan on that if I were you. Good luck whatever you do, and let us know how ya did when you get back.

Tim

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Yeah Doug ... got home safe, but early! Looks like we got an education on ice & moving water! Wouldn't you know it opens up shore-shore as soon as we leave! What happened to all the ice that was above Birchdale? Still locked up, or did it move thru also? I'm ready to jump off a tall building for leaving too soon! Talked to Marilyn just now, I'll get the report from you tonight ... might make the drive again Thursday.

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Smeds: Sounds like more work than ice fishing frown.gif David said you were hard core, or something like that. Hope you get a chance to head back. I'm hoping to open my cabin and put the dock and lift in next week. Crazy weather for sure. It was nicer at Xmas than Easter. Good luck on your next venture. Bill

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Dutchman,

Yeah, we were in the red chevy. I will probably get ahold of you in a week or so checking on the boat. Thanks again for the help.

Wallegator

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Tim thanks for the info.

We just got back from Birchdale, actually. It was slow and steady for us starting out, but got hot and heavy before we left. With forty plus by 4pm we decide to fill out and take off. 12 fish later we finally said we have to quit and kept our 4 under 19.5 and hit the road. It was cool to spank em again to start out the year. One of MN's great early spring traditions...

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