With the cold spell all area waters are covered in ice with some having about five inches of good ice, while others have unsafe ice. When deciding whether to venture upon the ice or not, drill a test hole just a couple of feet from shore.
Anglers should carry some basic safety gear with them when venturing upon the ice and should never fish alone in case there is an accident.
The rope joining the two claws together should go through both sleeves of the jacket and across the back allowing them to be readily available if you go through the ice. Just like seat belts and personal flotation devices, they don’t do you any good if they aren’t being worn when you fall through the ice.
If you should fall through the ice, stay calm. Don’t take winter clothing off, as it will help keep warmth in and may add some buoyancy.
When trying to get out, return in the direction from which you fell, the ice there is more likely to be thicker and able to support you better as you try to get out. Ice near open water is slippery and hard to get traction on, so use your legs to help you onto the ice with a swim-type kicking motion. Grip an ice claw in each hand, sticking the nail end into the ice and pull yourself to safety. Once on the ice remain in a prone position, spreading your weight over a larger area, until reaching ice that will definitely support you.
If a companion should fall through the ice, don’t approach the edge to try to help them; your role may quickly change from rescuer to victim. Never try to rescue them alone unless absolutely necessary, get help.
Use a rope, stick, fishing rod, or some other long item to try to reach them from safe ice. As stated earlier, stay in a prone position, spreading your wait over a larger area while trying to help someone who has fallen through. Once safety is reached, treat for hypothermia.
There are other safety items that should be taken along. A rope for throwing to someone who has fallen through the ice is a good idea. Put a loop and a large knot at one end because cold hands don’t grip very well. A floating seat cushion from a boat can be thrown to someone in the water. It can be used to sit on until needed for an emergency.
The lake is ice covered and the road to Angel Lake is closed. There will be no more fishing reports until late next spring or early summer depending upon winter conditions.
Cave Lake is covered with ice that is approximately four to five inches of good clear ice. Care should still be taken. However, with forecast cold nights in single digits to teens, ice thickness should continue to grow.
No recent report. At last report the lake was approximately 85% ice. Consider the ice unsafe.
Illipah is now ice covered with approximately an inch and a half of unsafe ice.
Jakes Creek is covered with five inches of good hard clear ice. The ice is extremely slick, so take care walking on it. There were no signs of anyone fishing the lake so we have no report on fishing conditions.
Jiggs is iced over with very unsafe ice. NDOW runs an aerator through the winter to keep winter mortality on the fish down making this reservoir unsafe for ice fishing. There won’t be a fishing report until spring.
With the cold temperatures, the streams are all icing up, especially the slow running pools and beaver ponds. Streambanks are very slick with ice and snow. Many of the streams aren’t reporting flows due to ice and snow and fishing is difficult. Fish are lethargic due to the colder temps and presentations must be slowed down. Travel to both Jarbidge and the Bruneau is now through Idaho.
HIGH ALPINE LAKES
Most of the lakes are iced up and travel is not recommended. There will be no further fishing reports on the high mountain lakes until next spring or early summer depending upon the winter.
The south marsh is frozen near the boat ramp with unsafe ice. The collection ditch is also freezing over, though open water can be found in the pond behind the hatchery and wherever there are springs in the ditch. Small spinners, minnow imitators, nymphs and buggers are the way to go now. As of the writing of this report, it was still snowing, so no report on whether Harrison Pass will be open this weekend.
South Fork is completely covered with unsafe ice. With the lower elevation and southwest exposure anglers should wait until New Years before venturing upon South Fork.
Due to a damaged outflow structure, the lake has completely drained.
No recent report, but conditions here are often similar to South Fork, so expect it to be covered with unsafe ice. Anglers should also expect 4WD roads only due to snow.