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Thread: Lake Creek or Talachulitna ????

  1. #1
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    Default Lake Creek or Talachulitna ????

    Will be doing a unguided lake creek or Talachulitna 5-day float the end of July or first week of Aug.
    Was wondering how technical the Lake creek float will be through the class 3/4 rapid area. I have little but some rafting experience but will have my father and another man that are around 65 years old (but physically fit for their age) along. The last thing I want to do is get them in a comprimising position on the river.
    Any suggestions and what would be the optimum time for the silver run there.
    Any suggestions for pilot services or raft rentals?
    I have talked with Jack Barber at Alaska Air Taxi and Jeff at Alaska raft and Kayak. Has anyone had any experience with these two companies?
    Thanks,
    Jon

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Lake Creek is a good float for novices. I took 3 guys from L.A. and other than showing up in K-Mart rain gear, they had a blast. I remember only one "GOOD" rapid, and it wasn't bad. Just keep them on their toes when in the raft.

    You should get into some really nice rainbows-big ones. Fish for them below the silvers and hang on!
    Live life and love it
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    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Wink water levels

    It all depends om water levels. Lake creek can be a breeze in low to moderate water levels, and you can catch tons of big trout and grayling, however in high water conditions the rapids through the canyon can be brutal. many a raft has been flipped there. So if water levels are high you may want to line your raft down through that stretch. just down stream of the last white water at the bottom of the canyon is a great camping spot, just don't count on fire wood there.

  4. #4

    Default See Lake Creek and the Tal for yourself

    The bookstore on this website sells a dvd/river guide product for both Lake Creek and the Talachulitna.

    There are two sets of noteworthy rapids on both rivers. Hells Gate on the Tal can be easily scouted and can be lined if you wish. The 2nd rapid on the Tal, "flipper", is less technical and amounts to a couple of small ledges and a turn. The two significant rapids on Lake Creek are the "cut-off" rapid where a big U turn washed out creating a nice run and then Canyon Rapids which is the more significant rapid (both can be lined). Lake Creek will require more rowing and physical effort to navigate boulder fields, but the overall pace is fun and the scenery on Lake Creek is amazing!

    Best of luck on your adventure!

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    Default choices

    A few thoughts. If the water is low, definitely lake creek as the you will be dragging rafts at the Tal. If the water is normal, the Tal is better for Salmon, but Lake creek is better for trout. Use topozone. com to make maps for plotting camps sites. just look fior streams flowing into the rivers. lastly, on both, the lodge areas at the bottom sucks so stay upriver as much as possible.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Lake creek has a class 4 run, it sounds like a pretty basic shot you just have to bounce off the rocks.

    The Tal has one nice little water fall and lots of dragging. I've heard that the tal has a lot of un fishable water whereas lake creek if full of it.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    What would be the better one to fish later in July or the first week august. I know the silver should be in there by then but do you think there will be any kings left? Thanks for the responses.
    Thanks,
    Jon

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    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Default pretty ugly

    Any kings you see on either river will likely be pretty ugly, and you are not allowed to target them directly, however I have caught late kings incidentally that lat off Su tribs while fishing for silvers. There should be silvers starting to show in both creeks by then, but I'm not sure of numbers, I know lake creek will also have some reds that time of year, if the numbers allow you to keep them.

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    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Default rapids

    I have guided trips with older clients on rivers before, and it all depends. The physical condition of them needs to be taken into account, ie. can they tolerate a cold dip and swim if the unexpected occurs, also can you drag the raft alone? water levels will be your biggest concern. high water on lake creek makes for a very strenuous trip at times and the canyon can be dangerous for a rafter. However dragging for long distances is rough to hence my question on who will drag. That time of year water levels will likely be fairly low, but a little rain can change things quickly.

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    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Default one more thing

    one last thought the canyon run on lake creek is exhausting, but fairly straightforward except for the last piece. the river splits around a huge boulder in a narrow chute, go left if you can, many a raft has been dumped at this spot. There is always lots of debris from dumped rafts there every year, even found an old rusted up shotgun weged in some rocks the first year i did that trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwrdn View Post
    What would be the better one to fish later in July or the first week august. I know the silver should be in there by then but do you think there will be any kings left? Thanks for the responses.
    Thanks,
    Jon
    Kings will be spawning, you are not allowed to fish for them after ~the 12th of july perfect timing for big rainbows though
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  12. #12

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    Just rafted Lake Creek (week of 4th of July). We were scheduled for the Tal., but outfitter said it's too low and we'd drag the raft the 1st 3 miles.

    Most of the trip requires continuous, strenuous fun -- rowing to avoid the rocks, seen & unseen. Plan to get hung on them from time to time, and have to push off or figure out what to do. We were the only group I saw without a guide, and were glad my brother had extensive rafting & whitewater kayaking experience (during the relatively short serious sections of rapids).

    When you get to the two big rapids, all your training in the upper river (learning how to avoid those rocks) will be almost for naught. In the fast water, what you learned you could do in the medium-fast water just won't work -- the river is faster and more powerful, and more in charge. Make sure everyone is drilled in what to do in case of disaster (What if you fall out? What if the raft gets wrapped on a rock in the rapids? etc.)

    Met someone who'd done Lake Creek 14 times -- mostly mid-summer (for Kings). She told us about the time her professional guide wrapped the raft on the big rock in the 2nd rapid. One guy fell out, but ended up OK.

    A couple of scarier comments (clickable):
    ...over the years we have had to rescue numerous parties ...
    There is always lots of debris from dumped rafts there every year...

    On the other hand, 3 middle-aged guys (us) made it, and would not be afraid to do it again. But, we wouldn't take those rapids lightly either.

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