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Thread: Chandalar River Info

  1. #1
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    Default Chandalar River Info

    I am booked on a DIY hunt from the Chandalar Lake downriver to Venetie. We are flying out of Coldfoot using Coyote air service in September and will be floating the river for 16 days. I have never been on this river but have been up hunting several times in Alaska so i kind of know what to expect. Anybody with any info on this river/area would be greatly appreciated. Please private message me. Thank you

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    All my info comes from a local guy up there named John that has rafted the river several times. He might even be on the river this fall as its about time for him to show up.

    Don't put a floor in the raft. There is a boulder pool in a steep walled section early in the float, and if you have a floor you can't get over or around the boulders. With the steep walls you can't easily portage. The pool is over your head deep making it hard to get out of the boat. The lake keeps the water level fairly regulated so there will seldom be a time when the boulders are covered in water in the fall. John has told me that he has to thread his small cat raft through this area and does not moose hunt above it. He has ran into boaters with wooden floors in their huge cat rafts stuck on these rocks.

    At the runway, there is a family that bought the old "standing bear lodge" from MacManus and have fixed it up for their summer time fun. They should be able to give you a ride to the lake outlet so you don't have to row all the way down there. Most days you are rowing against the wind to get to the outlet. Crazy Mark has left (fled and vanished actually) the area so he cannot be used to provide boat transport down the lake. I doubt anyone has a transporter license so they do this out of the kindness of their hearts if you know how that works in the bush. Dirk is related to the family and can hook you up with contacting them.

    Stop and explore the old gold mining stuff where the middle and east forks come in. Watch for metal in the river so that it does not rip your boat.

    This float can be over in just a few days so stop and spend a few days working the riverside muskegs and meadows. Plan it out using google earth. Give the bulls time (days) to respond you your calls. They are not thick but they are there.

    Dirk will pick you up a few miles above Venetie at a spot he likes for his planes.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    No floor in the raft? I kind of understand what you are trying to say re. a cataraft but all round rafts need some type of floor. Odds are probably pretty good that he'll be in a round raft.

    I think it would be safer to say do not floor load your round raft or overload your cataraft to minimize it's draft through the shallow sections of river and even then be prepared to drag through/around shallow boulders.

    This is just general floating info. I have never floated the Chandalar. Williamasamiller please post a report after your trip with lots of pictures. Have a great time!

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    We are using 2 cata rafts and trying to stay light as possible so we can try and avoid dragging them. We did not about the possibility of someone taking us down to the outlet of the lake. I know the outfitting/guide laws in alaska are strict but hopefully there is something we could do for them if they volunteer to help us. I won't ask dirk directly but if he offers then it might be a great benefit. Even if we can't get a ride down to the outlet, we have the first day to row and fish the lake because we won't be able to do any hunting because we are flying in.

    Im excited to hear about the old mining camps in the river and stuff we might see along the way. We are going on this trip and river to hopefully get the "alaska adventure". We will be fishing the whole time and exploring and hunting but our top priority is having a good time. There are probably other rivers that have higher concentrations of moose and other animals, but it is hard to find a river that has everything we are looking for. One of the guys with us has never been to alaska or even north of the lower 48, so this is the main reason we picked this river. We hope it provides us the chance to experience and see what alaska has to offer.

    The last two trips i made to alaska were focused on moose hunting and that is what we did everyday. It was a great hunt and had the opportunity to take moose but i have always wanted to do a float trip and see the brooks range. i will take many pics and will let u guys know how our experience was after we get back.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are on the way to a great trip.
    When Dirk drops you off do not be freaked out by the huge Private Property signs at the lake end of the runway. There is a public easement from the runway down to the lake and the signs are Jack's way of keeping people off his stuff and from camping on his land to each side of the runway. He is an old mob lawyer from the midwest so he is really good a blustering folks. A master at working deals, and fun to hang out with and tell stories.

    When flying in have Dirk come up from the south and follow the river as it cuts through the hills out of the lake.

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    We did this exact hunt a couple years ago. I would be glad to give you what info I have not sure how to pm you.

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    I would appreciate any information you could provide. It took me awhile to figure out the site myself and PM is difficult.
    My email is wmiller@pvtn.net
    Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    You might consider posting your request for info on the floating forum also. Good Luck.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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