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Thread: Gulkana float trip

  1. #1
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Default Gulkana float trip

    My wife and I plan on floating the Gulkana 9-15 July (paxson to Sourdough) for the first time and we have a few questions. We are using my 14ft Super dumer puma and using a 2.5 hp motor to cross the lake.
    Are there any sections that we should be concerned with?
    We are planning on bringing 4/5 wt fly rods and ultra light spinning rods. Is there any particular pattern/spinners etc you guys recommend?
    Is there a drop off service that would be cheaper than driving a second car from Anchorage? Is it feasible to hitch-hike?
    What's the best resource to learn the best camping spots?
    We plan on mainly fishing for grayling but will there be many trout or Salmon?
    Does the river tend to get blown out with too much rain?
    I really appreciate any suggestions. We are just trying to get in another trip before I go back to the big sandbox.
    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2

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    First 3 miles can be somewhat difficult to navigate in low water. Not technical, just low water and your paddles hang up on bottom. Tighten down your oar locks just after getting across the lake. I recommend portaging most of your gear before floating through the canyon. Of course get out and scout the canyon rapids before going through. Some guys run it with their gear, but I have actually watched a few people go in the drink from doing this, because if you get pinned on one of the rocks in the rapids your raft will get swamped with water. One year I had to throw my rescue rope out to a guy that was pinned in the middle of the canyon with his 4-5 year old daughter in the boat. We tied her off and I pulled her to shore. Without gear it is a piece of cake. For fishing, definitely gear up for grayling. That is mostly what you will be catching. But I have also caught some nice rainbows, lake trout, and salmon on that float. Good luck. Oh, and one more tip. If you can, bring some firewood. From the lake down to the canyon, firewood can be very difficult to find. And chainsaws are not allowed! Sourdough lodge does shuttles. I believe it is $60.00 for a shuttle from sourdough to Paxson lake.

  3. #3

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    Bring lots of dries, nymphs, and streamers for trout. Grayling are everywhere but there are some nice trout hiding in there.

  4. #4
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt24 View Post
    Bring lots of dries, nymphs, and streamers for trout. Grayling are everywhere but there are some nice trout hiding in there.
    & bug dope
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

  5. #5

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    Make sure you fish the lake outlet. Lots of grayling and lakers there. And bring some smolt patterns to fish after dark. I've seen lakers going crazy on out-migrating salmon this time of year.

  6. #6

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    BLM in Glennallen is a good resource for campsite info. They have a map and such. The river does get blown out with rain but most of the off color stuff will be below the WF confluence. You can expect bows, grayling, and reds, with some kings around as well. I would focus your fishing near and below the canyon.

  7. #7
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    I was on Paxon today goofing around with the new outboard. Sourdough Lodge offers a shuttle service and can be reacher at 822-3636. Fun trip, spend a day fishing for rainbows at the canyon, worth it!

    Walt
    Gulkana River Raft Rentals
    Rafts from $45, caming gear as well
    www.gulkanaraftrental.com
    907-822-4290

  8. #8
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the help. What's the best way to fish for lakers at the lake outlet? I've never really fished for lakers before. Swinging smolt patterns or cheating and using spinning tackle? I'll try to spend a lot of time fishing for trout in the canyon.

    I'll just play the rapids as I go. I've done lake creek and the matnanuska several times so I'll just have to see it and then make a decison on whether or not to run it loaded. I'll be fairly light with only the wife and I plus Nitro (my lab).

    I called sourdough lodge so transfering the truck to take out should be taken care of.

    Thanks again, (I guess I'll have to post pics when we are done)

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