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Thread: Western Alaska DIY Float

  1. #1
    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Default Western Alaska DIY Float

    I'm in the process of planning a DIY 9-10 day float to Western Alaska with my Father and one other person.

    I've got it down to the Aniak, Kanektok, or Kisaralik. We will be going during my block leave over the summer, so it would probably be around mid to late July.

    What rivers would be the least crowded, and what would be the most productive and enjoyable floats? I've read that some of these rivers should only be attempted by experienced rowers, but they don't give a definition of experienced. I have rowed my drift boat in water up to class IV, but never rowed a raft.

    Any input or suggestions is much appreciated as far as outfitters to use, or air taxis, etc. I will be living in Alaska, so I want the other two to experience a great trip since I will have more of an opportunity to do it more than they would. I was looking at using Aniak Air Guides for the whole trip since they let you rent out everything you need and fly you to where you need to go. I was considering bringing a vessel that I was going to purchase, but it seems much easier to just fly there with just my fishing gear and essentials and use their gear for the trip.

    This trip isn't taking place until next summer, but I'd like to get things planned sooner than later.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    In addition to DIYs, all those rivers have guided float trips with multiple rafts, and various camp-based operations (jetboat) on the lower river sections, and July is not off-peak season so expect to see people; not great mobs, nothing like the lower 48, but you may see other raft groups, or fishermen once or more each day (or more) and that is the way it is. I would say somewhat busier on the Kanektok. Experienced means not inexperienced; sounds like driftboat in class IV is plenty of experience. There are people who who ship their own raft up in advance and stay for a couple weeks; otherwise raft rentals run $100-$125/day for a standard setup. There are air taxis, some of which also outfit/rent gear, in aniak, bethel, and dillingham (www.flyalaska.net).

  3. #3
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    Can't help you with river choice, as I've only floated AK Peninsula and So Central rivers, but IMO if you're comfortable with Class IV water in your drift boat you should be just fine in a raft as long as it has a good rowing frame and oars. A self-bailer is worth its weight in gold in whitewater

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    i am looking for a float partner in western AK late August; see my post under freshwater fishing. single fisherman

  5. #5

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    I would recommend calling Brian Richardson at Alaska Raft Connection. I have my own raft and he does work on it for me, but he rents rafts and has a comprehensive knowledge of Alaska rivers and rafting in general. Just the advice he gives me while I am picking up parts or whatever has saved me many headaches. If he can't help you, he can put you in contact with someone who can.

  6. #6

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    I filmed a week long DIY trip with Papa Bear Adventures late last fall on the Kanektok. Aside from a few tricky braids on the river it was an enjoyable trip. They handle whatever you need, drop off and pick up. If I did this river again I'd spend more time 'camping' and fishing from camp than rowing to a new spot every night. 10 days is better than 8 if you have the time. Lots of fish. Not sure about the other group you mentioned. Good luck wherever you go and whoever you use!
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  7. #7
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    You should also take a look at the Salmon River. By the time your talking the commercially people who run trips there have any of the sweepers cleared. Duke's brothers had video out on DIY for the Aniak as well as a couple of more of the more popular rivers. Papr Bear does a reasonable job and is worth contacting. One question you will wish to ask if your renting from the transportor service is what type of boat, how old, bailing or bucket, type of frame setup etc...... Some offer better gear than others.

    Best Wishes and Tight Lines.

    BMR

  8. #8
    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info guys! Hopefully something can work out. They just changed my report date, so I'm not reporting until May now, plus, my father opened his mouth to the wife about the cost of the trip and she's already having a kaniption. I'll just have to buy her something shiny to keep her mind off the trip.

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