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Thread: "Practicing" for running the Ivishak for Caribou in a Jet Ranger

  1. #1
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    Default "Practicing" for running the Ivishak for Caribou in a Jet Ranger

    I was looking for a good place to get some braided gravel river experience to practice for this fall's caribou hunt in my Alaskan Jet Ranger. Someone suggested the Skilak River leading up to the glacier. It DIDN'T disappoint. Lots of braids, boulders, skinny water, and crappy water visibility. We left from our place on the Moose river in my 18' Harbercraft with the 14' Jet Ranger deflated in the back. We ran up the Kenai, thru the Naptowne Rapids and into Skilak Lake. All the way to the East side of the lake we anchored in a small cove and set up.

    We ran hard and found class 2 to 3 rapids. We only bottomed out once on the way up, where we had to drag. Getting close to the lake in large fast rapids I ran out of forward speed at full throttle. Slowly worked back and forth looking for slightly slower water. Soon I noticed a standing wave was filling my wifes lap. We backed off with 4" of water sloshing in the bottom of the boat. We pulled to shore, drained the boat and hiked to higher ground for a better overview. It was the last set of rapids!

    We placed a large flat boulder in the bow to keep it down and I ran the rapids alone while my wife and friend hiked. Made it into the lake and to the glacier. Gourgous Day!!

    Hit the lower unit about 5 times on the way down. Words can't describe how impressed I was with the Jet Ranger in these conditions, it was incredible.
    A friend and myself took his Mokai up to the North Slope one year, there wasn't enough power to get up the rapids.
    I talked a different friend into buying an Alaskan Jet Ranger last year and although challenging it put us beyond the 5 miles to the gun zone up North on the haul road.
    We took some video of the trip. If you're interested: http://youtu.be/CEso-DM45fk
    I now own two jet rangers, a 2008 and a 2012. The 2008 is on craigslist for sale.

    I haven't found anyone who has made it upstream. under power, as far as we did yet. If you have, I'd like to hear about it!

  2. #2
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    We need pics and video of your recent adventures. Sounds like a fun, off the beaten path trip.

  3. #3
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    Default "Practicing" for running the Ivishak for Caribou in a Jet Ranger

    I agree. Photos!

  4. #4
    Member Colby Jack's Avatar
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    What motor are you running John? How's it working out? Any suggestions to another inflatable owner?
    Thanks in advance!
    Colby

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colby Jack View Post
    What motor are you running John? How's it working out? Any suggestions to another inflatable owner?
    Thanks in advance!
    Colby
    Hi Colby, I'm running the 20HP Mercury Jet 2-stroke. Real happy with the motor as it weighs 126 lbs compared to the 4-stroke at 186 lbs. I can handle it by myself. You should check out this thread for suggestions: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...847-Jet-Ranger

    I'm back from hunting now and have put my Jet Ranger up for the sesaon. I should have time to add some photos from the trip this thread was about. The video link above really shows it well though.

  6. #6
    Member Colby Jack's Avatar
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    Thanks John! I have watched your video numerous times, and that's why I am curious on your motor selection. You seem to scoot up that river at a good pace with a more-than-decent current in your face. Too bad the Kenai is locked out for 2-strokes as of 12/31/12! I just got off the phone with fish and game this week. That includes the lakes. I'm really bummed and perplexed at this point. I have a large river boat with a 50hp honda, but really enjoy hitting the canyon in the upper and zipping across Skilak in my inflatable. What to do what to do...
    Colby

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