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Thread: 2013 wood issues

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    Default 2013 wood issues

    The word is leaking out from others as well as personal observation, THE STREAMS CHANGED. The flood really washed alot of trees into the streams, and the clean runs from many years of kayakers cleaning various strainers, etc. has ended as of last fall. Be extra careful on streams that are continuous in nature, never zip around a blind corner, and enjoy the new or changed rapids. Seriously... watch out.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    life is like a river, you never know what's around the bend. It's not an issue.....it's life. the path need not be made for you.......deal with it.

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    Default hopefully you dont boat whitewater

    And life is short if you don't watch your step on your path. See everyone on the rivers.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    life is like a river, you never know what's around the bend. It's not an issue.....it's life. the path need not be made for you.......deal with it.
    I don't think he was telling anyone to stay home, mainer. A word of caution is often a word of wisdom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    life is like a river, you never know what's around the bend. It's not an issue.....it's life. the path need not be made for you.......deal with it.
    Mark's words are a whisper, your deafness a shout.
    Anybody that states that it's not an issue, must not have much experience.
    Your aggressive, combative approach sure does wear thin, particularly when somebody is trying to help all.
    My take on what Mark said, is scout your old runs because they may have changed.
    Seems prudent to me.

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    Default Remarks

    I handle remarks much better than wood on continuous rivers where its hard to stop before a bend.

    Eagle River's wood killed last year and almost got a couple of others too, and that is technically an easy river. Again... I'm not playing mother goose, we have had clean streams for a few years because there has not been an epic flood for some time. I have boated around 50 whitewater streams in AK and will say from my experience on them, most will have new wood this year. People become aware real fast, it only takes a few brushes with the brush to force one to become very stringent with scouting ahead when you should be doing just that.

    Anyway, a group has been working on Willow redgate, many new sweepers, and Moose is really bad, and will be very dangerous at higher water, if its as bad as it was before it was cleaned several years ago, other streams are most likely the same. Many of the boulder ridden streams of the Talkeetna Mountains are steep, in the range of 150-400 fpm gradient, and can pose some real issues for boaters who cannot use micro eddies to stop before a bend.

    Every seasoned boater knows this, many novice boaters who read a forum may not, but the threat is very real. Yes, we do have to deal with it, but are very careful, always... every trip. We boat scout when we can, we get out and scout downstream when it's a must, I hope everyone who boats knows this is common practice.
    Last edited by mark oathout; 04-24-2013 at 10:59.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oyster View Post
    Mark's words are a whisper, your deafness a shout.
    Anybody that states that it's not an issue, must not have much experience.
    Your aggressive, combative approach sure does wear thin, particularly when somebody is trying to help all.
    My take on what Mark said, is scout your old runs because they may have changed.
    Seems prudent to me.

    Read in a non-aggressive, non-combative whisper:

    life is like a river, you never know what's around the bend. It's not an issue.....it's life. the path need not be made for you.......deal with it.



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    We appreciate the heads up, Mark. Thank you!

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    I've been hearing the same word on dern near a statewide scope. Thanks for the timely reminder Mark. I know of a few watersheds out west that are going to be sporty for the first descents this year.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    While a relative beginner to rafting, I literally saw a river change before my eyes in mid Sept last year while on the Kwethluk in SW Alaska. Trip started as so many other remote floats. Eager to get out of the airplanes that took me 4,500 miles to my home away from home. Getting excited about finally tying on one of the 130 flies I had bought from Alaska Fly Fishing Goods. Wondering what gear item I had left in NC, even though I started packing months earlier. It happens every year.

    We hit the river on day one of ten and it was sunny and calm. Put the boats together, drank a few liquor drinks, caught a few rainbows, all is well. By day two the rain began. By day three the water was chocolate milk. By day four we had given up on fishing and in the middle of the night our tent blew about 100 yards down river and the 14.5' raft was lifted off the ground and blew several feet. By day five, deep in the braided section of the river, we felt like we were being flushed down a toilet bowl, bouncing off rootballs, gps was useless as we tried to stay in the main channel, using gun shots to keep from being separated from the other boat in our party. 40' trees were floating down river with us on more than a few occasions.

    Beat up, cut up, broken fly rods, lost fishing nets and assorted gear, bruised egos, we sat at the take out location watching water rise up to the tent. As we put our gear in bags, deflated the raft, and awaited the jet boat, we were literally standing in the water. Just about the time we thought about blowing the raft back up so we could put all our gear bags in the boat, we heard the buzz of a jet boat coming up river. What seemed like ten minutes was likely just a minute or so. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't glad to be picked up.

    Usually this is a very anticlimactic point of our trip, signaling a very long trip back to North Carolina from what ever gravel bar I may be on at that time. This is also the time when we start thinking of what overpriced delivery food we are going to get in the hub town, how nice the hot shower will be, and generally just sitting around licking our wounds and reflecting on the trip we just finished. The flight back home is when the planning for next years float trip begins. The trip back home is a very depressing and lengthy venture and looking at the float trip pics on my camera during the flight is all I have left. However, on this particular trip, it signified the end of a character building trip and I was glad to put it in the rear view mirror. Great wilderness experience, got 1 fish for every 20 miles I floated, nobody got hurt, I got another notch in my Alaska river bedpost, so I consider it a success of sorts. An experience that will better prepare me for future trips if nothing else.


    But back to the point and well intentioned advice of this thread...

    Do rivers change from year to year? 10-4 backdoor.





    -Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Read in a non-aggressive, non-combative whisper:

    life is like a river, you never know what's around the bend. It's not an issue.....it's life. the path need not be made for you.......deal with it.


    OK, I read your profound quote in a non-aggressive, non-combative whisper and it holds less water today than yesterday.
    Again this is a testament to your lack of experience with whitewater.
    Deal with it.

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    Default Flood destruction

    Yep, they are full of wood, almost everything that a tree can bridge. Moose, Granite, both still have lots of wood, Willow is clean now, for the most part. Next, we are checking Kings out while the waters reasonable for scouting. I estimated that Granite may have had 10,000cfs that came down, a Matanuska River size flood, the destruction is unreal, we even found a car that washed down the creek.

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    Default Good Example

    I had to take this picture, great example showing the purpose of this thread. The first pic is the cottonwood on a blind corner, 20ft behind it is a strainer which is in a bad spot, a boater has only a tiny eddy to catch or go under the strainer. Most will go under the strainer. I guess these suprise dangers, on these small creeks, will certainly get quite a few boaters for the next few years, until the streams clean up a bit, got me good on Moose during the run-off. The tree that got me fell after my previous trip, everything left on the banks is really unstable. Anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corn View Post
    We appreciate the heads up, Mark. Thank you!
    Yes we do, Mark, thank you.

    Being careful, informed and prepared is the difference between the professional and the gung-ho weekender.

    Dan's description is point on too, a classic description of a float trip during a "pineapple express" type weather event like we had last autumn. I've done float hunts for 10 years professionally for 20 to 30 days each autumn and 8 to 20 days each spring. Being informed is paramount and prepared right next to it.

    A good way to inform yourself when planning your float trip is to tack on a few extra minutes with your air-taxi, let them know to factor it in, to fly the actual river route you will take as you float out while you are flying in. Often this is possible. I do this every time I float a river even if it is twice or more in a hunting season. Marginalizing your flight to being the cheapest possible, pays back nothing. Watch your GPS with the appropriate topo program and waypoint problem spots as you fly by.

    Have your pilot fly slower with the river on your side of the plane and high enough that you can see what is going on and the terrain doesn't just rush by. Your pilot should be more than a taxi driver flying as fast as they can from point A to B. Get them to buy in to the fact you will pay a bit more for a flight that is more helpful to you.

    Philosophy never trumps attitude. Even with lots of experience, I totally appreciate the stories, suggestions and advice I've seen on the AOF. Attitude is everything. Walk humbly and continue to do good.
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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    Default Lower Kings wood issues

    A group of us ran part of the lower canyon to see how bad the wood is, so we could take others on a trip absent of surprise. The canyon section was clean of wood and fun splashy water, and the first couple of miles after the canyon was fun too. The last 2-3 miles is full of wood, we had 5-6 portages. I would consider the river fairly unsafe for beginners without seasoned boaters guiding them, which is to bad.
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    Default Sheep Creek wood

    We accessed the lower section of upper Sheep Creek with pack rafts to check out some fishing opportunity. The wood below the access point at Hidden Lakes trail, is bad. We portaged over a dozen times, two were fairly hefty portages. The flood has deposited giant cottonwoods in piles like toothpicks. At higher water this section would be dangerous in any craft, a raft would be a really bad idea.
    Next time I run the upper section I will take out on the trail, no thanks.
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  17. #17

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    Wood scares me.

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