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Thread: Another Question for the Fortymile

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    Default Another Question for the Fortymile

    Rather than hijack the previous thread, I will start another: I did a cursory search and couldn't find my answer; perhaps I am not asking the right question?

    I am looking at a float from Chicken to the Taylor Bridge on the Fortymile in 2 weeks. I have been watching the water flow at the Taylor and have seen a very impressive fluctuation in the flow; from more than 50K CFS to the current 6K CFS (minor flood stage at 37.6K). From one extreme to another. I understand and expect to see these extremes due to the lack of a flood plain.

    So my question is what is the ideal range at the Taylor Bridge, especially the lower water flows? We are looking for a leisurly 5 day float with some good fishing along the way. We would really like to avoid dragging. Some bumps along the way is OK, up to Class III. We will be driving a couple of SOAR Levitators, so we can get relatively thin on the water but I am curious to know a go/wait range on the Taylor gauge.

    It is fairly evident that if we are dragging, we should simply wait a few minutes and it will pick up. So, any pointers on this?

    Thanks.

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    I floated that stretch last year about the same time. The USGS gauge at Steele Creek is currently about the same as it was during our float - plenty of water. We floated from West Fork Bridge to Eagle - the stretch from West Fork to confluence with Mosquito Fork was very nice - no one on the river but us - little less water there but we had an 18 foot cat, 15'6 SB and 14'SB - no problem. The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service Gauges don't have historical capability so I can't give you a reading for the river upstream of Steele - but it should be fine. With your boats I expect you'll find plenty of water - some rock dodging but if you're good in class III you won't have a problem - rapids pretty much a non factor for our float. Get the Alaska River Guide 3rd addition and contact the BLM folks - they'll have up to the minute information and they have some very good maps/river guides - good information about rapids and other useful info. Ask them about mining activity.

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    Thank you for the information. How many days did you spend on your trip? I do have the book that you recommend.

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    If I can join in? How did you deal with Canadian Customs? Pre-clear on the phone?

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    We got our clearance by email. I contacted them with my entry/exit information as well as personal information (need passport numbers) - they sent the approval email very quickly. The contact information was; Terry Joss A/Chief Whitehorse Area Operations, 1-867-667-3965, terry.joss@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca If you want to carry a weapon you will need to go to the border crossing and do all the stuff - we opted for bear spray - bears weren't a problem - but we did see lots of caribou. We did not see any Canadian Customs folks on the river. We were on the river for 11 nights/12 days. We had two layover days. We had planned 12 nights/13 days but we couldn't find a camping spot on the Yukon - high water.

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    I should have added that the logistics are straight forward but time consuming. We left from Anchorage and overnighted at the put in (nice campground just before the put in by the West Fork Bridge). Got up early, dropped the boats and gear at the put in. Some of our party took the two vehicles and one trailer to Eagle while the rest of us rigged boats and packed for the trip. The round trip from the bridge to Eagle and back took about 5 hours - so put some beer in a drag bag and keep it cold. The logistics on the back side are really simple - just pick up the vehicle(s) you left at the put in (there is a nice parking area just before the bridge - we had no issues anyone bothering our car). We got into Eagle very late (we had camped on an island in the Yukon the night before but could not find a spot on the Yukon after that - all the bars were covered). In Eagle we stayed at the Falcon Inn (http://www.lodgingsinternational.com...con_Inn_BB.htm). Great spot - no real good camping in or around Eagle and it's a long drive back to Tok. We didn't have reservations - got lucky.

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    Awesome info jsmackin. Thank you very much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Awesome info jsmackin. Thank you very much!
    Agreed and ditto! Thank you.

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    I checked the flow this morning... down to 3.5 Kcfs... still floatable without major dragging?

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    If it was me I'd definitely go - I'd give some thought to shrinking my load. If you have the time give a long look at the West Fork (easy from the bridge) - 5 days is plenty of time for the West Fork to Highway. The following website has contact info for BLM - they were very helpful to me - just make sure to ask to speak to a "river" guy. http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/nlc...les.print.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmackin View Post
    If it was me I'd definitely go - I'd give some thought to shrinking my load. If you have the time give a long look at the West Fork (easy from the bridge) - 5 days is plenty of time for the West Fork to Highway. The following website has contact info for BLM - they were very helpful to me - just make sure to ask to speak to a "river" guy. http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/nlc...les.print.html
    Excellent information. Thanks!

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    I just returned from the Fortymile River. Excellent trip. We never considered putting on our rain gear, but spent some time in the water to cool off instead! We had several days in the 90's. Spent 5 days to float from the Mosquito fork to the Taylor Highway. We looked at the West Fork but the water was too low! The best that I could tell the flow was about 1.6 KCFS on our launch day and actually lowered to 1.3 KCFS on our take out.

    I was heavy, estimating 800 pounds in a 16' Levetator (3 adults and gear for a week). We drug for a bit on the Mosquito, but once we reached the South Fork we had plenty of water for the rest of the trip (a few touch and go's).

    Figure at least 3 hours to shuttle vehicles to the Taylor. We got a late launch and passed up the first great campsite at the dredge. We didn't find another camp site until we got past the South Fork bridge. After that we found great camping after a 6-8 hour float day. My recommendation is that if you are nearing the end of the day, don't pass up a good spot!

    Fishing was OK. A few small grayling in the upper sections. It really picked up with larger fish past the North Fork.

    We were lucky enough to meet Randy at Fortymile Air! He was a great source of information and wisdom! Thank you! We found the three major points of interest along the way: Dredge, Boiler Bar, and the Cabin. Quite a bit of mining activities. All of the miners were friendly and very considerate with their powered water crafts (interesting hovercrafts!).

    The Falls were a non-issue, perhaps class II. Great trip, one I would highly recommend for a leisurely float. I think I will consider the Eagle take out next time.Attachment 71794 Attachment 71795

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    Thanks for the update. My family and I are planning the Taylor MP112 to Eagle float the first week of August. I'll post a trip report after. Sounds like you had a super trip.

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    Fortymile remains my favorite AK rive to float. Nice water, good camping (sometimes hard to find sites though) and usually great interior weather. The only problem is it's 500 miles from Anchorage to Eagle.

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    We are heading out to the Southfork next Friday, How was the smoke?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chano View Post
    We are heading out to the Southfork next Friday, How was the smoke?
    We had one night (Tuesday night 6/25) that the smoke was rolling overhead but never at river level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Fortymile remains my favorite AK rive to float. Nice water, good camping (sometimes hard to find sites though) and usually great interior weather. The only problem is it's 500 miles from Anchorage to Eagle.
    We really enjoyed the trip and are looking forward to another adventure! Thank you for all of the information that you have posted over the years, we learned much before our trip.

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