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Thread: Floating the Kenai

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Default Floating the Kenai

    I was looking to float the Kenai this weekend in my 10' Skookum Steelheader. Is the river open enough to fish, and what stretch is safe to float? I'm not even sure a shuttle is running yet. May just end up walking the bank and fishing where I can. I will be swinging flies. I know, still a bit cold, but it is too exciting catching fish on the swing. If anyone wants to get out and get on the water let me know. I will be leaving out of Anchorage and we could split diesel and take my rig down. Or if you have a boat and want to float we can take both vehicles.

    Just got into town and going to do some recon before the crowds amass on the big waters.

    Fished BC on my way up. Only managed one steelhead swinging, but I still had a blast.


  2. #2

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    Float the Upper River and or the Refuge. Refuge is super safe and an easy float(Sportsmans to Jim's Landing). Upper River(Cooper Landing Bridge to Sportsmans) is good and easy too but there are a couple skinny parts ie Princess Rapids. Swing your little heart out all the way down. Make sure you got some small and medium leech patterns.
    Piscor Ergo Sum

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franken Fish View Post
    Float the Upper River and or the Refuge. Refuge is super safe and an easy float(Sportsmans to Jim's Landing). Upper River(Cooper Landing Bridge to Sportsmans) is good and easy too but there are a couple skinny parts ie Princess Rapids. Swing your little heart out all the way down. Make sure you got some small and medium leech patterns.
    Thanks Franken! Is there a shuttle service that's up and running right now or will I be able to hoof it back to the truck?

  4. #4

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    I just hitch it. I've had my drift boat from the Bridge to Jim's a couple times this winter and have hitched it with no problems.
    Piscor Ergo Sum

  5. #5

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    Floated to Jim's yesterday in an IK -- no problems. Two spots above Sportsman's where you might ground out if you're heavy or not lined up just right. Small stretches though.

    Call Wildman's at Cooper Landing about a shuttle, though rides were easy to come by at The road from Jim's. Emergers in the water as the day warmed Saturday.

  6. #6
    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    How was the fishing when you floated? I guess the fishing is always great, so how was the catching?

  7. #7

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    Sorta slow -- Just glad to be out before the waters close for spawning. I think if the water temp rises a couple degrees this week it will be excellent.

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    After floating last Sunday from the bridge to jims I would recommend waiting unless you have extra alum. on the bottom of your boat your looking to shave off. As mentioned earlier the two straights leading to Sportsmans are as boney as they can be. I just sold a clackacraft last week to a good customer and he did bridge to jims two days ago and wished he hadn't. They had to push for a bit in the spots mentioned. Might look into tusta to the bridge on the kasilof for steelhead instead or hiking in at dots on the middle river kenai for better fishing.

  9. #9
    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I have a 10' inflatable so I'm not too worried about the skinny water. Maybe I will check out the Kasilof for some slabs of chrome.

  10. #10

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    I floated Tustamena to the Bridge on the Upper Kasilof Friday in my sit on top kayak. It was Gnarly! Had to drag my 9' kayak 3 times, one time about 150 yards at Moose Head Rapids, and had a puckered butthole the rest of the trip down. No rower in his right mind, even with the most ability in the whole world, should bring a drift boat down that thing right now. A small Cat or packraft is all good but be prepared to do a little ping ponging down the river if you do. Lots of good water to fish but be warned its sketchy. I wont be taking my drift boat down it til.....
    Piscor Ergo Sum

  11. #11
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franken Fish View Post
    I floated Tustamena to the Bridge on the Upper Kasilof Friday in my sit on top kayak. It was Gnarly! Had to drag my 9' kayak 3 times, one time about 150 yards at Moose Head Rapids, and had a puckered butthole the rest of the trip down. No rower in his right mind, even with the most ability in the whole world, should bring a drift boat down that thing right now. A small Cat or packraft is all good but be prepared to do a little ping ponging down the river if you do. Lots of good water to fish but be warned its sketchy. I wont be taking my drift boat down it til.....
    OK, OK..... U almost died, but did u catch any fish??!!
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  12. #12
    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Floated sportsmans to Jims last night in a clacka. No problems. Couple shallow-ish spots but it's no big thing.

  13. #13
    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franken Fish View Post
    I floated Tustamena to the Bridge on the Upper Kasilof Friday in my sit on top kayak. It was Gnarly! Had to drag my 9' kayak 3 times, one time about 150 yards at Moose Head Rapids, and had a puckered butthole the rest of the trip down. No rower in his right mind, even with the most ability in the whole world, should bring a drift boat down that thing right now. A small Cat or packraft is all good but be prepared to do a little ping ponging down the river if you do. Lots of good water to fish but be warned its sketchy. I wont be taking my drift boat down it til.....
    So what you're saying is there are some rollers on the Kasilof? guess I will just have to take her easy and ride the edges

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Alright.....so I am stuck in the big city until at least Thursday morning (I paid for two nights in a hotel on base...it is much better than sleeping in the steelhead shanty), then I am heading down to the KP for fishing until Monday or so, maybe Tuesday afternoon depending how I do.

    So who runs the shuttle service for the Kasilof? Are they even up and running? Or do you guys hitch it too?

    Sorry....I'm new to this neck of the woods. Back home most of the guides bugged me for rides since I usually had a guy to net, I mean a person fishing with me.

  15. #15

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    Hey CTobias, go down to the Crooked Creek campground. There's a guy camped out down there BigFish6025. He's a good dude and will help you get dialed in. Have fun and be safe.
    Piscor Ergo Sum

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Getting the ladies ready for action.


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    You guys are so inspiring I put my one man cataraft together last night!

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    You guys are so inspiring I put my one man cataraft together last night!
    Mine is already together! Haha. Just need to top her off with air tomorrow and I will be good to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    OK, OK..... U almost died, but did u catch any fish??!!
    Hahaha... AND?

    We all need to get outside.

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    Just curious if a kayak would be a reasonable boat to float the kenai on? Thanks

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