Ivishak/Sag river rafting on the North Slope Brooks
We 3 of us just got back from Sag/Ivishak float. Airboated up and got dropped off, then floated down the Ivishak in my 18 foot NRS Cataraft. The rafting was awesome on the Ivishak. 3 of us plus 4 caribou on the bone floated very well on the I but had struggles on the Sag small part bearing left to the launch.
Used a black plastic ice fishing sled about 2 feet wide and 4 feet long to haul caribou parts and put in the raft to hold the bou. Best idea I've had in a while....
Fishing was awesome! We used small #1 panther martin spinners, silver rainbow colored for grayling. The grayling were up to 18 inches and heavy. Holes and the riffles just prior to the holes worked best for the grayling.
Char took the larger silver spoons and spinners #3 to #6 T-spoons, #3 silver Mepps/minnows with silver fished deep and slow in holes worked best.
Also used flies that were fairly large weighted smolt patterns with eyes. Sparkle gold and sparkle silver worked 8x to 2x. Even larger should work for char.
Spinners worked best as described. We did not kill any fish but each caught more than 100 on the 7-day excursion.
We got 4 caribou up the Ivishak. They were few and far between. Saw one single bear and a sow with cub up the I.
Absolutely beautiful! Very grateful for the caribou and the meat they provide. Boiled a heart this afternoon. Wonderful....
Left pipeline MP 50 boat launch at 4pm and got to Wiseman (Boreal Lodge) by 10 pm including flat on trailer pulling NRS 18 foot cataraft. Left Coldfoot about 10 am got into Wasilla at Midnight same day. Long, good drive. Put the meat at the butcher pal and all is good....
Very grateful for the meat....
Great hunt report (+1). It just needs some pictures now.... OK?
Thanks Family Man. I need to learn how to down load pics on this site. It beats me....
Thanks for the report. Was the airboat able to run you all the way up to the ANWR boundry at the base of the mountains?
If you go back, the float through the mountains is even better.
How to post pics
Upload them to a free account at photobucket.com. Then when looking at them there, hover your mouse over them, and in the popup box, click on the "IMG" code, and it will indicate that IMG code has been copied to your clipboard. Then window over to the post you're making here, and paste it (right click, then choose paste, or do a Shift-InsertKey). Preview your post here and you'll see a nice big image right in the middle of your post, and it doesn't cost a dime.
Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman
There are restrictions on airboats due to noise in ANWR. Even though the average 300 hp 207 Cessna is louder on take off... In any event the transporter I used is a guide also and doesn't want to get in trouble or rattle the park etc.
Have you any suggestions for air carrier out of where for how much in that part of the country?? I loves to raft!! The whole north slope (and south) is fascinating. I used to work up on the upper Sag as an assistant hunting guide in the 1990's and out of Bettles/Aniktuvuk too (once). Sheep, caribou, moose, grizzly and we would see lots of ptarmigan and some musk ox. Beautiful.
I'm aware of the ANWR restrictions. I was just curious if he could run you all the way to the boundry in an airboat. That's a long haul from the put-in
Contact www.seventynorth.com for any air transport needs in the Brooks. Mike McCrary will provide top notch service. He's probably a cheaper alternative than a long upriver trip via airboat.
Glad you had a great trip. We must have just missed each other, my wife and I started in the mountains and floated to the take out, finishing our trip on Tuesday, August 30th. You're right about the fishing, outstanding! I was trying to make time and didn't stop to fish nearly enough on the lower river. Those holes around the 'gorge' above the ol' cabin looked awesome. I think the restrictions on air boats in the Refuge has to do with that area of the Refuge being in designated wilderness. Airplanes are allowed in wilderness as an exception under ANILCA, air boats, ATVs, and other motorized travel are not. Could be wrong but that's my understanding.
Theres no comparison between what a helio courier will carry and what this airboat will haul. Divided 3 ways the airboat was reasonable. There is no same day airborne restriction, no weather days, no seat fare, no limited airstrip service etc. The air boat driver has thousands of hours of airboat time. He is professional, courteous and doesn't bad mouth other operators.
Thank you for the site. i will check him out. Air travel is great and has it's positives. Beautiful area to fly over, I did it for years....