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Thread: Creeks in the Mat-Su that are canoe friendly?

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    Default Creeks in the Mat-Su that are canoe friendly?

    I am trying to find some local places that I could take UP a creek for salmon and trout fishing with a canoe. I plan on getting a trolling motor eventually but wont go any where that cat be paddled up just for safety sake. I was thinking maybe trying Jim creek, since every Jack Jill and Tom fish down at the mouth I was thinking about maybe putting in and paddling up the creek just before high tide then work my way back down slowly while fishing.

    Has any one tired this? Or know of any other creeks that are canoe friendly? I know a lot of creeks around here are to swift and are either to dangerous or must be floated down (like the Little Su) but figured there must be some. Also I have heard that Wasilla Creek Is also Canoe friendly, is that true? I have never fished Wasilla Creek down on the flats.

    I am thinking about maybe getting a couple friends together and trying to float the Little Su possibly in the end of July, but would like to find some spots where I can use a canoe to go up or down. Most likely will have my 6 year old son with me so I am not looking for any thing to exciting lol. I am not looking for any exact secret spots but would like to find some places close to home that would be canoe friendly other than just lakes.

    I have used canoes before, but haven't used one in a creek so any advice there would be appreciated. The Canoe I have is a 17 foot Coleman Ram X canoe (not square back).

    Also, I figured since this is more about places for Canoes I posted here instead of the fishing forum, If its in the wrong spot I apologize.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The Coleman can be a slug to paddle but not bad with two folks. If you go by yourself sitting a few feet ahead or the rear seat helps control the bow.Floating out with the ebb tide is always enjoyable so have fun.
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    Might be better to put in at Maude Rd, paddle across the lake and portage the canoe 30' over a well worn path that drops into jim creek and float down from there if you could have someone pick you up on the lower end. Just a thought...I have heard of people floating down Fish creek as well but it might get skinny during the summer months.
    Lil Su is another good float down to Burma Landing.
    BK

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    A friend of mine floated Fish Creek a few years back and he said it was pretty fun. He did say there was one spot they had to walk the canoe due to the water being to shallow and then one log that they had to get the canoe over and then towards the end down by Knik Road he said it did get a bit narrow but I did plan on floating that one for fun this year. Need to look into the fishing aspect as I know that you cant fish for salmon above the marker down at KGB but not to sure about trout just yet.

    Thanks for the Info on Jim creek, I didnt know about the lake and portage. I think I will give that one a try this year also. Looking at Google maps its kinda hard to tell, but can a truck drive strait to Jim lake or does it turn into a mucky four wheeler trail? I dont mind using my trucks 4wd but dont want to beat it up either lol. I have beat my fair share of vehicles and would rather keep this one in decent shape.

    I just looked up a video of Wasilla Creek and I will for sure be trying that one with the canoe when Silver season comes around.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FEfaCCshM0

    I also thought about Cottonwood creek, but again no salmon fishing except at the mouth and no point in using a canoe down there except maybe to get to the other side of the creek since the bridge is condemned.

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    Another one I am curios to try out that I haven't been to in years is Rabideux creek. I have gone there a few times for kings when I was younger but have thought about trying it for Silvers and Burbot. Its been years but I remember it being pretty calm. Its about a little over an hour from where I live but I may have to give that one a try too.

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    You can drive right to the lake on Maude Rd. I have launched my small airboat there as well.
    BK

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    Ok cool Any good trout fishing in Jim creek or lake? Never really tried for trout in the creek before specifically.

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    don't know about the lake but there are dollies in the creek. There are two lakes to put in at the end of Maude road. Jim Lake requires a very short portage and is probably the easiest route. Or the first lake is Mud Lake and you can find the channel the other side and scoot right into Jim Creek without a portage. Real shallow though and you might have to push across the soft bottom a ways.
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    If you canoe Jim's Creek, you better be on your toes! I see airboats screaming up and down the creek all the time. I can only imagine what it would be like to get ran over by an airboat....but I'll guarantee it wouldn't be pretty!!!!

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    I airboat there and am not one of those "screaming up and down" the river.
    The flip side is, when in a canoe and you hear an airboat coming towards you, prepare for it. Don't pretend you own the river and stand your ground in the middle of it. I have had close calls on the lil Su but that was in my jetboat and knuckleheaded people standing in the channel refusing to move or guides running too fast taking up the river.
    The beauty of an airboat is the ability to STOP in the shallows or run where the canoes and jetboats can't....the inside corners where it's 1" deep.
    A little common sense goes a long way on both sides.
    BK

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    I airboat there and am not one of those "screaming up and down" the river.
    The flip side is, when in a canoe and you hear an airboat coming towards you, prepare for it. Don't pretend you own the river and stand your ground in the middle of it. I have had close calls on the lil Su but that was in my jetboat and knuckleheaded people standing in the channel refusing to move or guides running too fast taking up the river.
    The beauty of an airboat is the ability to STOP in the shallows or run where the canoes and jetboats can't....the inside corners where it's 1" deep.
    A little common sense goes a long way on both sides.
    BK
    No offense intended bk, in fact I think it looks like a blast! I was just trying to let the OP know that he shouldn't expect to be alone on the creek.

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    Btw, it's spelled Maud if you're looking for the road

    sent from my igloo

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    Just remember that if you fish Wasilla creek(Rabbit Slough) it's only open Saturdays and Sundays from 6am-6pm.

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    haha, Ya I am not one of those people who would try to stand my ground in a little canoe. When I was a kid we were out on Biglake in a 12 foot v bottom boat. We had a guy in a big river boat fly past us on purpose no more than maybe 50 feet away, he threw up a wave so big my dad didn't have time to turn into it and it flipped the boat with us in it. Ever since then, I try to keep my distance from power boats when ever I am in something small. Especially in a canoe. If I hear them coming I will definitely be moving over lol.

    I knew Wasilla Creek was a week end only fishery from 6-6 like Cottonwood creek. I was looking at the regs and see a lot of creeks are going to 6am-11pm only now too. That is part of the reason I am trying to find multiple places to fish at that way if one is closed (like Wasilla Creek) in theory there should be some where else we can go.

    I Think we are going to try Jim creek this year too. Thanks for the warning about the air boats at Jim Creek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_cowboy View Post
    Btw, it's spelled Maud if you're looking for the road

    sent from my igloo
    I found it on Google maps yesterday, but the image was taken in the winter so it was hard to tell if you could drive right to the lake. The trail looked rough in the picture but wasnt sure if it was just because it was winter or not.

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    You can drive all the way to Jim Lake, it gets a little rough at the end for the boat launch though. It would be much easier to put in at Mud lake (it's only about 1 mile down the gravel section) and then portage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_cowboy View Post
    You can drive all the way to Jim Lake, it gets a little rough at the end for the boat launch though. It would be much easier to put in at Mud lake (it's only about 1 mile down the gravel section) and then portage.
    Yes. I always put in at Mud Lake. You don't portage from Mud Lake, there is a channel that goes right into Jim Creek from there.
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    How big is the channel? Would it accommodate a 17 foot canoe loaded with a couple people, fishing gear, cooler ect? It looks big enough on Google maps but some times GM can be deceiving lol.

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    I would think you could do Willow Creek from the bridge down to the public area, may be a few logs or sweepers and i have heard of a log jam, but canoe would be easy to move around any of that stuff. I would be interested in the little Su above the Parks bridge. There are 4 bridge crossings above there, float between any of them for a short float or from one of them to the Parks for a longer one. Would take a experienced person on the canoe, would most likely have to cross some log, drag some shallows and keep sharp lookout for sweepers or possible log jam, not for kids, at least not until you run it first. Below the parks I don't see much problem, just a long float/paddle to Burma Landing. Lots of boat traffic below the Parks, not much above. Bud
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    Remember we had big floods last fall. Floods on rivers puts lots of trees and stumps in new places. I would be very careful going down Willow or the Little Sue above the parks bridge. Its a great float and people do it in canoes but you better know how to make the corners and stay out of all the stuff in the way. There is a lot of sweepers and stumps and log jams. If you don't fully understand how to paddle a canoe on moving water you should do some reading and talking to people before just jumping into a plastic canoe with a young child and heading down a river. Willow is small but because of that you have to be right on coarse to miss hitting things and lots of tight corners. It's fun in a small raft and even then if you don't understand it will not be near the fun people make it seem. Life and death can be a fine line in playing in Alaska. Just do it safe. You should do the Little Sue from Houston down before thinking of going above Houston.

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