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Thread: River Running W. side Cook Inlet

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    Lightbulb River Running W. side Cook Inlet

    Which rivers on the west side of the inlet are suitable for exploring with a 22' Wooly Classic? Up to now have only lusted after them from the air so know nothing but eager for some water adventures starting with the least challenging and working up in difficulty. This is my first jet boat and the first summer working it.

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    I've been up Big river & McArthur
    Have been a ways up the Kustatan too but with a 18' jon & 40 jet,
    High tide get you in & up quit a ways.
    Be on your toes with the weather, tides & long mud flats .
    Those are Long runs from any launch, take lots of gas.

    Id' start with the lower ends of the Little Su & then the Susitna if you launch in Anchorage.
    Big tides & long mud flats.
    Go up on the incoming tide so it floats you off the mud when you get stuck ! :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudbuddy View Post
    Id' start with the lower ends of the Little Su & then the Susitna if you launch in Anchorage.
    Big tides & long mud flats.
    Go up on the incoming tide so it floats you off the mud when you get stuck ! :-)
    And don't go if the wind is blowing hard out of Turnagain...

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    ^^^AMEN!!^^^

    Be prepared to camp in case you have to. Best time to leave Anchorage to cross the upper inlet is early AM about 2 hours before high tide.

    Morning winds are usually calm. Usually
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Witch View Post
    And don't go if the wind is blowing hard out of Turnagain...
    FW is speaking with experience !
    If you hit a sand/mud bar the breaking waves will hammer you.
    Shorelines in north & western CI are treacherous at best, & in bad weather, even worse.

    There is a reason you rarely see boats there.

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    Thanks guys, just the kind of stuff I want to hear. A bit of a challenge, hey? Yeah, 3-4 days camping on strange beaches is part of the fun... after being able to get to them. Please pile on, keep it coming, I'm all ears and appreciate the stears.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudbuddy View Post
    FW is speaking with experience !
    If you hit a sand/mud bar the breaking waves will hammer you.
    Shorelines in north & western CI are treacherous at best, & in bad weather, even worse.

    There is a reason you rarely see boats there.
    Erik must be speaking with experience. I have ran from the Big Su to Anchorage, and from Anchorage to the big Su on numerous occasions. I like to leave Anchorage right after the Slack on Low tide and run with the tide coming in.. One time, we were running a little late, but rather than wait for the next favorable tide we went anyway.. Not a very smart move.. unless you like setting high and dry on the mud flats, and then to add insult to injury, the Nat Guard Helo comes out to check on us and blows our cribbage cards all over upper Cook Inlet... PLUS.. as previously stated, if there is any wind coming out of Turnagain, go home, live to boat another day.

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    Running from ANC to big/little Su seems like a great idea and a shorter trip, compared to running all the way out to the valley, and can be a fun if the tides and weather are favorable. Going out on a low will open your eyes as to how far away land actually is and if you run out earlier cruising along "close" to shore pay attention to the birds, if they are not floating and standing you should head for deeper water! Once you get to the river you are going up, trying to find the deep entry channel to get into can be a challange, low tide and with GPS track on can help wonders. Cook Inlet is generally calm in the morning and winds can pick up in afternoon, so the day trip over and fishing the rivers go great until the return trip and you get pounded all the wany back to ANC and possibly ge tthe crap scared out of you. After a trip like that, the longer drive to the valley is definately more enjoyable. I would recommend going with someone who has done the trip before and has experience, Cook Inlet and running up the rivers can be a challange and possibly life threatening if you don't know what you are doing and have respect for the conditions.

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    I'd qualify that as excellent advice, in fact all has been and glad for it. Have started working my way thru the threads... this is a great resource... and now on page 68 and approaching braindead overload. Can't wait to get to Skilak for some laps and out to the landings to ask questions and do some follow alongs. Would have been balls to the walls full speed ahead in younger days and I only made it this far by the Grace of God, but now taking things a little slower to squeeze more out of them. But **** the torpedoes anyway. Thanks.

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