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shamrock7

fishin report for those headed towards Rainy River

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shamrock7

Just got back from the river. We didn't do great but we stayed fairly close to Birchdale. Talks to a guy that did much better with some HOGs. They fish downstream from Frontier about 3/4 mile. Frontier has a little shore ice, Birchdale is clear. Be there by 8:00 or bring your bike. Pink was our best color. Also got a few pullin shadraps.

Good luck Cliff

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Silver Scale

How are the Big and Littlefork Rivers looking for ice? Heading up for Sturgeon once the walleye guys clear out.

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shamrock7

Both still have ice. Little Fork looks more ready to go out but even that will be a while yet. Really impressive looking at the river on the way up there. The water is really low. On the islands north of Loman, there were bunches of pelican all huddled together trying to stay warm, I would guess. So this wacky weather has more than us humans with bad attitudes........With the forecast for such nice weather and the timing of the spring walleye run, it make take a couple of weeks for all the walleye guys to get off the river. Glad I could get up there before the real mad rush hits. Sure feel sorry for Cliff.

Oh, and for everyones info, CO's standing by at the landings checking almost everyone and they were writing some. None for us.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Randy,

Thanks for the update and the tips!

I know we will have to fight the bumper-to-bumper boats but at least I will finally be fishing soft water again! laugh.gif

We will be leaving here at 3:00am, so should be at the ramp a little before 6:00am.

Cliff

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Cliff Wagenbach

We had a great 2 days of fishing on the Rainy River Friday and Sat.! laugh.gif Fun to be back on open water again.

Four of us boated over 100 walleyes on Friday, with 6 fish between 24" and 26-1/4 inches.

I broke off a very big sturgeon on Fri. that we never even saw.

Sat. was a little slower but we caught more large walleyes.

We boated around 70 walleyes with 8 of them being between 24 inches and 27 inches.

I had a sturgeon up to the surface that we estimated to be a 6 footer at least! shocked.gif It dove again and after 15 minutes of fighting it I decided to break it off so we could get back to walleye fishing.

All in all a very fun two days!

Cliff

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Silver Scale

Cliff Glad you had a good time. The river is truly a great place to be in the spring. I was wondering if the Fork Rivers had opened up yet or were they still ice bound?

Also did you launch at Birchdale or Frontier?

Any info is appreciated.

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Tim_Anderson

Cliff....guess I had my chance to meet you in person, I was up there Friday and Saturday as well, but didn't know you'd be there or what your boat looks like. Probably ran past you numerous times! What kind of boat do you have?

Fishing was awesome for us as well. Two of us put just short of 200 walleyes in the boat....21 between 25 and 31 inches. This was a trip where I tried to experiment and be more versatile, and running out of minnows forced me to do that as well! We caught them on nightcrawlers, and powerbait too.

Also caught 62, 58, and 53 inch sturgeon. The 62 incher I snagged in the side of the body. When I set the hooks into the fish, it took off cross current like a freight train for canada, and nearly spooled me....had to chase it to get my line back as she just about got to my mono backing (pretty darn good thrill). But once we got over the top of the fish, I pushed all tackle to the breaking point, and we got it in the net in 13 minutes. GREAT FUN!

Got to the Birchdale landing last night at 5:00, and had to try to catch "just one more fish". Then it calmed down nice and the sun came out hot. Two hours later, with another dozen fish, a 31, and two 28's, we finally trailered up and got out of there. Got home at midnight, but it was well worth it.

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Tim_Anderson

Silver Scale,

Not sure about the Forks? They are more up by Pelland, and I never went above Birchdale. I'm guessing there's still some ice on them. Rapid River, and some of the other tributaries I crossed going home (that dump into the Rainy) were still iced up.

Water clarity is not a factor (roughly one foot visibility), and it was much clearer than when I was up there a week ago. I'm starting to wonder if the river will even muddy up this year? Many locals up there I talked to said they think what little mud and debris we might have this year has already passed through because of the slow/sustained melt.

We launched at Birchdale. A bit icy in the morning, and some trucks were sliding and jack-knifing down the ramps, but once everyone started backing down keeping one side of the truck and trailer OFF the ramp (on the gravel/crushed rock), then things were fine.

Frontier was a zoo, especially with the single ramp, and less parking. But it is not as steep, and that is a good thing in the am when it's icy.

Are you headed up after sturgeon? Good luck if you go.

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Cliff Wagenbach

We went out of Birchdale and went down stream as far as the church.

Both the Big Fork and Little Fork with iced in yet.

Caught fish in every spot we tried, but some spots were better then others for big walleyes.

Got all of our fish on rainbow minnows on either chartuse or chart./green jigs and short 16" lindys.

Tim I was fishing out of my friends 1775 Alumacraft with a 150 Mercury.

We loaded up Sat. at around 6:00 pm.

Probably saw you there too!

Cliff

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MNBIGBEAR

You guys have any problems running into stuff in the river with bigger boats? I havent had the pleasure of heading up there yet but was thinking about giving it a try this spring. I just dont want to mess my boat up in the process.

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Tim_Anderson

MNBIGBEAR,

You have to be careful upstream from Birchdale. There are a couple of rocky areas and shallow riffles right below Birchdale (there's a big rock sticking out on the Minnesota side), but if you plane out, trim up, and stick to the middle of the river, you should be alright.

Down farther, a couple of bends right above the Frontier access, the river widens out quite a bit, and gets pretty shallow. There's a sandbar (dry ground) on the Minnesota side, and most of the river is only 2-3 feet deep there, but again, you should be OK planed out and trimmed up.

The river is fine and runs alot deeper from Frontier down to Clementson, and in my opinion, that's better fishing down there anyway. Lots of 10-20 foot gravel/rock, and some deep holes as well.

But as always, it's good to be cautious on unfamiliar water. I started out on the cautious side, but found that I could run pretty much the way I always have.

Good luck if you go,

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Cliff Wagenbach

We traveled around 8 to 10 miles downstream from Birchdale at full throtle with no problem, but my partener knows that strech of the river pretty well.

There are plenty of reefs and rocks in many areas especially with the water being this low.

Cliff

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Eyewitness

Cliff, still tired today yet....and still wishin' we were up there. I am now officially fired up for open water. After reading Tim's posts and seeing his pics on the Rainy Forum, maybe we should have headed as close to the lake as possible for the bigger girls..... From the look of his pics I see a LOT of floating ice everywhere. Maybe Tim can chime in and let us know how far past the church he was?

Glad we got up there....After talking to Brigsy at Wigwam I am now officially kicking myself for not heading up there to ice fish the weekend before though. Next year we should keep that in mind....All in all, a great couple of days. Hope Deanno had fun as well.....

Did they get the nets put out yet? How's the arm doing? hopefully your not hurtin' too bad.....

I'll see you on opener, if not before...

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Cliff Wagenbach

Bob,

Still tired today! crazy.gif

Sure wish we could have fished the past two days! 70 degrees here today!

The DNR hopes to get the nets out sometime this week.

I saw a couple of fish surfacing in the river last evening so they are just starting to move in.

Cliff

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Opie

Cliff and Bob, Yeah, I was tired all day Sunday and still a bit yesterday. What a great trip. Bob, someday I'll get the bill sent out for jig rental laugh.gif. Thanks to both of you and hope to see you sometime over Opener.

Dean

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Cliff Wagenbach

Dean,

Yes, you should have charged deanno and Bob rent money for the lucky colored jigs! grin.gif

See you on the opener!

Cliff

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