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Thread: Strange Freezeup & some early season pics

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Strange Freezeup & some early season pics

    River froze up here earlier than normal in mid-October, and in the most unusual way with major jamming and flooding of gravel bars all around here. In fact, the day before that happened I had gotten the boat ready to winch up the bank, it was parked a hundred yards downstream up on rollers...I'd unloaded it and untied it. Plan was to get it in the water the next day and motor it up on the bar closer to home on rollers and winch from there, river was still running though there was some good shelf ice. We woke the next morning to major ice coming down and jamming and flooding the lower areas, and the boat gone! It ended up maybe 400 yds downriver pushed up on shore amidst a bunch of ice. Freaky.

    So the jamming held and river froze like that with the water level of course dropping dramatically afterward, leaving a real mess of jumble ice with lots of crevasses and holes in between, and lots of suspended ice too, and getting around initially through that, making trail, was a be-atch!

    Here's a spot, actually a deep spot along the bank, we surprisingly broke through as we were going over it...the slab just floated as the toboggan ran along so wasn't a big deal, but whenever you feel the ice go like that it's a real heart-stopper <grin>:


    Some of the jumble ice:



    Another shot of some extra bad stuff off to the right of us:


    Fortunately the entire river didn't jam up like this, extends about a mile and a half either side of us. Been nice to get out of that and on the normal flat frozen sections:


    So been getting a few sets out, checked the first batch yesterday, caught this guy:


    Was -26, and I ain't quite acclimated to the cold yet, sure is nice to still have some sun but won't last much longer:


    Decided to break out one of the overland trails on the way back yesterday, and we came on this downed tree across the trail, thought I could get under it but handlebars ended up sticking on a frozen moss clump and it got wedged pretty good, took 15 minutes to get it out of there and over the tree, only had my little bowsaw and didn't feel like cutting it with that:


    That's the story here, in the -30s today and sure feels cold! Good luck to everyone out on the lines.


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    Wink Sign of the times, Mark . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    . . Was -26, and I ain't quite acclimated to the cold yet, . . That's the story here, in the -30s today and sure feels cold! Good luck to everyone out on the lines.


    Ummmmmmmm . . . , Mark, don't fool yourself . . that's old age telling you something.

    It gets worse . .

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Great write up Mark and awesome pictures.
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Nice pics and story as always. Appreciate it. Good luck and be careful!
    BK

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    Always enjoy seeing your photos, Mark. Be careful out there and I hope you have a good season!
    Rick

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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Mark, thanks for the pictures. -30 is COLD, no matter how young you are. Keep warm and catch lots of critters.

    Mark

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    Member joefish00000's Avatar
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    good luck thuis season bushrat!
    “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” - (Aldo Leopold)

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    Looks like the Salcha/Tanana rivers last year. At freeze-up the river jammed causing pressure ridges and shelf ice. Was pretty dangerous all year long. This year freeze-up appears to be a little better....looking forward to this season. Stay safe out there with those puppies, always enjoy the photo's!!

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Mark, our season opened here today and I put out 11 sets, have not trapped in years, my crippled up bod had enuff and I drove my truck within feet of each set! Oh, -30 is nothing, it was only 71 degree's here today! LOL supposed to rain tomorrow and drop into the 20's, there go my nice dry dirt hole sets... Looks dangerous Mark, best of luck staying safe!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Looks like some dangerous river. Thanks for keeping the journal, it was my favorite last season. I've learned quite a bit from you over the last few years. Good luck and stay safe.

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    Overland trails might need the chainsaw first run thru.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  12. #12
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    Looks like yer rivers as jumbled as mine, and as pocked with holes, too.

    Looking good on the Martin set, I wish we had some more around here, I havent seen one inna few years.

    -36? Owwwww....weve hit 0, but not much lower, and it does take time to get used to such temps, no matter yer age.

    Cool.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Wink Time . . .

    Some years ago, Charlie Waterman wrote a short article about going trout fishing with his grandson. Upon arriving at the river, the kid was in the water fishing before Charlie had his waders on. Midway through the morning, the kid was still fishing while Charlie was taking a nap. And so it went for the rest of the day . . Charlie not being able to keep up with his grandson.

    Charlie's point was that that's what it's like to get old, and if you can't adjust to the reality . . .



    . . you're going to do hard time.


    'Tis true, 'tis true . .


    Admonition for the Seventh Decade

    All the bluster and conceit
    All the hare-brained indiscreet
    Obfuscations and obsessions,
    All the ludicrous confessions,
    Put them by now, put them by,
    Clean them out before you die.


    Even though you can’t undo
    All the mess that makes up you,
    Find a modicum of quiet;
    Quash the long uncivil riot
    That goes on inside your heart;
    Clear the drunks out, make a start.


    —Dick Davis

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    I think you started in Alaska bought the same time I did. Didn't see coni's for marten much back then. I know I wasn't all that impressed with them when I began using them. More marten passed up the set I thought. You've used conu's for quite a while now, tho I have seen a pic or 2 of sets with legholds. How do you rate coni sets compared to legholds?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Good stuff Mark!

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    As far as conis compared to legholds, of course one of the biggest drawbacks of the conis is that you have to carry more with you to replace after catching a marten, as you can't get the conis off once the marten freezes. The other drawback is that conis can and do at times cause some fur damage. The pros, however, are that with conis and bucket sets you eliminate bycatch of birds, and they kill quickly, thus making them "more humane." This latter aspect is ostensibly why Canada mandated using them. Plus, with bucket sets with conis, there is never any worry about snow affecting the trap.

    I used 0 longsprings for years on pole sets. Once you figure out where to place the trap on the pole, and the size of pole to use, and where to hang the bait, they are pretty consistent in catches. Never did find a way, though, to completely eliminate bycatch of birds, mostly jays, sometimes owls. Takes much longer to make a pole set than it does to hang a bucket and coni. I still have plenty of pole sets out there, still use them. But overall I prefer the bucket sets.

    Happy New Year to all, stay safe out there on the trail,



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    Alway's enjoy your post

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    Very, vety nice pictures, i'm sick about that. You're a lucky guy to live thatkind of life!

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    Rat, care to share the pole set info? two weeks in a row now I've had a sprung trap no fur on a pole. No birds though so I'm pleased. Using dixie cups with herring...but....no marten either! They are around the poles. This trip today was the closest they've tinkered around them, had atleat one looked like it was danced under and no climb. I know just up the valley they climb as i run with him also and he's picking them up with the same lure/bait/set combo. Also have heard females dont like climbing, but find it hard to believe every one of them is a female for the last 2 months LOL! Getting ready to run some of Lens swing pole ground cubbies to see whats around.

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    Bushrat do you have any more pictures and stories from this year?

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