Ivishak Float Trip 2013
I am trying to plan a float hunt with my family on the Ivishak for fall of 2013. I already got a hunt lined out this year. Anyhow, I was curious if anybody had any recommendations on air charter operators to the Ivishak River? Also, what time frame would be the best late August? Early September? I know 70 North operates out of Happy Valley. I have heard pretty good reports about them. Are there any other pilots/air transporters that fly to that river? If you don't want to share any info on the internet please send a pm. Thanks.
Coyote Air out of Coldfoot might be an option. It is a farther flight than Happy Valley and they fly a beaver rather than a helio (what 70 North flies) so $ / trip will be more expensive. However, depending on how large your family is you might be looking at one flight in a beaver vs. multiple flights in a helio so air charter costs might be a wash. Timing is always a trade-off between river flows, weather, caribou movements, personal schedules, etc. I floated the Ivishak August 22-28 last summer and experienced low flows, amazingly gorgeous weather, and few caribou. A wonderful trip through some beautiful country.
I floated the Ivishak the last 2 summers. Both trips were August 4th-10th. The first year had crappy weather (low clouds/rain) but 100's of caribou and no other people. Last year the weather was better, more people, and we only saw 7 caribou. Luckily my son connected on the one and only that we had a chance at last trip.
The flight out of Coldfoot will not be worth the extra money and the fact that you will still have to drive a car past Happy Valley to the takeout along the Sag. More than likely you will need 2 flights out of Happy Valley, but it will still be less $ than the longer, more expensive flight in the Beaver out of Coldfoot. Call both and compare. If I did the trip again, and money was no object, I'd get picked up by plane once out of the Brooks and avoid all of the rowing required in the lower river. However, by floating the lower part of the river you save lots of $.