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Thread: Gulkana Report!

  1. #1
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    Default Gulkana Report!

    Hi guys:

    I just returned from 2 weeks in the Bahamas with the family so my email is full and the phone is jammed. I will be getting caught up in the next 24 hours.

    I am going to be on the river Friday dropping groups off and I will see how everyone is doing. We stopped by the pick up at the Gulkana Bridge and there are quite a few fishing groups along with a cutting table. The gulls and Eagles are feeding on King waste so someone is catching.

    Get back to ya by mid day?

    Walt

    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290
    "Open for the summer!"

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    Any word on the river conditions and fishing?

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    I am taking some of my military co-workers on our annual Gulkana Raft trip. This year will be different as we will float from Paxson Lake to Sourdough. I am sort of assuming the King run will be shut down before we go (23-26 June). Any safety tips would be appreciated. I make everone wear a life jacket.
    Thanks, Bob (former washed up OH-58 pilot)
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Ok...

    It took me 2 days to provide this info. We have been busy and our floaters are doing well

    We have had 4 groups fishing over the past 2 days and all have landed kings. Size is good at 18 to 24ish pounds but the thing that is really nice is the color of the fish. All fish we have seen are chrome with no fish showing any color.

    I also spoke with AF&G on Friday and they are confident that the run is solid and see no reason to close early. Only time will tell but this is a good start. We are also seeing a very strong and early Red run. We expect to see reds in the river after the 25th or so but this year it is real early. The fish wheels on the Copper are running full as well and out neighbors are seeing 65-70 fish a day and 5-6 kings in the wells as well. The water clarity is good and not to many rafts on the river vet.

    Walt

    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290

    Hope this helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5

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    Walt, doesn't that contradict what they posted in the EO about a solid run? Being they didn't close it (yet) I would venture they wont likely do it at this point.

    I did go back a few years and noticed that it looks like they're hitting the wier early this year. Kind of interesting.

    That red from this year already?

    When they shut down dipping for kings can you folks with wheels continue to catch? I understand its a different fishery, I know zilch on the wheel side of the house.

  6. #6
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulkana Rafting View Post
    Ok...

    It took me 2 days to provide this info. We have been busy and our floaters are doing well

    We have had 4 groups fishing over the past 2 days and all have landed kings. Size is good at 18 to 24ish pounds but the thing that is really nice is the color of the fish. All fish we have seen are chrome with no fish showing any color.

    I also spoke with AF&G on Friday and they are confident that the run is solid and see no reason to close early. Only time will tell but this is a good start. We are also seeing a very strong and early Red run. We expect to see reds in the river after the 25th or so but this year it is real early. The fish wheels on the Copper are running full as well and out neighbors are seeing 65-70 fish a day and 5-6 kings in the wells as well. The water clarity is good and not to many rafts on the river vet.

    Walt

    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290

    Hope this helps.
    Just wondering... if the King run is so strong, why the EO reducing the annual limit down to 1 fish?

    Also...is the photo an example of what is being called a chrome fish? It looks reasonable to harvest, but not chrome by any means IMHO.

    thanks for the Gulkana report none the less.
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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  7. #7
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Hey Peeps! My sources are telling they will make a finale by Friday of what they are going to do concerning Kings and the Gulkana maybe as early as Thurs it is either going to stay at one King Total for the entire Copper River System for the year or option B from what I am told is no C&R and or the targeting / fishing for Kings unlike in years past where they allowed Catch and Release. There was nothing to little happening high this weekend around the forks.

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Was wondering if there is cell coverage on the upper, last year we had cell coverage pretty much from Sourdough to the bridge.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    There's a bit on paxson lake with AT&T but I don't recall much at all from there on down until you get very close to sourdough.


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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bob
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

  11. #11

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    Does anyone know if there is a service to tow rafts across paxson lake to the outlet? I would like to float the upper section for the first time but don't have a motor for my cataraft and i hear it's a pretty far piece from the put in.

  12. #12
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awwu View Post
    Does anyone know if there is a service to tow rafts across paxson lake to the outlet? I would like to float the upper section for the first time but don't have a motor for my cataraft and i hear it's a pretty far piece from the put in.
    When the wife and I do our ten day (or more) floats we always row across the lake with our full Aire Puma. Takes us about 3 to 3.5 hrs to get across it if I recall. Good practice rowing for the wife while I troll.
    best to get on the water in the morning tho, as the wind often kicks up a bit in the afternoon.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  13. #13
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Yep Cod it does get to blowing now and again. Not that big of deal to oar it just plan on the time on a calm day with a little sun makes for some great photo ops. If you really really don't wish to oar it hang at the boat launch normally someone will haul you for a couple of bucks "Normally" :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by awwu View Post
    Does anyone know if there is a service to tow rafts across paxson lake to the outlet? I would like to float the upper section for the first time but don't have a motor for my cataraft and i hear it's a pretty far piece from the put in.
    A little kicker makes a big difference on that trip....I use mine to putt across the lake but also through the 2 different LONG S turn sloughs and then out from the west fork confluence. Cuts a lot of hours off the trip in the less fishable waters.

  15. #15

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    Thanks for the replies guys this will be my first trip from the lake down to sourdough as we normally put in at sourdough or poplar or just do day trips from sailors but ive always wanted to tackle the rainbow and grayling upstream. Do you guys normally raft through the canyon or long-line your rafts around the bad stuff. I keep hearing about bad rapids with rocks that destroy rafts and i have a 16 foot aire lion cataraft that i am planning on using.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by awwu View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys this will be my first trip from the lake down to sourdough as we normally put in at sourdough or poplar or just do day trips from sailors but ive always wanted to tackle the rainbow and grayling upstream. Do you guys normally raft through the canyon or long-line your rafts around the bad stuff. I keep hearing about bad rapids with rocks that destroy rafts and i have a 16 foot aire lion cataraft that i am planning on using.
    Our group is going 23-26 june from Paxson lake to Sourdough. We will be easy to spot, 2 green rafts, 1 super puma, and an 8ft fish cat.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

  17. #17
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    If you have ran the Gulkana from Sourdough Down you should be fine. The Canyon can be fun however do your prep work and you should be able to run it. I been down it a couple three times now and again since 96 ish that being said I still even when I was guiding remove all my survival equipment and food running it. One Mistake can make for a long trip out. Couple of years ago we came across a couple who dumped their cat and lost just about everything even though they had run in dozens of times sorry to say they also lost a rifle, pistol and cataract oars. tens, sleeping bags, cook wear basically had a cataraft with no oars. Take your important gear out and then run. Again IMO!!!!!! Also if the water if high you can run river left however trying to split the middle stacks is not a good idea again IMO any time of the year. Most years and even during high water I run the start river right, back to river middle using the larger rocks to slow down and then I always run river right to the wall and back up and then shoot the middle lower. You- Tube videos out there review them will help you understand my statements.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53TqN-iG8JU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53TqN-iG8JU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzWVx2A2VU8

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    Conservation advice needed. I am getting ready to run the upper with some Air Force co-workers/kids. These kids want to fish for small fish. Anyone see anything wrong with eating some of them (grayling) if we catch a few, assuming the lengths are legal.
    Thanks, Bob
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

  19. #19
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Open ended question for some however some days I have no fear!!! Give a man a fish / Teach a man to fish seems to fit. There are times for C&R this is not one of them. One of the best lessons you can ever teach future sports type people who are going to be fishing "hopefully" for a very long time is to discuss the ethics of respecting potential quarry but also enjoying it if you like to eat fish / game. I have not killed a fish except for lake or sea fare for a very long time but then again I don't care for the taste of trout, most salmon and or grayling but that does not mean anyone should really tell anyone else not to enjoy a fresh meal of stream caught table fair as long as the rules / regulations state you can.

    ENJOY!! Just saying.

    Regards

    RMM

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    Dude grayling are delicious and the gulkana has a few... Dine to your heart's content.

    If you hit the portage to the canyon mid day you should be able to watch other groups float through the canyon and watch their lines. Helps build confidence. Pretty easy at most water levels in my experience but certainly to be respected and easy to take out all your gear as moose suggests.

    Have a fun trip! And remember to post photos!


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