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Thread: Float Hunting UP the Oshetna and/or Black Rivers?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Float Hunting UP the Oshetna and/or Black Rivers?

    I drew a Caribou tag (DC480), but, don't own an ATV, which seems to be the most common way of hunting in GMU 13. I do have a Alaska Series Jet Ranger AJR401 with a 25hp jet. So, I was wondering if it would be possible to access the NW part of GMU 13A, by putting in at Lake Louise, running down the lakes, down the Tyone River, down a short section of the Susitna, then UP the Oshetna River, and/or the Black River, and/or the Little Oshetna???

    Could an AJR401 navigate UP and DOWN these various rivers?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    WAY to much work for a caribou. If you have a boat, hunt Susitna and Tyone lakes and you will connect. As long as the caribou show up...

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Thanx Steve! I appreciate you taking the time to answer my query (after 150+ other viewers).

    But, what if I just WANTED to? Is it doable? How far up the Oshetyna/Black rivers could I go?

    Thanx again, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Lake Tyone is very grassy - and lilly pads - so a jet gets glogged up quickly. From what I have read there are other slow sections out of Tyone that are also grassy and would slow down a jet. I have only made it to the back of Tyone and decided I'd had enough of jet boating in a swamp. A prop with a lift would be a better option.

    There are narrow rocky riffles that they take canoes through with props. The rocks in some of these areas are "painted" with aluminium.

    Your best option is to go try it out for a long weekend in June or July and see how far you can get. Once you are some water with a current you will have less issue with weeds.

    Check out the canoe forum for lots of details on the Tyone river system.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Sounds like I might need a mud-motor to get across the lakes, and then a jet-motor to run the rivers.

    Maybe I should float down the Susitna from the Denali Highway, then run up the Oshetna & Black rivers.

    Anyone got info about the water conditions of these two tributaries of the Big Sue?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I have only been to the confrence of the Black and the Big O and I think you would be hard pressed to get up any of those with only a 25hp jet motor, if you could get there in the first place. The water moves pretty fast. It gets crossed with atv's and trucks so its not the deepest either. The river level will depict everything. High water means fast water, low water means fast and shallow water. Load a caribou in the boat and then what do you have?
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Lake Tyone is very grassy - and lilly pads - so a jet gets glogged up quickly. From what I have read there are other slow sections out of Tyone that are also grassy and would slow down a jet. I have only made it to the back of Tyone and decided I'd had enough of jet boating in a swamp. A prop with a lift would be a better option.
    Around the area you speak of, I watched massive phantom jet boat, with an inboard engine revving the living snot out of his motor, all while pushing 2-3mph in the muck. I could only imagine how much fuel he burnt in that section. A couple friends had to loan every gallon of gas they owned to these clowns who couldn't judge how much fuel to bring. I could hear him two-three miles away. I thought to myself......what the heck would this guy have done if it was a low water year? The boat seemed to have not had any thrust from a stop.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Yea, weeds and jets are like super man and kryptonite. He burned a lot of fuel and I bet pitted his leading edges on his impellar from the cavitation.
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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    The last time I went across Tyone lake it was not a problem. You do need the right equipment, if you wanted to get a jet across a grass lake you could replace the lower unit with a grass cutting prop, or put a mud motor on the back. It may be possible to pole or use oars to go from one open area to another.

    Nothing is impossible if you want to do it bad enough you just have to use a little comment sense.

  10. #10
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Hey Mainer,

    Did you use a surface-drive to access the Tyone River?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  11. #11

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    Personally, I wouldn't be all to worried about the weeds, but much more so about the rocks. There isn't a lot of traffic that goes past the lakes for the simple reason that many do significant damage to their boats/engines over the next few miles. There are long stretches of slow moving water that hides a lot of boulders. Even in the best conditions, you can't "read" the water to see the rocks due to the slow moving water. Many of these rocks have jagged edges that I usually refer to as "can openers". Most have coloring from whatever the last round of boats that glanced off them. If you stay in the area, you will frequently hear the high rev of jets when they make contact with a rock at high speed. The lucky ones keep running to do it again in a minute or two....

    While one person mentioned making a run in June/July to check it out, realize that the water level may be drastically different by hunting season. That drainage flucuates pretty quickly based on very recent rains. It could be fine in June/July, then be a foot or more shalllower come hunting season. Even if you go in shortly after a wind storm, you will see a big drop in water level because the water literally gets blown out of the lakes.

    One big thing to consider with this trip, whether you tried from Tyone or from up the Big Su is that there is no way to float out if you break down. Either way, you have a long ways to travel up river to get out. You have to be pretty self sufficient. People that travel that area on a more regular basis have specially modified their boats and steering systems to help them make the turns necessary. They also tend to bring lots of spare parts.

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