Thawing out, but not there yet
I drove up the St. Joe yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) to check out conditions. Yes, I just drive to rivers to see what's going on and don't fish. I did pack rods, but really there wasn't much time left in the day. I drove all the way to Avery where they stop plowing the road. As expected the lower from Marble Creek downstream is mostly clear of ice, but there is some shelf ice remaining in areas. It appears that some blockages around the Huckleberry Camp Ground area are clear.
Above Marble Creek is a different story. There is certainly a lot of open water, but MANY sections the river is frozen over with thick ice. Be very careful if you are fishing this area and quite frankly it's super pointless to be in this stretch for probably at least another month, minimum.
There is a lot of snow along the banks and finding spots to get to the river will be challenging. You will need to fish very slow water as the water is still very cold. Since I got here very late in the day I did not see any bug activity, but I was mostly driving and shooting photography.
Can you fish the St. Joe right now? For some yes. For many just wait a few weeks and let the snow clear out more. But with that comes rising river levels...
- Sean Visintainer