Upper Kenai Backchannel Report
I floated the upper Kenai today from the Bridge to Jim's. Prior to launching there was trooper activity downstream. At the end of the Schooner Bend wavetrain there was a fiberglass canoe wrapped on the river left rock. The trooper helo was hovering overhead and a swift water rescue team looked as if they had recently arrived. Hopefully, whomever went in the water made it out. As a reminder, if you flip a boat and leave equipment behind follow up with emergency services so they know all is well.
I usually swing into the first back channel below Sportsman's because it is usually wide open and safe. It was again today and crowded as usual. I skip the second back channel off the main stem after an unpleasant experience a few years ago that almost resulted in a passenger having a broken nose and missing teeth when a rootball popped an oar out of the lock. However, there was a drift boat that floated through and seemed to exit without problems. I assume it was clear. The last long back channel that exits just above Jim's is usually clear. I committed too early and didn't see the rootballs and sweeper a 100 yards idownstream until it was too late to back out. It was a PITA to get past the obstructions but once past the rest of that channel was mostly clear and wide.
Use caution in the back channels as conditions can change overnight. Sometimes they are just not worth it. Overall the river was high and a bit off color. The fishing was a bit slow as a result.