We’re all familiar with the old proverb, “When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.” Well, the opposite is also true, and if the spring-like weather we’ve been experiencing so far this month is any indication of what’s to come, I won’t be putting my snow shovel away just yet. Southern Alberta has been basking in warm temperatures for several weeks. Actually, it’s been more than a month since Crowsnest Pass has received any significant amount of snow or any of the cold temperatures we normally have to endure (or expect) at this time of year. It’s been kind of nice to be getting positive, double-digit daytime temperatures in late February and early March, but you know we’re going to pay for this - sooner or later. I’m guessing were going to be “paying the piper” before month’s end!

Temperatures in the Pass have climbed to +12°  Celsius (55° F) some days. As a result, most of the ice has disappeared from the Crowsnest River. Normally at this time of year, the majority of ice-free water is located between the East Hillcrest and Highway 507 bridges. The river downstream of Hwy. 507, through to Lundbreck Falls, and toward it’s confluence with the Oldman Dam Reservoir, is usually locked in ice until late March or early April. Not this year, though, and it’s possible to fish the entire section of river between the East Hillcrest Bridge and the reservoir. If you’re planning to wait a few weeks before heading out, keep in mind the section between Lundbreck Falls and Highway 3 closes at the end of March. If you’re unsure of what’s open and what’s not, be sure to read the regs before you go.

"Horseshoe Bend" on lower Crowsnest River

"Horseshoe Bend" on the lower Crowsnest River (March 8/10)

I managed to get out fishing for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon. The temperature was around 10° Celsius and winds were light. The river was crystal-clear, low and easy to wade. There’s still some ice shelves along the river, but they did not pose any problems, at least in the section I fished. Prior to hitting the water, I drove down below Lundbreck to check water conditions.

Update: Crowsnest Pass received about an inch of snow overnight. A precurser of what’s in store? Perhaps, but the “short-range” forecast is calling for clear, sunny skies tomorrow, and temperatures of 10° C by Friday.

Lundbreck Falls

Only a bit of ice remains clinging to Lundbreck Falls

 

The river was crystal-clear, low and easy to wade

The river was crystal-clear, low and easy to wade

Crowsnest River rainbow trout

I landed four rainbows in a couple hours, using bead-head nymphs (Pheasant-tail and Prince), and Wire San Juan Worms