It's been an incredibly spring-like February so far. We've seen the mid-50's a few times this week and the ice gorge is quickly breaking up between Varney and Ennis Lake. The water just looked too sexy this week to ignore any longer and we just had to float it. But with 8 Mile, Burnt Tree, and Ennis ramps still locked in ice, drift boats were out of the question.
So instead, we dug out the Flycraft Rafts and decided to see how the river looked and fished after being locked in ice for a couple of months. It was an awesome afternoon. Being some of the first souls to drift a girdle bug through a pod of hungry rainbows is incredibly satisfying. It was a consistent day of fishing, with no small fish. All were fat, happy, and extremely surprised that the girdle bug they inhaled was a fraud. As a bonus, I'm not sure I've ever experienced a float quite like this. In a year where the ice gorge was significant, giant columns of ice, sometimes in excess of 8 feet tall and hundreds of feet long along the bank, towered over us as we drifted silently by in awe. If you have the opportunity to float from Varney to 8 Mile or Burnt Tree in a raft, you should take advantage of that very soon, before the remnants of the ice gorge float away. You won't be dissapointed. And bring along a camera and a few girdle bugs. See the video report below for a quick ride through an ice gorge.