Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Gulkana river float

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    54

    Default Gulkana river float

    Got back last night from floating the Gulkana from Paxson Lk to Sourdough. This was my first trip down the upper portion of the river. I have an 18 Ft cat with aire tubes. My hope was to get there before the Kings ( sad, I know) and beat the mass of floaters in pursuit of fish. When we launched on the 21st, there were 5 rigs in the parking lot and when I picked up my vehicle on sunday there were near 25. We didn't see any Kings until the 3rd of 4 days on the river, there may have been some but that 8 or so miles of rock garden after the canyon kept me from looking into pools. My wife and dog didn't do much rowing so I didn't do much fishing. Caught Grayling from camp but couldn't get the rainbows to hit my flys. Our golden thinks everything that hits the water needs to be chased, including flys. But mostly I went for a relaxing float trip and not for the fishing, Although I did see a fair number of reds, grayling and rainbow. All in all it was a great trip with one exception, garbage. Some people think if there is a fire ring it should be used as a dump site for everything from batteries to glass and I can tolerate my dog rolling on a dead salmon carcass but human waste and TP is most disgusting. I will never understand that mentality.
    Next year I'll float even earlier and hope the spring flood has washed the beaches clean. I'll also spend more time on the first few miles out of Paxson Lake to fish. Now that I know I can run the canyon and survive, I can start to relax as soon as I pull off the boat launch and not have to wait till I'm beyond the falls.

  2. #2

    Red face Gulkana river level

    How was the water level? Did you have to drag very much? We did it this time of year in 2005 when the water levels were high - great float with little dragging. This year looks like lower levels. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rifle River MI
    Posts
    1,835

    Default :-)

    Glad to see you had for the most part a good trip. There are new rules in place for those who wish to read concerning the Garbage thing and human waste. You can help the cuase by contacting the BLM out of Glennallen and report what you saw it might help management practices get enforcement dollars. I know you have to be careful what you ask for but without information frm concerned people change can not happen.

    Every year the BLM floats the river and picks up mor ethan a couple of boat of junk. Shame! I always seem to take out more than I bring in I guess that is why we have a helper raft go along on our trips.

    Glad to see you had a good time sad to see that this early it is turing into a dumping ground.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    54

    Default River level

    Since this was my first on the upper I can't speak to high/low water lever but i would guess it was at the lower than normal for this time of year. I didn't see much difference at sourdough from my past stops there. We probably pushed 8 short times but half were my fault by not reading the channel.
    There were BLM surveys at the Paxson Lake boat launch with mailing envelopes and I will send it in. But as BlueMoose said, we have to be careful of what we ask for. I'm in favor of common sense and some regulations but do not want to see this go to a controlled river.
    I guess those of us who care about our winderness will continue to clean up after those who abuse it. Kinda like spring clean-up day in Fairbanks, where so many pick up after so few.
    Enjoy the summer.

  5. #5

    Default Gulkana

    Thanks for the info. We're planning on floating this weekend, take out on the 4th. We ran in to the same mess you did at the campsites, so this year we'll be taking a rocket box and hauling out all our waste. Something has to happen to get the human waste problem under control - even two years ago it was disgusting. Like bluemoose, we end up taking out more garbage from the campsites that we take in. Wish more folks would do that. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Rafting the Gulkana main stem

    Though I live here in the basin, I am embarassed to say I have only floated a short portion of the Gulkana. The Glennallen BLM office has a great web page on floating the river here is the URL: http://www.blm.gov/ak/gdo/documents/...rguide_web.pdf

    It reads a little like the Milepost.

    Thank all of you who take the time to care and pack out what others have left behind.

    As for the river level, if the Copper is any indication it is low. A good indicator can be seen in the Miles lake fish count site the state runs. Right now the river is at 42 foot which is kinda low for this time of year. Normally we have more rain fall to bring rivers up, but we haven't had the rain. Here is the URL for the fish counters. http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/regio...html/query.cfm

    Have a great time out there!

  7. #7

    Red face Update

    We floated the Upper River from Paxton Lake down to Sourdough July 1-4. Three rafts, 7 people. Water was a bit low at the outlet, pretty rocky for the first 3 miles, but not too much dragging. Grayling were jumping like crazy due to a mayfly hatch - fishermen at the outlet were having a great time catching them. Water through the canyon was fine - low enough to eliminate the hole at the bottom. We had two thunderstorms on July 3rd which brought up the water level and muddied up the river. Very few kings or reds to be seen. Word must have been out because we only saw a handful of jet boats on the lower river above Sourdough. The flood last year must have really flushed out a lot of the human "debris" and camp trash because even though there were lots potty piles, it was nothing like we saw two years ago. We took a "groover" with us (party of 7) which worked very well. I recommend it for all that float that river. There's a dump station at Sourdough - can't get any more convenient than that!

    We were passed on our first night by 3 guys on a cat that had a couple of guns and were shooting just for the fun of it right around the corner upstream from our camp. They didn't even know we were there. Discharge of firearms is illegal on this river, but we weren't going to argue with armed guys. They also bragged about catching a king which I believe is illegal that far up the river (about 5 miles below the lake). They were the only bad part of an otherwise good trip.

    Bugs were typical Gulkana swarms of mosquitos and whitesox - take bug dope, a headnet, and a screen tent if you have one.

    Anyone doing this river please pick up your trash and use a groover (or at least follow the BLM rules for human waste disposal)! And enjoy the trip - it's a beautiful river.

  8. #8
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rifle River MI
    Posts
    1,835

    Default Great Post

    Just got off the Upper my-self 5-8 July Water Dropped we decided to call the float the great drag for the first three miles however we were in a Cat and loaded heavy!

    Any Who just four other groups on the entire system from Day one got back to Paxon to recover a vehicle and saw a Church Group Bus!!!!! Glad I ran in the rain LOL.

    Any Who the BLM has gone down the river twice this year to date and cleaned just about everything they could fine thank to those folks and there efforts!

    Fishing was Great for Grayling, Decent for Trout, no real hatches were going on the entire trip more than likely because of the cold, damp, constent rain . drizzle that is until the last day when of course the SUN came out 6 miles up from the landing :-(

    As you posted the King and Red fishing was way below par. We saw maybe 4 pods of Kings nothing more than 5-6 fish per pod, and about 100 Reds total.

    It was raining hard in the middle of the Alaskan Range so expect more water then less for the next 3-7 days.

    Tight Lines and Great Rafting to all!

    P.S.

    Great to see that most people using the river this past 4 days had some form of portable tiolet system! Spot on Folk's

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •