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Thread: Upper Kenai River Advice

  1. #1

    Default Upper Kenai River Advice

    Hello, I am heading down to Cooper Landing next week to float the Upper Kenai from Cooper Landing down to Jim's Landing. I have floated that section a few times, but my question to anyone who floats it regularly is once I get past the Russian River Confluence, is it wise to stay on the main channel, or is it safe to take some of the back channels and sloughs that cut off the main river on river left. The reason why I am asking is that every time that I have floated it, I have always wanted to go down some of those back channels, to fish for big rainbows and dollies, but I have been leery because I have heard some bad stories of logjams in those back channels. Can anyone verify or deny these stories? Bare in mind I will have my wife and kids with me, so I don't want to take any chances. In my limited experience on that river, the Kenai River is not a river you want to underestimate. Even though it may only be rated a class II or III at the most, the water is very powerful and cold. Thanks in advance to anyone with any constructive and useful information they can offer.

  2. #2
    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    5819'59"N 13429'49"W


    Until you have floated the backchannels between sportsman's and jim's with someone who knows them, I wouldn't take any chances. There are a few with full-width obstructions, but almost all of them have a trick or two about them.

    The best thing you could do (besides floating with someone who knows them intimately) is to pull in at the bottom and walk up them - that way if you want to take them the next float, you know what to expect.

  3. #3


    Thanks G Smolt. Although not what I was hoping to hear, it sounds like good advice nonetheless.


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