Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: cat on east fork chulitna ?

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default cat on east fork chulitna ?

    Hello all, I have been searching the threads about all info pertaining to cats and round rafts as I am fairly new to the float thing. I do have buddies with lots of time on the kenai . I have convinced them to go north and do the chulitna float as I own property in the broad pass area and have wanted to do this float for years. We want to put in at the east fork and pull out at the bridge (princess tours). The major concern is if a 16' cat with 3 guys and gear is do able ( early to mid July ) in the east fork for first time floaters of that river? We will also have a round raft with 2 guys all together on the trip. Planning on takeing our time up top, fishing and camping. Then hitting all the tributaries on the main river Any info from experienced floaters of this section of water would be greatly appreciated . Also does anyone know who to contact about using pull out ramp? Worse case we'll pack it out. Thank you

  2. #2
    Member Cody77's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    142

    Default

    I was with a large group that ran it last memorial day weekend from the east fork put in all the way to the bridge. AMAZING FLOAT. Some of the best scenery I have ever seen on a float trip. There is a lot of wood in the river, so you have to be constantly paying attention. On the East Fork up high, scout the blind corners. There are a lot of sweepers and strainers that you have to line your boat around. We did it with an 18' CAT, 16' CAT and 14' Sotar round boat. We had crazy weather in the high 80s the entire trip. Hot as hell, so the water was high.

  3. #3
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,159

    Default

    I floated it summer before last with my family of four + 2 labs in a 15' round raft and my neighbor and his family of four + 1 lab in his 18' cat. The east fork is plenty wide for either style raft with 10' oars. I would pack fairly light though because once you hit the braids on day 2 or 3 you'll have several shallow channels to navigate (many if you choose the wrong braid. lol). The lighter you are the better chance you have of floating over the shallow gravel bars and you'll minimize dragging.

    There was a river wide strainer (log jam) a few miles down the east fork that required a very short portage. Hopefully the ice breakup has blown that out. We managed to unload, portage, and re-load 2 rafts in under 45 minutes. It's a fun trip, but a step up in difficulty over the Kenai in regards to route finding through the braids and possibly avoiding wood if the water is high.

    Have a fun trip and write up a trip report after you get back.

  4. #4
    Member Gilliland440's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    333

    Default

    The jam that Birdstrike speaks of is an every year thing from what I have heard. We were able to drag our 14'3 round across the gravel bar and back into the water without unloading it two summers ago. It is a great trip but we got hammered by rain the whole way down the river. Have fun!
    -JR

  5. #5
    Member bigcox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    Posts
    1,397

    Default

    I had heard on here that someone actually cleared that jam out. Definitely a nice float, I plan on doing it again in July myself. We did it last year in a 14'round boat. Fishing was great also, very few people.

    http://www.trophy-clips.com/view_vid...40b3822d9ea6c7
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

  6. #6
    Member BrowningLeverAction's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Anchorage AK
    Posts
    73

    Default

    When we floated it last summer the jam was gone. We were able to drag our boats around it the year before. The East Fork is a little narrow in spots but even at lower flows my buddy's 18' cat made it through no problem. The braids, on the other hand, involved some dragging. We floated it the first weekend in September last year.

  7. #7
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the good info . That helps knowing it can and has been done in comparable rafts. Cannot wait for this float! Have a great summer .

  8. #8
    Member RC23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    202

    Default

    We cut the log jam out last year Fourth of July weekend; anyone been down it this year yet to report any new jams?

  9. #9
    Member Heg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Girdwood
    Posts
    233

    Default

    We had a clean run down the East Fork in our 16' Sotar a few weeks ago.

    Josh

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,391

    Default

    How much river time would one be looking at for this float? My boys are 2 and 4, and I figure a multi-day family float might be in the cards next summer. I think they could handle maybe 4-6 hours on the water each day in between campfires, fishing, and throwing rocks.

  11. #11
    Member Heg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Girdwood
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    How much river time would one be looking at for this float? My boys are 2 and 4, and I figure a multi-day family float might be in the cards next summer. I think they could handle maybe 4-6 hours on the water each day in between campfires, fishing, and throwing rocks.
    Brian, the water was high for us, and we had 16 hours of river time- putting in on the East Fork and taking out in Talkeetna. Due to the high water, the fishing was OFF on the East Fork, so we didn't spend as much time on the water up there. Also, if one took the wrong channel through The Braids those hours could increase significantly. The wife, kids and I spent 2 nights and 3 days on the river. Day 3 was a little long; however, Mountain High Pizza is a good carrot to dangle on that last day. Bring toys and small games for the little ones to play with in the raft, and we've found a good family read aloud or story telling makes fishless river miles melt away. It is a good family trip in my opinion.

    There are other options available for take-outs that can shorten or lengthen this trip, I've been told.

    Josh

  12. #12
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    How much river time would one be looking at for this float? My boys are 2 and 4, and I figure a multi-day family float might be in the cards next summer. I think they could handle maybe 4-6 hours on the water each day in between campfires, fishing, and throwing rocks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heg View Post
    Brian, the water was high for us, and we had 16 hours of river time- putting in on the East Fork and taking out in Talkeetna. Due to the high water, the fishing was OFF on the East Fork, so we didn't spend as much time on the water up there. Also, if one took the wrong channel through The Braids those hours could increase significantly. The wife, kids and I spent 2 nights and 3 days on the river. Day 3 was a little long; however, Mountain High Pizza is a good carrot to dangle on that last day. Bring toys and small games for the little ones to play with in the raft, and we've found a good family read aloud or story telling makes fishless river miles melt away. It is a good family trip in my opinion.

    There are other options available for take-outs that can shorten or lengthen this trip, I've been told.

    Josh
    Heg's experience mirrors mine. The Chulitna is a perfect extended weekend trip. Spend day one fishing every hole on the East fork. Overnight near the mouth. Hit the river early on day two--the upriver winds through the braids can produce sandstorm like conditions (not fun) but don't usually pick up until late morning/midday. Stop at Ohio and Coal Creeks (river right) and explore a bit but keep an eye peeled for bears. Overnight near the mouth of the Fountain River or a river island thereabouts. Early start on day three and early take-out at the MP132 bridge.

    Keep a camera handy.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •