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Thread: Question on Karluk float trip

  1. #1
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    Default Question on Karluk float trip

    Can anybody estimate the cost of doing a do it yourself float trip down the Karluk. Mainly wanting to know flights from Anchorage to Kodiak or Karluk. And then bush plane service from Kodiak or Karluk to Karluk lake.

    I've done the Alagnak before, now we are thinking of doing the Karluk next year for Kings.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    king fishing has been pretty poor on the karluk for the last few years. if you are still interested in floating the river i would call andrew air service in kodiak, at least in the past they were affiliated with an outfit that could rent rafts so it would be one stop shopping. it would be logistically easiest to have them fly you into the lake and then pick you up at the lagoon at the bottom. depending on how flexible you are on dates you can save money on air charters by splitting flights, ie going in to a destination on a day when they are picking someone up there or nearby. that way you only pay for the airtime to your destination, if they come back or go out empty you are paying for that time too. i have used andrew air many times and they have always been reliable and willing to work logistics to save you some money.

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Alaska Airline or Era prob for the Anch to Kodiak/Karluk fares.

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    Hmm, thats too bad if true. My dad went there in the late 90's and slayed the Kings.

    What are some good fly out rivers for Kings then?

  5. #5
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    Kings can be sporadic in planning. Try Island Air in Kodiak for assistance in details.For my buck for King Fever I would go Alaska Air all the way to King Salmon, pay the price for a room at the notorious but authentic King Ko Inn, dine at Eddies, and rent a top river guide named Kluck for the Nak. Been there. Done that. Rosenberg, Kodiak, Rosenberg, Sarasota, FL
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  6. #6

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    Cost is going to depend a whole lot on the weight of your outfit going out of Kodiak and back. These are +/- figures, but a 206 or Bush Hawk will carry around 800 pounds and a Beaver around 1400. If you're talking a really big crew with lots of comfort, Servant Air now has a turbine Single Otter on amphib floats that packs a whopping 3,000 pounds. Think Beaver on steroids.

    You might want to consider whether to fly in to the lake or the portage. In my experience the best king water is mostly below the portage. The Karluk is relatively short, and there can be a lot of apparently blank water between obvious king holes. You really need to "pace" yourself on a float because it's way easy to float too far in your first day or two and finish your trip idling in the lower river. I'd sure pack a portable GPS and keep tabs on your float pace simply so you don't end up stuck at the bottom with the best fishing behind you. I've floated it in a single day with no problems, it's that short. About 99% of anglers who don't know the river float right over the top of good king water that's not obvious like holes. Think "steelhead" and fish those kind of cobbled runs and you'll find fish far from obvious holes.

    Keep tabs of the runs through the ADF&G weir counts and calls to Sport Fish division in Kodiak. They can give you a heads up on whether or not they're likely to open the river to kings before you get to Kodiak. Another possible float, subject to runs and conditions at the lagoon (variable from year to year) is the Ayakulik. Another short river (I've walked it from Bear Creek to the mouth and back in a single day with time for fishing) that's easy to float too far too fast. It's as subject to run problems as the Karluk, but even if the lagoon is wrong for pickups, there's still a chance to camp somewhere around Bear Creek and hike to fish when you can't float. It's run timing is a little earlier than the Karluk, but at the time of the run peak in the Karluk, there just might be a fallback option for you on the Ayakulik if it turns out you can't fish the Karluk or float the Ayakulik. It's about a 15 minute longer flight from Kodiak than the Karluk portage.

  7. #7

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    Yeah I Love the karluk but there is no denying the lack of kings the past several years and i wouldn't recommend it for kings right now as the fishing is either very poor or closed all together.

    One fly out river to look into is the Kanektok. I have never floated it but have heard of people doing it.... the river is definately on my short list

  8. #8
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    My two cents... if you do a self-guided rafting trip on a river for the first time it can be tough to optimally hit the run timing and pick the right part of the river to fish. I had to work hard on the Alagnak in mid-July for everything except the reds. Worked hard for very few kings on the Talachulitna last year (never mind what Duke bros were able to do on their DVD). I do the rafting for the overall experience... the fishing, rafting, and camping. What I like for kings is going self-guided on the Nushagak with an outfitter that provides a boat. Can't beat moving from hole to hole until you find some action... and being able to run back up-river! No doubt though that you maximize your catching with a guide unless you fish the same river a lot to know where to fish and where the fish are.

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