It’s the time of the year when we all start wondering when the upriver ice jams will start to break free and send Volkswagen size icebergs down the Big Hole. After a mix of rain and snow, the river has been on a pretty steady rise for the past 2 days. We decided to take a drive up to see what the jams looked like, and thought it would be breaking up, as there was quite a bit of ice in the river below Jerry Creek. Far from it.
Dickie Bridge has its own jam on the upriver side of the bridge, with only about a 30 foot wide channel for the river to flow through. East Bank is a mess. The ice goes all the way across the river, which has forced the water to make its own path. The campground is flooded, the fields between East Bank and Dickie Bridge are flooded and the Bryant Creek road on the south side of the river is flooded. It looks like the majority of the river is flowing over there. It will be quite a sight to see when all of the ice breaks free!
It is snowing and pretty cold today, and the forecast is predicting pretty crappy weather for the next week or so. This should hold the ice back, but when it does warm up, river floaters will need to be aware of rapidly changing river flows with the possibility of ice chunks, trees and whatever else comes down.
In the meantime, should we make bets on when the jam of 2019 will break loose?