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Thread: Chatanika river float hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Chatanika river float hunt

    I'm planning on doing my first float hunt on the Chatanika for bear, fishing, and some quality outdoor time with my kids and I have a few questions. First, where would a good spot be to put in. Second, how far could I expect to float for 7 days. Last, should I use a raft or a cannoe for the water conditions in early June. I'm planning on taking out on the Elliot unless someone has a better idea. I realize this may not be the best river to float but I'm doing this more for spending time with the kids and gaining the expierence of a float hunt for future hunts.

    Thanks, Mike

  2. #2
    Member northernalberta's Avatar
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    My friends and I have talked about floating the Chatanika from the Steese Highway to the Elliott Highway as a moose hunt. I don't know how long that would take but I don't think it would take up a whole week. As I recall it's a similar sized river to the Tolovana, not super deep in places. Hopefully someone else can chime in who's actually done that float, as I'm interested in it as well. I love that country up there.

  3. #3
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    I suspect you have made the float by now but I'll add my 2 cents. I've floated the section from MM 39 Steese Hwy to the Elliott Hwy bridge a few times. The first few miles can be really dodgy due to lots of sweepers/strainers and some tight corners. After that the river opens up a fair bit and except for a few small spots, is pretty easily navigated. Another put-in that avoids the sweepers, etc is near MM 35. There's a pullout and a small grass area by the river. The easiest put-in there is upstream of the cutbank.
    I would probably not canoe that upper section the first time with kids on board. Rafting it would be a lot safer.

    The total float time for that section is about 10 hours depending on water levels. Low water can be a problem. There are plenty of gravel bars to camp on along the way. If I were hunting it, I would take 4 -5 days.

    You could also take out behind Murphy Dome at the Hard Luck Creek takeout. Expect jet boats, airboats and some rude people driving them. Also the river slows down dramatically on this stretch.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    How was the grayling fishing? Any sloughs off it to try for a pike? Fun stuff. Thanks for the information on floating it. In my experience its always better to give weekend boaters a wide berth. They might be rude but they are often inexperienced too as a rafter I generally have more options then they do for safe passage..so when I hear them coming I wait for them to pass. During the week would be a better float for me...

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