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Thread: The Gulkana River Report

  1. #1
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    Default The Gulkana River Report

    Ok guys...I have been slacking because I have been out of state with a wrestling team for the past 2 weeks but I am back and on the water so here goes.

    Everything here is Real Time and does not reflect what AF&G may or may not do!

    We have been putting clients on the water for 2 days on the lower river and the results are very good. We are seeing good numbers of bright kings being caught on the lower stretches of the Gulkana with the best fishing from Sailor's Pit on down to the mouth. There are very few jet boats working the river and that is good news for guys like me who work the water via rafts. I have a number of groups on the river today and I will update this on Sunday after they get off the river. Yesterdays groups landed 3 Kings all in the 21-26 pound range. The guides are also having good success as well.

    Water levels are low and clear. This is a mixed bag. The lower water can make for some tough rafting bit it also helps concentrate the Kings into the holes and all of you guys who fish out here know how many great holes there are in the lower section of the river. We have had a few Reds landed but the majority of the action is on the Kultina this time of the year. This is a bit early and my hope is we will see stronger numbers push through as the next few weeks roll on by.

    Ok time to get back to work.

    If you need a raft rental or info just give me a call

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulkana Rafting View Post
    Ok guys...I have been slacking because I have been out of state with a wrestling team for the past 2 weeks but I am back and on the water so here goes.

    Everything here is Real Time and does not reflect what AF&G may or may not do!

    We have been putting clients on the water for 2 days on the lower river and the results are very good. We are seeing good numbers of bright kings being caught on the lower stretches of the Gulkana with the best fishing from Sailor's Pit on down to the mouth. There are very few jet boats working the river and that is good news for guys like me who work the water via rafts. I have a number of groups on the river today and I will update this on Sunday after they get off the river. Yesterdays groups landed 3 Kings all in the 21-26 pound range. The guides are also having good success as well.

    Water levels are low and clear. This is a mixed bag. The lower water can make for some tough rafting bit it also helps concentrate the Kings into the holes and all of you guys who fish out here know how many great holes there are in the lower section of the river. We have had a few Reds landed but the majority of the action is on the Kultina this time of the year. This is a bit early and my hope is we will see stronger numbers push through as the next few weeks roll on by.

    Ok time to get back to work.

    If you need a raft rental or info just give me a call

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290
    Oh my. Almost surreal to think I could be floating down the lower for kings again. It's been too long. I know the river has changed a ton. Is hauling raft down Poplar for put in still possible? I know I need to pay Ahtna.

  3. #3
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    Yes and yes. It is a cliff at the bottom and the trail is cleared and open!

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    Is the cliff/beach situation worse than five years ago?

  5. #5
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    The cliff is nasty, 25 feet almost straight down but with the low water the beach is is good shame for kicking off. I have put in 3 trips in the past 2 days there so I am getting to know it well!

    You best bet....Leave your raft at home and rent one from me and I will be your mule!

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290

  6. #6
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    Ok...Just pulled my last group off of the river for today so here is todays update...

    My groups only landed a single king so not a great day for the DYI crowd. River Wranglers and Copper River Charters did well landing 2 kings out of 4 clients (RW) and CRC landed a single king with 2 in the boat. A good indication is the number of Eagles and Sea Gulls at the take out. Must be fish guys in the water!

    Walt

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    I agree - It was definitely slow for the do-it-yourself crowd. I floated twice this weekend with three other people and we only landed one King. As always, wonderful and relaxing floats though!

  8. #8
    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

    Nailed em' back in 2006. Members of my Reserve unit.
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    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    I just got back from a kayak trip down the gulkana from paxon lake to sourdough. good lake trout in the mouth of the river and even a few rainbows. caught a bunch of grayling as well. seen a few reds in the river but not many and none were caught. didn't see any kings yet. maybe in a few weeks the salmon fishing will be better.

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    How was the river floating at this level? Enough water all the way through?

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    made it through ok but water was real low in places. we scraped the bottom in a few places but didn't have to drag the kayaks. I would think twice before using an inflatable till the water comes up a little.

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    I originally was going to take some USAF kids down from Paxson, but will change plans and do Sourdough to the bridge, I got a 16ft Cat and a regular raft. Hopefully there may be a few kings in. Will be there 23-26 june.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

  13. #13

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    Hey Walt, what is your opinion of the water level from Paxson Lake down to Sourdough? The river gauge says it's currently at 2.5 feet at Paxson Lake outlet. Think it's too low to float for a 14 foot raft with a family of 5?

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    The USGS website seems to validate you.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    a more experienced rafter may be able to do it in an inflatable but im not good enough to try it without more water. like I said the kayak rubbed bottom quite a bit and even got hung up a couple times but was always able to get moving again without dragging boat down river. I would like to do the float from sourdough to the highway. how long would it take to float it both if I hammered down and just went fast and how long would it take to lazily float down and stop to fish occasionally. also what class water would I expect an easy float safe to do alone or rougher water that I should go with a group for safety. I don't like to run anything other than class 1 or maybe a weak class 2 by myself and don't run anything above class 3 at all yet (but someday). I hope the info I provide helps and appreciate any help yall can give me.

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by msaerls View Post
    a more experienced rafter may be able to do it in an inflatable but im not good enough to try it without more water. like I said the kayak rubbed bottom quite a bit and even got hung up a couple times but was always able to get moving again without dragging boat down river. I would like to do the float from sourdough to the highway. how long would it take to float it both if I hammered down and just went fast and how long would it take to lazily float down and stop to fish occasionally. also what class water would I expect an easy float safe to do alone or rougher water that I should go with a group for safety. I don't like to run anything other than class 1 or maybe a weak class 2 by myself and don't run anything above class 3 at all yet (but someday). I hope the info I provide helps and appreciate any help yall can give me.

    Matt
    I know that sourdough to bridge in a raft and fishing your way down is an overnight trip. I would guess that a kayak not fishing could make it in one long day. Super easy water.

  17. #17
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    The river is LOOOOO but I would do it. The section out of Paxon to the Middle fork will be skinny but the added water from the MF will make day 2 better. I would skip running the canyon. It stinks when the water is low. It's like plowing gravel with your oars. Pack a Bow and Painter line so you can guide the raft through the Rock Garden empty.

    We have our rafts going on the upper section but we may shut her down later on if we don't see better water levels.

    Strange year boys!

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290

  18. #18
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    Total newbie here... I've never fished the Gulkana... Can it be accessed without a boat? I fished the Klutina last Saturday, parking at the bridge. Is there similar access for the Gulkanan?

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    Shoot me a call or text at 907-259-4290

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals

  20. #20
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    there are a few places but not many , you can always bust into the woods an go an hope you are far off the river, map or good HAND HELD GPS
    will help a lot . but you should have some idea's where the holes are it will help a lot , SID

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