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Thread: Kayaking and fishing the Parks highway Creeks

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    Question Kayaking and fishing the Parks highway Creeks

    I've never kayaked or canoed here in Alaska yet, but did it a lot growing up in Missouri fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. What I'm curious about is if anyone floats any of the Parks Highway creeks in something other than rafts? This May I was wanting to try Willow and Montana creek in particular and get a line wet. I'm also unsure with how rough the waters get and if they can be floated in a kayak or canoe comfortably. Comfortably is the keyword. I know rapids and some fast current are inevitable in spots but the main reason I want to go is to relax and float with a spinner in the water. Any information about floating these creeks would be much appreciated! Also, if any information can be spared about gaining access to these waters for shuttling floats, that would be a great help as well. Thanks in advance!

    Very Respectfully, Grant Kopplin

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantKopplin View Post
    I've never kayaked or canoed here in Alaska yet, but did it a lot growing up in Missouri fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. What I'm curious about is if anyone floats any of the Parks Highway creeks in something other than rafts? This May I was wanting to try Willow and Montana creek in particular and get a line wet. I'm also unsure with how rough the waters get and if they can be floated in a kayak or canoe comfortably. Comfortably is the keyword. I know rapids and some fast current are inevitable in spots but the main reason I want to go is to relax and float with a spinner in the water. Any information about floating these creeks would be much appreciated! Also, if any information can be spared about gaining access to these waters for shuttling floats, that would be a great help as well. Thanks in advance!

    Very Respectfully, Grant Kopplin
    You should be mostly comfortable floating the lower sections of these rivers. I'd stop and scout any blind corners until you learn what to expect to be around them, and as water levels fluctuate, so do the obstacles and structure . There will likely be some spots to line the boat or portage. I'd recommend not going solo, at least until you learn the rivers and their character. Fishing from the boat is difficult and will cost you many of your spinners. The Willow is the hungriest (for your gear) creek I've ever fished. Willow Island Resort does shuttles. I think it's 25 bucks for the lower willow. Read the regs, as there are different rules for every creek. There are also specific times when fishing is closed for all species in certain sections of river. Best of luck!
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Will do, thank you for the tips!

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    Below the Parks there are no rapids, above the parks, several miles up steam, are very serious rapids. If you put in above the highway on Willow you need to know where the rapids stop or mellow out. Sheep Creek has whitewater many miles up steam that is not road accessible, same as the other streams, Montana etc. These are some of our favorite kayaking streams, so do your homework if your adventuring upstream of the Parks, just don't throw the boat in at an access location and go.
    Fishing is awesome on the remote sections of these streams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantKopplin View Post
    This May I was wanting to try Willow and Montana creek in particular and get a line wet. I'm also unsure with how rough the waters get and if they can be floated in a kayak or canoe comfortably. Comfortably is the keyword.
    It's been a while since I have done it, but the Little Su is non-motorized on alternating weekends, which can make a very pleasant float. It's a thirty mile stretch with pretty slow water, so you need to paddle a bit.

    If King Salmon are closed this spring I think you will be targeting Dolly Varden and Trout exclusively in May. I would suggest a fly rod.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    the Little Su is non-motorized on alternating weekends
    I'm not sure this is still a regulation. I don't see anything about it in the current ADF&G regs or in last years regs.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I'm not sure this is still a regulation. I don't see anything about it in the current ADF&G regs or in last years regs.
    Good to know. I imagine that it's still a pleasant float, especially if Kings are closed there won't be much traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantKopplin View Post
    I've never kayaked or canoed here in Alaska yet, but did it a lot growing up in Missouri fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. What I'm curious about is if anyone floats any of the Parks Highway creeks in something other than rafts? This May I was wanting to try Willow and Montana creek in particular and get a line wet. I'm also unsure with how rough the waters get and if they can be floated in a kayak or canoe comfortably. Comfortably is the keyword. I know rapids and some fast current are inevitable in spots but the main reason I want to go is to relax and float with a spinner in the water. Any information about floating these creeks would be much appreciated! Also, if any information can be spared about gaining access to these waters for shuttling floats, that would be a great help as well. Thanks in advance!

    Very Respectfully, Grant Kopplin
    I don't know your experience pertaining to canoeing, but since you mentioned "comfortably", I would not recommend a canoe on the Willow or Montana. Through the years I've had to aid numerous flipped canoes on both of these streams due to the current, sweepers, and other obstacles.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Some of these creeks get used buy jet and air boats. You will hear them coming before they know your there. I suggest to be ready to get out of the way. We've always pulled over and let them by when they get close, as some corners are sharp with little time to react. I've found it's not a matter of who has the right of way as much as it a matter of everyone making it home alive.

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