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Thread: McClaren river bou hunt

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Default McClaren river bou hunt

    I have dc483 was wondering if it would be worth going down the river via jet boat around the end of August, I have little experience on Denali highway and was just looking for info to try and see if the river option is a good choice, thanks

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    I been researching the same thing. You will only be able to run down river about 10 miles in jet boat. To what they call the rock garden.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Rock garden huh? How bad could it be? Haha

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    Allen and Suzie are the owners of the Maclaren lodge and they do drop offs. Honestly it's not a bad price. He knows how to pick his way through the rock garden in his extreme shallow and he can get you much farther down. Call them up. Even if you don't want him as a transporter he is still a great resource to talk to. When in doubt talk to a local. Honestly, it all depends on where the caribou are. Talk to him and see if there has been caribou around.

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Thanks 907, I have an extreme shallow also and will most likely pick my way down but thanks for the resource I will call and talk to them.

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    Be careful of that river. The rock garden starts to get going at 13 miles down then the intensity picks up at mile 17 and gets ridiculous. I've navigated my boat down to mile 20 fairly easily when the water was high but it can drop more than a foot in a few days so be aware. (It happened to me) The later you go in the season the better chance this could happen. There are a few large rocks that are just below the surface that show no sign of being there. If you give it a few days you'll see caribou, maybe sooner. Allen is a good resource, it's 20 bucks to launch your boat and the homemade pies are awesome. Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_LOST View Post
    Be careful of that river. The rock garden starts to get going at 13 miles down then the intensity picks up at mile 17 and gets ridiculous. I've navigated my boat down to mile 20 fairly easily when the water was high but it can drop more than a foot in a few days so be aware. (It happened to me) The later you go in the season the better chance this could happen. There are a few large rocks that are just below the surface that show no sign of being there. If you give it a few days you'll see caribou, maybe sooner. Allen is a good resource, it's 20 bucks to launch your boat and the homemade pies are awesome. Good luck
    Allen definitely is the guy to talk to. Looking at their lodge weather cam, I can tell that the river is pretty dang low right now. That area hasn't gotten much rain this summer and now the hot dry weather is dropping all the water levels like crazy.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    If Allen is the guy with the slight southern drawl, I'll agree that he is a heck of a nice guy and really helpful. Drove thru there on Monday. Wasnt bou scouting or even looking with a spotter, but we spent three full days on the Denali, and never saw a single bou.

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    So I got a 6 mile long rock garden to navigate through. Sounds like a bummer to me. Will this get me away from the thousands of people that will be there the first weekend after the 20th opener? Can you idle slowly through this boulder fest if it rains and the water comes up? How comparable is it to the 400 yard long garden on the deshka? Thanks a bunch guys

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    Well for perspective Allen at mclaren lodge runs the river for years in his jet boat and I can tell you he still hits rocks. Take his number as he will be the one to tow you back if you find a rock! I don't know about the susitna, but I can tell you a lot more people run it during the season.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Sollybug is right. Allen runs it more than anybody and still finds rocks.

    It really all depends on weather. Allen once told me that the rain doesn't affect the Maclaren much. It's the heat that makes it rage. Last year when all the rivers were way high the Maclaren was actually dropping because of the cold wet weather. I know, because I ran 17 miles down in September at low water. Not too smart. At one point I turned to avoid a rock and smacked another. Then I lost all steering and just went sliding about 20' up into the alders. Not a good place to be when you are all by yourself. Good thing my waverunners only weighs 600 pounds. I had to unload it and then I pulled it inch by inch back to the H2O. It wasn't fun. The only good thing is that there was nobody there to take photos of my stupidity. They weren't dumb enough to be down that far that late in the season. I'm glad I can look back at it now and laugh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 907pride View Post
    Sollybug is right. Allen runs it more than anybody and still finds rocks.

    It really all depends on weather. Allen once told me that the rain doesn't affect the Maclaren much. It's the heat that makes it rage. Last year when all the rivers were way high the Maclaren was actually dropping because of the cold wet weather. I know, because I ran 17 miles down in September at low water. Not too smart. At one point I turned to avoid a rock and smacked another. Then I lost all steering and just went sliding about 20' up into the alders. Not a good place to be when you are all by yourself. Good thing my waverunners only weighs 600 pounds. I had to unload it and then I pulled it inch by inch back to the H2O. It wasn't fun. The only good thing is that there was nobody there to take photos of my stupidity. They weren't dumb enough to be down that far that late in the season. I'm glad I can look back at it now and laugh.
    It would be on a similar schedule to the Big Su since they are both glacial fed rivers. Cold temps mean less melting meaning less water, warm temps = more melting = more water. A cold snap for a day or two can drop the water levels in either of those rivers multiple feet overnight. Years ago, they had to helicopter out a bunch of hunters off the Su when temps dropped to the single digits and water levels dropped so much overnight nobody could get back up river. Watch the weather for sure.

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    I will say it would be hunting with a lot more elbow room than the Big Su or in the motorized areas of the Denali. Where we hunt, we over watch the area you're talking about. I wouldn't expect to see more than about 5-10 boats in a day in the stretch you're talking about.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    There is currently a lightning strike fire up there right now. Only a few acres so far.

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    Well I'm not too worried about water level... lower the better. Ill be in my airboat I just want to get away from everyone. And hopefully fill the tag before they close it.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Hunt was a great success. River was easy to navigate not that many caribou but we got a bull about 13 miles down an hour after leaving the truck, awesome place to hunt since we had nobody to compete with

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    Thanks for the report, pics-pics and more

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    I have pics they will come whole thing on video to

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    What kindof boat did you use? How much horsepower? How fast is the current?

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    18 foot extreme shallow 160 hp motor, current is pretty fast around 10 miles down where the rocks start i would estimate between 8-12 mph down there in a few spots up river is around 5-6 mph, I went down around 14 mile at the farthest since we got a bou so quick.

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