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Thread: Float on the Goodnews July/Aug

  1. #1
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    Default Float on the Goodnews July/Aug

    A couple of us are looking to float the Goodnews next summer and need recommendations on timing, flights, raft rentals and whatever else is important.

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    Might want to check with Renfro's in Bethel ((907)543-1954), I'm not affiliated with them in anyway but I think they could set you up or if nothing else answer some of your questions.

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    This will be a trout trip and our time frame is the last week of July through Aug 23rd. We want to float for one week in that time frame so which week would be best.

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    I've floated the Goodnews close to 20 times over the past 5 years, and in my opinion if you are focusing solely on Rainbow Trout, you'll likely be disappointed. There ARE 'Bows in the 'News, and some dandy ones at that, but not in the numbers and/or average size class as found in other Western or SouthWestern Alaska waters. With that said the 'News is a top shelf fishery, with all 5 species of Pacific Salmon, huge grayling, Dollies/Char and it is a beautiful as well as easy float.

    If you have your heart set on the Goodnews, the best timing for the 'Bows would be late August through mid/late September. The Silvers run all through that time frame, and are spunky as all get out, being so close to the salt.

    Hands down I would recommend Papa Bear Adventures LINK, for rafts/gear/flights. Steve and Robin run a Top Shelf operation and they have floated pretty much every river they service, so their advice is usually spot on and firsthand. They will provide you with river info including GPS coordinates prior to loading the plane(s), and they have the logistics for the pick up from the village at the end locked down tight.

    Hope that helps, good luck.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Follow the hippies advice. He has helped me out with quality info on Western AK floats.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    I've floated the Goodnews close to 20 times over the past 5 years, and in my opinion if you are focusing solely on Rainbow Trout, you'll likely be disappointed. There ARE 'Bows in the 'News, and some dandy ones at that, but not in the numbers and/or average size class as found in other Western or SouthWestern Alaska waters. With that said the 'News is a top shelf fishery, with all 5 species of Pacific Salmon, huge grayling, Dollies/Char and it is a beautiful as well as easy float.

    If you have your heart set on the Goodnews, the best timing for the 'Bows would be late August through mid/late September. The Silvers run all through that time frame, and are spunky as all get out, being so close to the salt.

    Hands down I would recommend Papa Bear Adventures LINK, for rafts/gear/flights. Steve and Robin run a Top Shelf operation and they have floated pretty much every river they service, so their advice is usually spot on and firsthand. They will provide you with river info including GPS coordinates prior to loading the plane(s), and they have the logistics for the pick up from the village at the end locked down tight.

    Hope that helps, good luck.
    Thanks for all the info Hippie.
    How is the weather by late Aug there? We have been camping on the Kenai Pen for the last 15 years and by late Aug it's getting pretty frosty in the mornings so farther north whats it like.

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebraun View Post
    Thanks for all the info Hippie.
    How is the weather by late Aug there? We have been camping on the Kenai Pen for the last 15 years and by late Aug it's getting pretty frosty in the mornings so farther north whats it like.
    Average would be wet, windy and chilly mornings, with some years a surprising run of blue sky and sun...and even chillier mornings.

    A week is a minimum amount of time needed for that river, 9-11 days is better, there is a ton of water to fish, and the need to make miles tends to limit that. Some years it pays to hold up on top and run fast on the lower half, but one never knows until they're on the water, and even then it's not always obvious.

    The lake has Pike, not a large population, but some dandy ones.

    As always, be bear conscious.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    Average would be wet, windy and chilly mornings, with some years a surprising run of blue sky and sun...and even chillier mornings.

    A week is a minimum amount of time needed for that river, 9-11 days is better, there is a ton of water to fish, and the need to make miles tends to limit that. Some years it pays to hold up on top and run fast on the lower half, but one never knows until they're on the water, and even then it's not always obvious.

    The lake has Pike, not a large population, but some dandy ones.

    As always, be bear conscious.
    Thanks again for the info. 11 days sounds much better then 7 as I can take as much time as I want.
    Would two rafts be enough or is three better? Right now there are 4 of us but it would be easy to get 2 more for a third raft.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Be very selective who you invite on a float trip. As mike says, papa bear runs a great outfit. Used them for first time two years back on a Kwethluk float. Very professional outfit. We used Rick Grant at Tikchick Airventures in Dillingham when we floated the Goodnews. Good pilot and you may want to compare rates. The 60 or so mile long Goodnews has some braided sections in middle. What I recall most is some 18-20 yard wide sections with grown up banks that prevented beaching the boats. Yet too swift a current to stop and wade. I will be taking a mesh bag for rocks and rope next time. We floated over some big fish. Great dolly fishing, but most were quite small. Some silvers, hit and miss, blue bird skies for most of our 13 days. We went late Aug into Sept. One lodge at bottom and jet boat traffic will be a nuisance half way down the river.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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