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Thread: Back and Forth I go Chena to the Denali Hwgy

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Back and Forth I go Chena to the Denali Hwgy

    Well the fish are moving quickly into the upper parts of the Chena for thos who wish to fish Grayling in Fairbanks by Mem Weekend there should be fair numbers above P. Valley to Rose Hip. Floating is fine water is moving along but nothing bad bad that we found.

    Drove down to check out the East Fork of the Gulkana, Gunn Creek, Tangle Lakes and a couple of other places. Snow is still deep in some places. Tangle Lakes Main Camp Ground is being worked on Snow / Ice issue about 1/2 way down but the crews were working the issue. Outlet on the upper access site is open and the river is flowing fine to the lower lake however nothing happening at all no Lakers either. That being said the Lower Acces Camp Ground has about 600 yards of open water so if you wish to walk in from the Hghy side you might find Lakers and Grayling cruising the in-let. Each Section from lake to lake at each outlet is also open.
    Sweade is plugged tighter then it should be but the Lake Ice all together is ready for a couple of warm days and then game on.

    Summit Locked, Paxson Locked.

    Delta Clear Water is flowing at a great level as always however the Grayling have not made it in to their normal spots and YES the white fish and at the boat landing. TONS and I do mean TONS of users to include someone Yahoo in a 24ft Mod V Power boat using the Delta Clear Water river leaving 2-3ft waves in his aftermath Real Fun! Seriously! What are some people thinking. With all the Canoe and Kayak Traffic in that place I am sure it will be just a matter of time prior to something bad happening.

    Any Who now you know!

    Have a safe 101 critical days of Summer.

    BMR

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    YMMV but from a Two Rivers/Pleasant Valley perspective that's still the middle Chena. On Thursday I caught the biggest graylings I've ever pulled out of the Chena in one particular hole in the 40-miles, but there weren't any in the other usually productive places up there and my guess is that these fish overwintered in that particular hole (or nearby). They were not there on Saturday but the water was somewhat higher and a lot more stained. However, they're all over the sloughs so if you're striking out on the river there's always an alternative. I do think that they'll be moving into the upper Chena (first bridge and above, basically) in the next week or so.

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    Your Mileage May Very? Nice if that is what it is I googled it never seen prior. Noted and a valid point concerning Upper versus Middle.

    C Ya up there this weekend High Water float is always a Good Time. PM if you want to teach an old dog some new tricks. Have to check out our new NRS Pike IK's prior to releasing them on the public.

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    Well, once the fish have migrated I'm usually further upstream than folks do floats, but if you see an old lady in sunglasses fussing with a badly-tangled leader, say "Hey!"

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    LOL and will Do! Might have to float you from Van C's down if you what to really get away from it all. Well that is with the exception of all the new claims for our friends the miners. Busy Busy up there but mid week the water is not bad normally.

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    Updates on tangle? looking to go this weekend

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    That is a great question most accurate data would come from our friends at the Tangle River Inn. info@tangleriverinn.com or 907-822-3970. I do know that the morning temps over the past couple of weeks have been kinda cold and they are calling for rain the next couple of days. The Main lake below the Inn had a fair amount of open water last weekend.

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    Well needless to say this weekend was a bust on both roads for fishing. Chena was just below flood stage and it is raining again here and there so the likely-hood of anything fishing for the next several days is zero.

    Paxson was a joy if you like Snow, Wind and Rain. That being said we are all hoping the situation improves for the up and coming weekend.

    Moose-O

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    Did you happen to check out tangle lake or down at Clearwater creek? My wife and I were thinking of heading up that way this weekend to fish and camp.

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    T Lakes has been opening slowly but surely since last week it can only continue to improve as the water continues to flow. Can't say the Lakers and Grayling are on but there is enough water to wet a line.

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    I went up CHSR today to see how the Chena's doing and it's still not super happy. The water level's starting to moderate but it's still high, and it's muddy on the middle river and stained on the upper. The fishing was good but there was no catching to speak of. Fish still haven't arrived at my favorite go-to spot way upstream.

    Folks who like that gravel bar at 27.whatever mile are in for a surprise. I'm not sure what's going to show up when the river drops more but right now it looks possible that the access washed out and that the gravel bar itself is now primarily a resting place for debris.

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    It will be interesting to see. I am also wondering what might have occurred further down around mile 16-17 huge old log jam that has rested there for years might just have grown or moved out a little that and or the new channel that was cut is now plugged and the river is back in its old channel. Notice according the the flow charts it is coming down nicely might just be reasonable fishing up high by Sat. Thanks as always for the update.

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    By way of another update, things on the Chena are much improved from Wednesday. The water level is good, the water is clearer, and there are some chunky monkeys awaiting your tender attentions. The one thing worth mentioning is that if you're wading, be aware that at least in some places the bottom has changed and things may not be where you think. I found that one area that had been quite flat now has a big hole in the middle of it. So, take a little extra care.

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    Well one more road trip for fun and the water is still water. East fork of the Gulkana is running high no road side fun just yet as Mlshore has stated fish are still scattered in places on the Chena and with the rain rain rain coming downin buckets across the entire valley just about everyday anything low has not been Good Fishing or should I say catching. Things are picking up a little around the Tangles but as of Friday night a wet suit would have been a better option.

    Lower Gulkana running high 12-18 inches and brownish at best, however those willing to put the time bouncing roe were picking up fish not many but picking up fish. The Rain let up from Paxson down and it was nice Sat and Sunday and the river was dropping but not clearing up to much. Expect if the weather holds by Weds - Thurs you should be in the mix for some reasonable Salmon Fishing.

    The Klutina was fairly hot this weekend but early morning and late evening were better the mid day. With the Water blowing through Chitna all the dip netters seem to have found their way to the Klutina so limited camping available. I would suggest you call and make reservation if you wish to use places like King for a Day.

    Tight Lines.

    BMR

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    Mlshore,

    You must know something I don't know 'cause I was up on the upper Chena River today and I got totally skunked! I know it may be too early up there, but I never saw a fish. Not even a single refusal, or a single fish taking a fly anywhere. Nice hatches of blue dunns and caddis, but not a fish to be seen. But it was a nice day to be out on the river, and not many people around.

    Jim

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    Well, there are spots and then there are spots. There's what's usually a killer hole up above 50 mile that's typically nothing but noses and it's been empty and stayed empty, so I hadn't bothered going further upstream. But Friday was pretty nice before the storms hit and I figured the worst thing that would happen is that I'd be in a beautiful spot but get skunked, and to my considerable surprise, there were the fish. About a month ago I was fishing in that hole on the downstream side of the third bridge and pulled out a bunch of very nice fish but haven't caught anything there since, so it looks like they're still on the move (graylings are highly migratory). Hodgins Slough has been a consistent producer of nice fish, the gravel bar at 27.whatever mile has been a consistent producer of modest fish, and there's an area near the first bridge that's got some very, very solid fish. Those ones are old and wise and are pretty hard to catch, but they're falling for this soft-hackle beadhead. I've also found pretty consistent fish in the sloughs at 31 mile and 34 mile, as well small guys at largely stillwater sloughs all the way up the road. They're there, but getting them is sort of the fishing version of what some skiers call "earning your turns." I live in Two Rivers so it makes it really easy to get up there 4-5 days/week, so I've been really fortunate to be able to get a lot of experience on the upper Chena. The payoff is that I don't think I've had a day this year when I haven't been able to find fish, starting in late April. For what it's worth I've found that if you skate a dry fly you can often get the really small guys to rise, and that will provide a clue.

    If I were going in cold I'd probably start at the 27.whatever mile gravel bar and cast just inside and downstream of the riffle. They're skinny but it's a lot better than pond fishing. The other nearly sure thing is on Hodgins Slough, stay on the part that parallels CHSR and go to the upstream end and cast against the bank you're standing on. You'll see a *lot* of rises and will be able to catch some fish using dries, but given the configuration you can kind of count on losing a lot of flies and tippet. Keep your fly on the inside (towards you) side of the seam. Seriously, it's right against the bank you're standing on, and it can be some kind of messy casting. But the fish there are really pretty nice. It's been like that on Hodgins for about a month.

    Good luck! There's some excellent fishing on the Chena right now if you can hit the right spot at the right time.

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    Mlshore,

    Well now that's a most generous report! I've fished the Chena for some 40 years now and I'm still just a bit surprised that a lot of fish haven't moved way up to the headwaters yet. They have moved way up on the Chatanika, though. But such is the way of anything wild. I wouldn't want it any other way. I'll be looking for you up that way this year and I'll be sure to stop and say "Howdy!"

    Best of luck to you!

    Jim

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    People have been generous with me over the years, so I hope to pay it forward at least a little bit. And hey, I didn't describe the really outstanding spots. But the point is that even though this feels like a pretty late year there's definitely fish to catch.

    Look for a black Land Cruiser with a farming bumpersticker. I'm definitely around.

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    I will indeed look for your Land Cruiser but if, for some reason I miss it...keep a watch for a white Dodge mega cab or a bright yellow Jeep driven by an incredibly handsome old guy!

    Have a great day!

    Jim

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    Jim you are not an incredibly handsome old guy!!!! Your a stellar sophisticated estblished outdoors person with several fine printed words in several locations across many venues to include a wonder book on Grouse. The words I believe you may have been serching for were Exceptional, Witty, Suave and Rugged Elderly Gentleman with a passion for enjoying the pristine wilderness settings that Alaska has to offer.

    FISH ON Borther Fish on!

    RMM

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