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Thread: Best float trips? Kenai & Matsu for Inflatable kayaks

  1. #1
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    Default Best float trips? Kenai & Matsu for Inflatable kayaks

    Our family (kids 12-18) is taking an RV Aug 12-21 for our first trip to the Kenai Penin and Matsu Valley. We'll be bringing a couple of inflatable kayaks (Innova and Zodiac) that handle class 1 only and would love advice on the best locations for day trips to float the river and fish for salmon or kayak in the bays.

    Locations we're thinking of:
    Lower Kenai river
    Upper Kenai river
    Kasilof river
    Willow Creek resort
    Montana Creek

    Seward (Lowell point)
    Homer - is it safe to kayak from the spit?

    Any other suggestions?

    Can probably only do three day trips, so any advice on the best locations for a nice family float with good fishing opportunities?

    Thanks in advance,
    Gary

  2. #2
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    Default Try the Delta

    Gary:

    Head up into the Tangle Lakes near Paxon and do the Delta down to Black Water Rapids. Good class 1-3 with oned water fall and nice fishing. best of all if almost no one does it!

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
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    www.northwestalaska.ocm
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  3. #3
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    Smile kayaking

    Gary:
    The upper kenai is the most popular float around and there will be lots of spawning salmon to see and probably some brown bears around. The lower kenai will be crowded with power boats so not that fun. Kasilof would be an okay float but shorter with not as much to see. Homer spit is not that safe to cross the bay in kayaks (but people do it) but take one of the local water taxis across and get dropped off to camp or at a lodge or B and B. After you are across the bay Homer is the best kayaking cause of all the bays and beaches. Seward is nice for Kayaks because you can start from town and follow the shoreline out, but the weather is worse with more wind. You can also explore a lot of lakes with the inflatable kayaks.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FishingFever View Post
    Locations we're thinking of:
    Lower Kenai river Class II/ III crazy on powerboat days
    Upper Kenai river Class II/ III don't do the canyon, decent float with river experiance
    Kasilof river Class II very crowded
    Willow Creek resort Class II not recomended for beginers, lots of sweepers, local knoledge is very helpful
    Montana Creek Very small lots of sweepers class II

    Seward (Lowell point) CHeck the weather and tides
    Homer - is it safe to kayak from the spit? Check the weather and tides

    Any other suggestions?

    Lakes espcially the nacy lake or swanson river canoe trails, tangle lakes also rules (plus you can wimp out and not actually camp)

    Can probably only do three day trips, so any advice on the best locations for a nice family float with good fishing opportunities?

    Thanks in advance,
    Gary
    I wouldn't try to fish out of river kayaks I would definately land the boat and fish from shore. I should also add that there is very little or no class I water in alaska just from the cold factor, if your yaks are maypop types (I suspect they are) I would not bring them on river as all and be hesitent to fish out of them at all.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Besides contending with power boats, the lower Kenai is slow and boring. Unless fishing is your priority I would avoid it.

    Upper Kenai is class I except for two spots (Schooner bend and Fisherman's Bend), but both have easy sneak routes for kayaks that are clearly visible from the water. I would rate the canyon section above Skilak Lake a class II+ unless the water is very high. I have taken several absolute beginners in IK's through it without any issues at all. IK's are amazingly stable and easy to paddle. But if you want to stick to class 1 only, get out at Jim's Landing, just before the canyon starts. The bigger issue with the canyon is the 8 mile lake paddle to get to the nearest takeout. It's actually a nice place to paddle unless the wind kicks up. The lake can be class III-IV at times.

    Several easy sections of Little Susitna River can be paddled in one day. There are several places where you can put in/take out behind Wasilla.

    Eagle River near Anchorage has a 3-6 hour (depends on water level) class I section from mile 7.1 on Eagle River Road to just above Briggs Bridge on Eagle River Loop Road. (State maintained parking and launch sites on both ends) The 3/4 hour section that follows quickly becomes class II+ in spots and ends in a fun class III+ drop at Eagle River Campground. However, this can be easily portaged in IK's, and the places to take out are clearly marked with big signs for boaters.

    Lyon Creek starting near the top of Turnagain Pass is a twisty-turney class I-II that is a blast for beginners in IK's. It will keep you on your toes, and there is usually a sweeper or two blocking the creek somewhere along the way. Still, it's easy to do in IK's. This creek eventually becomes Sixmile Creek, complete with class V drops in places, so plan on getting out at Granite Creek Campground. The section between there and the start of the rapids is pretty boring anyway.

    Willow Creek from the Shirley Town Road bridge on down is class I-II and suitable for beginners on IK's, but there may be sweepers in places. Sweepers are always dangerous, but they are also very easy to avoid in a kayak, so the risks are quite small.

    One other stretch I can think of is the Big Susitna from Talkeetna to the Parks Highway bridge at Sunshine. It's easy to do in one day, but it's also a nice camping trip if you want to spend a night on a deserted island.

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