This weekend temps are expected to get up into the high teens. Normally, this wouldn’t bring anglers out of their winter holes, but we’ve had nearly 6 weeks of unfishably cold conditions, and if the wind lays down I expect we’ll see a few boats on the river.
We get tons of calls during the winter – from all over the region – asking about the fishing conditions. Those who haven’t fished here in the winter ask the usual questions. Fly patterns, tippet size, slow or quick water, are we doing shuttles, is Joe’s open? (c’mon man)… the usual. You can tell if it’s someone who’s spent some winter time on the Mo’. They ask “how are the ramps?”. They can be dicey.
Each year we pull a rig or 3 off the ramps, and hear about a few others. Right now I would rate things as a Blue Square with a few Black diamonds. No green runs right now, but you will get some fresh tracks! If you are coming up to Craiglandia for some winter angling, make sure and bring your tow rope (2 are better), jumper cables, good tires and 4 wheel drive. Remember that many of the ramps do not have cell service!
I checked out all of the ramps yesterday anticipating some traffic this weekend. I didn’t check the Holter Dam or Wolf Creek ramps. Ice likely won’t be a problem. If there is you can usually put on your waders and stomp a hole. Duck hunters know what I’m talking about. While shelf ice rarely prevents a launch at these two ramps, plenty of folks still get their rig stuck, so be careful. Mark and I have been known to shove our boat onto the snow at the top of the ramp and slide it down to the water, rather than risk sticking a rig and ruining a fishing day. But Mark and I have been know to do stupid things.
So, here’s what the ramps from Craig down look like if you’re wondering…
CRAIG – GROOMED
More snow than I would have expected but plenty of tracks and some boats have been in/out recently. Might be icey from the polar plunge on New Years Day. More gravel on skiers left.