Sorry about taking so long to get to the photos. But here they finally are. As soon as the ice starts to break up on the river, guys show up with boats and start shoving them over the shelf ice into the river. Not all of them are little boats either. You have to see this done to believe it. The first photo is of the river when it is first breaking up at one of the boat accesses.
This next picture is of the edge of the ice they are shoving boats over. And by the way, this is better than alot of what I've seen boats shoved over. Getting the boat in is the easy part.
Once the ice gets close to shore they either get the county to come in with a back hoe and chop out the ice, or like here do it the old fashioned way with ice chisels.
Once the ramp is clear and the closest one to the end of the open water, this is what the ramps look like. The next picture is of one of the ramps at 5:00 in the morning. It was in the low 20's.
This next one is the other side of the freeway from the boat ramp. These are boats waiting to just get into the lot to put their boats in. This was at 5:30 in the morning.
At 7:15 in the morning, the line waiting to cross the highway and get into the boat ramp, goes over the hill and out of sight. There are already no places to park in the lot and they were parking on the roads on the other side of the highway. Notice the parked rigs over the hill and out of sight in both directions.
On really busy days, we make them jacknife the trailers into the ditches along the roads so the guys can pack more rigs in, and people don't have to hike as far.
People come from all over the country and put up with the worst crowds you have ever seen, cold weather, ice and crud floating down the river. All of this because on a good day you can catch numerous Walleye all bigger than most people will ever see. EVER. TV shows are filmed during this every year. Here I am with Al Lindner, famous fisherman and TV host. (I'm the cute one
It stays like this till the Bigfork and Littlefork River let loose. When they go, the Rainy River fills with ce chunks, trees, and really muddy water. The water comes up several feet and the speed picks up a lot. This kills the fishing and everyone but a few hardcore Sturgeon fishermen go home. This last photo is of the river after that has happened. Notice the boat on the wrong side of the flow trying to figure out how to get back to the boat ramp.