Ivashak in August
My 3 buddies and I are planning a float hunt on the Ivashak during the last week of august. We talked to Mike from 70 North and got the fly out logistics covered. We will be flying in and then taking out at the highway.
Ive heard mixed reviews about this place; some people say the trip is awesome, others not so much. Seems that the value is unbeatable, especially if the party loves to fish.
Here are my questions:
What are your recent experiences with this river?
Ive heard and read talk of rowdy airboats and wheelers. How far up river should I expect to see them?
How many hours has it taken to float? Ive heard anywhere from 30 to 45.
Ive also read that selective pressure has pushed the caribou away from the drainage in recent years. Any thought on this?
Thank you for any input.
I stopped going about 4 years ago. Getting crowded. Never had issues with other hunters, just didn't like the crowds I started seeing at the boat launch. Never saw somebody haul a 4 wheeler out there, but I considered doing it. If I were to fly out and float back, I'd do most all of my hunting in the mountains before hitting the small fish and game cabin. Downstream of that you'll be running into the boats. I've never done the float, I always took my Predator. Got tired of beating the boat up too, but after a few years I learned how to keep the impacts to a minimum.
We took caribou on all of my trips out there, so we never got skunked, but each year was different. The first few years were the best though, barely anybody else on the river.
Timing has allot to do with it too. We have been going the last couple years.
Last week of Aug, 1st week of Sept will be busy on the last 10 miles of the river before it dumps into the Sag.
There's a reason for that though....thats where the caribou migration is at. Up high we have yet to see a caribou. I have been way past the sheep camp. The fishing is great around this time frame also.
Another factor to consider is water levels, the lower the water, it eliminates almost all of the jetboats. This year, 3rd week of August we were the only ones on the river. We unloaded the boat in 3" of water at the parking lot, jetboats could not go let alone unload.
Like most hunting if you are willing to work hard, traverse some tundra, and put in your hours, you should succeed.
I have friends that transport a wheeler and do very well. We just hoof it and I can't complain.
For reference, look through the bowhunting forum to read lots more.
Go on this hunt, it is amazing and your fishing pleasures will not be saddened. I will start by answering your questions and please PM me for I had some trouble with 70 north that we can discuss later. but for you questions here we go.
My experience with this river just happen this past year, and the exact same time of year you plan to go....the last week of august. It was amazing, it took us awhile to find the game but we did and when you pm me i will tell you where. but we were in the mountains and took two trophy bulls and a nice 7.5 ft blonde grizzly about forty yards from camp. Ended up hitting a small herd of four five miles north of the echooka mouth and i got three in one sitting.
As for rowdy boats and wheelers... we saw zero wheelers, and the airboats we saw were very polite and talked to us, there was even one time in dusk where they idled down while they past us, no problems at all, and really not that many people.
Hours???? probably took us about 35 LONG, GRUELING, TIRING EXGUSTING hours. Please please please give yourself time and excercise and work out before this hunt.
As for pressure...i have no idea what it was like before but i can tell you now that you will have to work your ass off for animals. we worked, studied, read, and studied again. i know that area now more than my back yard. It was tough, but not to tough. put your work in and you will profit. all i can say is study study study and there are plenty more airplanes up there than just 70 north.