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Thread: Deshka to Big Su

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    Default Deshka to Big Su

    Is it practical to take and Aire Leopard with 25 horse from Deshka landing to the confluence of the Big Su to do a little fishing? How are the water depths? During an average year, is there usually enough water to do this? How about up the Big Su? Thanks.

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    I don't know. Haven't been there in years.

    Maybe 13 years ago I took an Aire Cougar (4 tubes) with a 30 hp down to the mouth. We were way overloaded, and didn't have enough power to get it up on step, so there was no way to get back up the river. Our plan, and what we did, was to catch an incoming tide and used the outboard to steer back to Ship Creek. Made it in about 3 hours.

    40+ years ago we used to motor up the Big Su with heavy old fishing dories (16-20') and 18 hp motors. It seemed like they would barely make time against the current, and getting as far as Deshka (the landing wasn't there) took all day, and sometimes two. But there was always enough river depth as long as you could find the channel.

    Still, I can hardly imagine 25 hp being enough on a Leopard to move it fast enough. I found the stock 30 hp motor was barely enough to get the Cougar up with 1-2 people and no gear. What I ended up doing was to buy the flatest pitched prop I could find (13" bronze) and have it beat down to 11" at a prop shop. The boat was never as fast as before, but I could get it up on step with a reasonable load after that. The problem with this plan is the prop becomes rather expensive by the time you're done, and the Big Su has a way of eating shiny new props.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    Is it practical to take and Aire Leopard with 25 horse from Deshka landing to the confluence of the Big Su to do a little fishing? How are the water depths? During an average year, is there usually enough water to do this? How about up the Big Su? Thanks.
    Looking back on it, taking my 10' zodiac with a 9.9hp motor from Willow to Deshka and back was crazy. Did we do it, yep, was it practical, not really. It actually got a little spooky a couple of times below the landing where all the traffic is.

    Deshka landing actually dumps right into the Su and the Deshka River is a few miles downstream. I wouldn't recommend going upriver with a prop especially with the water levels where they are this time of year. I used to run as far up as the Little Willow with a prop if the water conditions were right but if you take the wrong channel you'll waste alot of time backtracking or you could be in a world of hurt.

    Right now the shallowest I found in the channel is about 3'. Travel to and from can be done with a prop right now if you follow other boats or no the channels but I don't take any responsibility for having said that. Your boat may very well be capable of making the trip but like it was said before it may be very slow returning therefore not making it necessarily practical. Just my .02

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I'm with Jim on this one. You MIGHT be able to do it, but it will take a long time, assuming you can find the channel and that you have an extremely light load. The 25-horse just isn't enough to do it.

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    I can run my 18' jon boat up the river with three people using a 15hp motor. My old 14' Zodiak easily did the same using that same 15hp. Are catarafts so draggy that 25hp can't move them? I'd think a cataraft would scoot with 25hp.

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    In my experience cats are a very poor design for power. At least as far as efficiency is concerned. They suck a lot more power than I expected. Of course if you have one of those that were cobbled together with the solid floors, etc., I wouldn't know. I'm just assuming two tubes and a motor mount.

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    Thanks for the replies. I have the spray shield from AK Raft and Kayak, which I leave on, unless I was going to do a remote float. The 25 horse Tohatsu will get the thing on the step, but it could certainly use at least another 5 or 10 horse power, but I want to put that money into an Aire Traveler. I have taken it out of Homer on day long trips, and it gets the job done. I think I might pass on the Deshka, though. It doesn't sound like the place to get stuck, unless you could float downstream to a take out with road access. Thanks again for your replies.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there is not another place to take out that has road access below Deshka landing. However if you would like to fish the Su drainage you could always start at the Parks from a number of streams and just use your motor to get you into the landing to take out. The Willow is a popular float that can be done in a few hours if you don't want to fish much. Below the raft takeout at the Willow State Park there isn't much for fishing so there isn't much reason to pay the fees at the landing to take out.

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