Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pilot's first report on 2016 Red Lake ice-out

The good news is that the Chukuni River had melted enough that Howey Bay Resort owner Dave McLeod was able to move his floatplane to it last week. The bad news is that he flew all over the country and couldn't find open water anywhere else.
But don't panic, early season fishermen, there is more good news coming.
A week ago Red Lake had several days of very warm 20-ish C (70 F) temperatures that decimated the ice sheet. It appears to have melted enough around the shores that the sheet lifted, always a precursor to ice-out. But then it got cold again and lots of spots that had been open re-froze. Dave said that near his camp the new ice was one-inch thick.
But don't panic, early season fishermen, there is good news coming.
The entire ice sheet is only about a foot thick. It would only take a week of warm weather to melt it and guess what? There is nothing but blue skies and warm weather ahead in the weather forecast, including positive nighttime temperatures!
Check out the 14-day forecast yourself at The Weather Network.

So when will Red Lake breakup? Probably sometime in the first week of May. The average ice-out date for Red Lake is May 8. Fishing season doesn't begin until May 21.
That's a two-week margin of error. OK?
For those who are still experiencing chest pains and tightness in their necks and shoulders as evidenced by recent comments to this blog and e-mails, may I suggest coming later in the season in the future? You are stressing yourself out for nothing here.
All together now: Stay Calm. Be Brave. Wait for the Signs!

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Doug Billings said...

As I frequently catch myself doing throughout the year, I am sitting here dreaming of my next trip to Bow Narrows Camp. A thought just crossed my mind and you know me, I am full of questions. Knowing that you, Brenda, and Cork are about to return to camp after a long winter at home, how much gear do you guys carry for your five month stay at camp? I know how much I carry for my one-week stay, it makes me wonder what all is involved for you.

It's hard to believe that I will be at the dock in Red Lake in about eight weeks!

Oh happy day...

Doug Billings
West Tennessee

Anonymous said...

I have been checking the weather every few days. I could tell by the forecast that ice out should be about normal if not a little early. That's good news for you and us opening week guests. Like I said in another comment, I have been coming to Bow Narrows for the last 16 years and have never been iced out. Even when we used to come a week earlier. Of course, we have had to fly in a few times but we still had places to fish and the ice went out rather quickly soon after we arrived.
See you in a few weeks!
Indiana Dave

Dan Baughman said...

Yep, see you soon, Dave.
And Doug, you wondered what Brenda and I bring for six months. I bring two duffel bags with clothes, one knapsack with binoculars and books, my guitar and rifle. Brenda has two suitcases and a couple smaller bags. We leave our fishing rods and tackle box at camp. We certainly have guests who bring as much or more for a single week. Doug, you're not one of them. Last year you had one luggage item. Dave's group are light packers too.

Doug Billings said...

Thanks, Dan. I was just wondering. I knew you left a lot of your essentials at camp, but still, I was trying to think of how and what I would pack for a six-month stay. It sounds like you guys have it down to a fine science.

I am sure you are running out of time to sit and write out much more but it would be interesting to hear what all is involved in getting camp open and running again. Sort of a step by step explanation of what has to be done and in what order.

Is Lickety Split at the marina when you first get to Red Lake? If the ice out hasn't happened and you fly-in to camp, how do you get back to Red Lake? Do you have the boats and motors at camp or at the marina? See what I mean? I could go on and on...

I wish you guys a safe journey to Red Lake and as always, I am excited about seeing you again.

Doug Billings

Dan B. said...

You're right, Doug, no time now but remind me about it when you get to camp.