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Thread: Birch Creek Summer Family Float?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Birch Creek Summer Family Float?

    Looking for a fun summer family float trip, and we're considering Birch Creek. I've read all of the threads in the Float Hunting section, but, we're not planning to hunt. Just float, (swim?), camp and relax. Maybe fish, if there's anything fun to catch?

    So, how's this stream in July? (Better in June or early August?)
    Are water levels usually high enough for a loaded cat-a-raft?
    Boat launches and take-outs easy or rough?
    Are there any swimming holes with relatively warm water for the kids?
    How is the fishing during the summer months?
    How are the recreational crowds and availability of campsites during the summer?
    How many days will it take to float from put-in to take-out?

    I know that it's a Wild & Scenic River with motor restrictions. But, I've also heard that after you come out of the hills, motors are allowed on the lower flat portion. True or not?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2
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    Put in and take outs are easy enough, the lower portion allows outboards, I ran it years ago with my jet boat. There are some Greyling and Pike in it that I caught and had a lot of fun fishing. I didn't swim in it so can't really give you any pointers on that, someday I'll get a raft and float it.

  3. #3
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    Haven't floated it yet myself but have several friends who have. I have read several reports on it as I plan to float it in 2017 so you can take this with a grain of salt. Water is usually better in early summer until August rains show up. A couple of summers ago it was hot and dry and upper stretch of river was un-floatable. Upper stretch of river at low water may be hard on any inflatable with sharp bedrock along the way. This year may be another tough one on Birch Creek with low snow level and early runoff. I would say it all depends on what kind of summer (wet or dry) that we end up with.

  4. #4
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    You haven't mentioned what type of boat/raft/canoe you are planning on using. Top put-in is shallow/braided, middle area flows over exposed bedrock.

  5. #5
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    I floated in in mid June 2013 and the water was very low and dropping fast. We were a group of three round rafts and we drug boats multiple times every day. Once we had to unload everythings and pack the boats and gear overland to get going again. Another time we had to break out a saw and clear several small trees from blocking the river. I think it took 7 float days to get to the end. However, a scout troupe in several canoes started two days later, passed us and finished one day earlier than we did.

    We tried a little fishing with a few grayling caught. We also went swimming in the lower end of the river and the water was great. The scouts also went swimming but they weren't trying to.

    A few days after us another raft party successfully made the same trip, but they were dragging their boats a lot more.

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