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Thread: Fairbanks 1st week of June

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Question Fairbanks 1st week of June

    I'll be in Fairbanks during the first week of June for a class at UAF, and I figure in the evenings I'd like to explore the local waters with fly rod in hand if at all possible. I know there are grayling in the Chena, but that's where my knowledge of Fairbanks-area fishing ends. Is there a stretch of water that I could float in my packraft in ~2 hours where I'd be able to cast to a few grayling with road access on both ends? I envision locking my bike to a tree, driving upstream and floating back down while fishing, then biking back to my truck. Is that idea feasible? Any other suggestions?

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    If you want to road trip it to Delta, I'll take you to the Clearwater. Grayling paradise.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I'll be in Fairbanks during the first week of June for a class at UAF, and I figure in the evenings I'd like to explore the local waters with fly rod in hand if at all possible. I know there are grayling in the Chena, but that's where my knowledge of Fairbanks-area fishing ends. Is there a stretch of water that I could float in my packraft in ~2 hours where I'd be able to cast to a few grayling with road access on both ends? I envision locking my bike to a tree, driving upstream and floating back down while fishing, then biking back to my truck. Is that idea feasible? Any other suggestions?
    I don't float but I do fish the upper Chena most days through the season. I think the main issue this year will be whether or not the ice has gone by the beginning of June. I kid (well, mostly). The road follows the river pretty closely, and for the kind of short trip you're talking about I would guess that you could do a float from the third bridge (mile 44) to the road pullout at mile 42 and have some pretty good grayling fishing - it'll take you past the confluence of the middle fork with the north fork. If he doesn't answer in this thread I would check in with forum member Blue Moose, who from what I've seen here knows as much about floating the Chena as there is to know. The thing about the upper Chena is that if you're willing to do a little (very little) bushwhacking you can have a very solitary, wilderness-feeling fishing experience without a boat.
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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    The upper chena is AWESOME for packrafting and fly fishing. Road access nearly the entire way, Also you can float/ fish the chatnika down the steese. You can park at the camp ground and ride your bike up the steese and float back down .

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    I heard BlueMoose Don't know (&(&%$%$%^$@^*) bout nuttin eh. Thanks for the plug ML.

    Brian I will be getting back from MI the 31st of June and be in the area. Send me PM with your details I will run you up and show you some off the beaten path spots that may require a hike in or out that you will have to your-self that makes for reasonable pack rafting. As Shoresy stated "If the ice is out" :-) Normally as you know Grayling Migrate higher and higher and IMO the North Branch offers the better fishing and normally they are staged above 50 mile or getting there by the 1st week of June. Carpenter Ant's should be full fledged by then so size 10-12 black with and without Wings however brother I am telling the Queens will be out and about. Bead Head Tungsten soft hackle tan or brown the place I will show you has a couple of deep holes with reasonable runs after the hole. 3 or 4W Fly Rod 7ft -8ft in length as you know will get you in the mix.

    If you don't wish to travel with gear "which" I know you will any way you are more than welcome to use one of my Pike IK's and any fly fishing gear you would need.

    Any Who as stated if you want shoot me a PM if nothing else I will take you on up to a neat spot and leave the rest up to you Sir.

    Regards

    RMM

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Man, thanks for the offers and info, fellas! I really appreciate it.

    The next question is - would such a jaunt be feasible in, say, 5-6 hours? I'm assuming that I'll be in class until 5pm most days, so I would probably only have the evening to work with starting from the UAF campus. Would that provide enough time to chase the areas you guys are mentioning? The packrafting idea might slow me down, so I can stick to just walking the bank if time so dictates.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    If you want to road trip it to Delta, I'll take you to the Clearwater. Grayling paradise.
    Man, I would love that! Unfortunately, the schedule of my class isn't going to allow a trip down to Delta this time around. I may need to take you up on that in the future, though. I love exploring new grayling water.

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    Certainly feasible in your time frame, although seems like an early curfew to me for that time of year
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    Certainly feasible in your time frame, although seems like an early curfew to me for that time of year
    Well...I can certainly fudge on how late I get done depending on the quality of the fishing. I don't want to be rolling in at 3am every night, but if the grayling are rising and the weather is warm, I just might be drowsy at class the next morning.

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    Yeah you can get all the way out to mile 50 of the hotsprings in an hour. Leaves 3-4 hours of fishing and the drive back

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    Hey, I'm going to UAF over the summer, too. We should hook up and fish the upper Chena sometime. I've only lived in the area for a year now, but had a chance to fish the upper river quite a bit last summer. Not that that really means anything, just that it's a fun place to fish! I dig how Grayling love dries.

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Maybe we need an Open Seat thread for trips to the North Fork. I live about two miles from Badger Gas.. who wants to carpool?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    I would love to show you around, but my wife and I will be in Valdez that week. Might want to try out Piledriver slough as well. 1 week of June is still a little early for the upper Chena, but there should be a few around. The Slough behind Badger Gas is another spot.

    Good Luck

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    I have to admit that I find Badger Gas to be too much of a zoo, but different strokes for different folks. Piledriver can be pretty nice.

    I just took a look at my notes from last year and I was catching some very respectable fish in the mid-40s (miles) in mid-May, not catching much above Angel Creek (mile 49) until early June. We're off to a very, very late start this year but last year was temporarily suspended when the river rose to near flood stage in late May. So, hard to say. A nice thing about fishing the Chena is that it's very easy to move up and down the road.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm certainly not opposed to company if anyone is so inclined. I'll also be sampling the offerings at Hoodoo and Silver Gulch Breweries, so a gathering might be fun.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I would love to show you around, but my wife and I will be in Valdez that week.
    Dang Steve, it's like you get advance notice whenever I'm passing through Fairbanks and make sure you're out of town! Enjoy your time down South, sir. I look forward to catching you one of these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I'm certainly not opposed to company if anyone is so inclined. I'll also be sampling the offerings at Hoodoo and Silver Gulch Breweries, so a gathering might be fun.
    I live in Two Rivers and am self-employed, so I'm in the neighborhood and have a flexible schedule. So, if folks want some help finding spots on the upper Chena, drop a line, and short notice often works well too (if I'm not already up the road ... ). There's basically a bunch of us from the forum in the neighborhood, I think.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Yes there is a bunch of us around and we are all crazy and waiting on better fishing days!!! People are pounding any open water as of yeasterday and there is enough to find some fishing just not Sparky fishing.

    Brain just pick the spot I buy ya a beer or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post
    I live in Two Rivers and am self-employed, so I'm in the neighborhood and have a flexible schedule. So, if folks want some help finding spots on the upper Chena, drop a line, and short notice often works well too (if I'm not already up the road ... ). There's basically a bunch of us from the forum in the neighborhood, I think.
    Warning, mishore, I am moving into a new house on 8mi CHSR tomorrow and plan on mastering the upper chena this summer so will need to figure out who you are out there and get more advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    Warning, mishore, I am moving into a new house on 8mi CHSR tomorrow and plan on mastering the upper chena this summer so will need to figure out who you are out there and get more advice!
    Well, drop a line when you're ready to go. We are off to a very, very late start. I'm out at 21 mile, which is just about perfect.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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