Wednesday 13 May 2015

Big clear out

We are getting a really good wash out of the winter ice this year. It was a mild day yesterday with some rain and drizzle in the afternoon. It did not freeze overnight and the river was still slowly rising in the evening, so before we turned in for the night we hauled the boats up as far as we could and made them fast to a strong silver birch. This morning the river can be called ‘high’. Under a mild, grey sky the snow is slushy and disappearing fast. To put it all into perspective - the river is a foot or so lower than the big river we had in May last year and now running much clearer. Ice is still coming down, but there is much less of it – the river is cleaning out pretty fast.

Going shopping!
Each year the melt is different. So far it seems a ‘normal’ ice melt and there is a tangible relief amongst all of us that we have had no ice blockage on the river or any flood in the camps; you really do not know just what dice nature will throw – so far it seems a throw in our favour.

Yesterday the ice continued to come down, sometimes the river was clear for a few minutes then we would get some really quite big stuff passing silently by. Big Misha, the Middle Camp manger, told us to wait it out until today and looking at the river this morning we should probably be able to get through to the island camp. So I hope to get some photos for you from Middle and get them on the blog tomorrow.
Spring painting
There were gaps in the ice flow coming down yesterday and a run up the village seemed OK so the Girls Team went up to see Marina in the store while the Boys Team remained in camp and got on with sorting the boats and engines out. We now have five more boats parked on the slush and brown grass ready to go into the river. The Girls Team came back with welcome supplies and there is now a large pile of bags all tagged up and ready to go out to the various camps as soon as we can get going on the river.
Maryke making bread
I have no ‘hero shot ‘ with a salmon in hand for the blog today; we have not had a cast yet although a couple of rods have been put up and sit waiting on our office veranda. There is some itching amongst us to have a cast but actually no one is any rush, we have a full season to come – just give the river a couple of days to settle in and then the fishing can commence.
Dragging the boats to the river
If you are coming out on 16 May expect a high, cold river. Proper spring conditions. A selection of sinking tips will be useful and my guess is that a largish fly, say 1 ½" to 2 ", fly will do the trick.

More tomorrow and hopefully a picture or two from Middle Camp.

Christopher Robinson