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Thread: Your imput on when the canoe trails open up??

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    Default Your imput on when the canoe trails open up??

    So I'm planning a 5 day canoe trip on the Canoe Lake trails May 19th. Do you guys think the ice will be melted off the lakes by then? I'm getting pretty worried. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Assuming your guys winter and "spring" has been similar to ours, mid-May is likely overly optomistic for ice free KNWR lakes. Memorial day weekend will be a better bet, but some years I've heard the ice hasn't gone out until early June.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Assuming your guys winter and "spring" has been similar to ours, mid-May is likely overly optomistic for ice free KNWR lakes. Memorial day weekend will be a better bet, but some years I've heard the ice hasn't gone out until early June.

    Yeah, last year it was melted by that time. This spring is so dang cold.

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    Max at AK Canoe and Raft at Sterling AK would be your best bet to contact.

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    Itchin' to use that new ultra-light graphite are ya!? I was going to PM you but i guess you can't receive them yet. Me and a group are planning to do the swanson river around that time in hopes that it will have enough water flowing so maybe we will bump into you up there! I think it will be open by then. might be worth a sunday drive just to check it out. I am more worried about that road than the lakes!

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    They plow that road pretty good so that should not be an issue. Yeah man, that would be way cool to bump into you guys! We'll have to share a beer or something. I will scope things out the day before for sure. I'll keep you posted.

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    Is Canoe Lake the same as the Swan Lake canoe trail? What sort of fish would one expect to find there?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Skinny D - You will find rainbows, suckers, char and sometimes salmon depending on where you are in the system. A great book to check out if you are intrested is called " The Kenai Canoe Trails" by Daniel L. Quick.

    and yes canoe lake#1 is part of the swan lake system.

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    Daniel Quick's book is a must, unfortunately I loaned mine out and need to get a new copy. Not all the lakes hold fish and the book has good info on what lakes hold fish. I've only fished for rainbows, the fishing can vary from next to nothing to outstanding. If you're throwing tackle I recomend 1/4oz spoons and kastmasters and 6-10# mono on light or u/l rods and reels. If you use 4# mono you'll be loosing alot of tackle to lilly pads, with 6# or heavier you'll retrieve the part of the lilly pad and get your tackle back.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post


    Daniel Quick's book is a must, unfortunately I loaned mine out and need to get a new copy. Not all the lakes hold fish and the book has good info on what lakes hold fish. I've only fished for rainbows, the fishing can vary from next to nothing to outstanding. If you're throwing tackle I recomend 1/4oz spoons and kastmasters and 6-10# mono on light or u/l rods and reels. If you use 4# mono you'll be loosing alot of tackle to lilly pads, with 6# or heavier you'll retrieve the part of the lilly pad and get your tackle back.

    We use fly rods and do excellent. They also love eggs. For spinners I reccomend small Vibrex. Also I think Canoe lake #1 is one of the best fishing lakes in the system. Tons of rainbows. Just paddle around the perimeter of the lake and start casting. You'll find em!

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    We are set to do a 2 day on the 10th it better thaw faster. I am going to drive down the weekend before to check conditions so I will post an update then.

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    Save the trip if you like. I'll check it and post here for everyone. I am worried about the 18th. I hate to say it but the 10th is REALLY pushing the envelope! These types of posts are great for folks that will want to look this info in later years. I can say this, there is easily 3ft of ice as of today. The north end of Kenai Lake and parts of Skilak are open. The Kenai River is open with lots of ice chuncks swimming around.

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    Thanks I will save the gas. It's been planned for a while. Don't figure the spring would be so chill.

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    countrockula, wheres the ice broken up on skilak? are guys pushing boats across the lakes still
    NRA life Member JVJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by akprideinvegas View Post
    countrockula, wheres the ice broken up on skilak? are guys pushing boats across the lakes still
    I know it's open on the north boat launch. I'm going to check Tustumena this weekend.

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    Still lots of ice. Skied across Arc yesterday. I never noticed Skilak freeze all the way across this winter- just east and west ends

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    Any water open around Palmer, Wasilla want to test my new Kayak

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    The Knik looked like it was finally blowing out

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    Sure hope they go out soon. I am really wanting to take the kids and go camping and do some fishing in the canoe on Memorial Day weekend. At the rate things are going it may be cutting it close.

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    Any updates from down that way?

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