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Thread: chena float trip

  1. #1

    Default chena float trip

    How is th trip from the chena lakes rec area to fairbanks?

  2. #2
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Just did that section yesterday. In a word... slow. It's 20 mi of near flat water from Chena Lakes to Nordale and took us about 7 hrs. Lots of jet boats to dodge and the scenery isn't too exciting. Good exercise an no river hazards if that's what you want. I haven't done the Nordale to Fairbanks, but I suspect more of the same and it's supposed to be about 8 more hrs.

    We did it as the tail end of a longer trip from the upper Chena, what kind of canoeing are you looking for?

    Yellowknife

  3. #3

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    i was planning on a day trip that had some decent fishing along the way, just got back from flying out to minto flats and would like to take a day trip and reel in some more fish. i heard people saying it would take around 4 hrs from the chena lakes to fairbanks but wasnt sure. any good floats by the tangle lakes?

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Default Nordale to Fairbanks and Fairbanks to Pikes Landing

    My husband has done Nordale to Pump House and he said it was a really nice trip. He did this about 2 years ago. He said it took them 12 hours to do.
    We just recently did Fairbanks to Pikes Landing and it was a really nice trip. It only took about 2.5 hours. It isn't all that scenic at all and lots of jet boats, but overall, our group had 3 kayaks, 1 raft, and 1 canoe... lots of water and sun tan lotion and we had a TON of fun!
    Also, the water isn't all that fast, either... so it realy is only a float trip.
    Bring paddles... you will need them!
    Lurker.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    How good are you with a canoe?

    The upper Chena has several possible day trips. The 1st or 2nd bridge down to the Mi 30 boat launch for example. Grayling fishing should be excellent. Another trip is from Mi 30 or the Rose Hip campground down to Grange Hall Rd. That stretch has very little fishing pressure and is about 4 float hrs without fishing. However for either of those you need to be a fair hand at dodging sweepers and running shallows at these water levels. The cool thing is that the water is so clear that you can see schools of up to 10-12 grayling finning in the holes.

    Yellowknife

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    How good are you with a canoe?

    The upper Chena has several possible day trips. The 1st or 2nd bridge down to the Mi 30 boat launch for example. Grayling fishing should be excellent. Another trip is from Mi 30 or the Rose Hip campground down to Grange Hall Rd. That stretch has very little fishing pressure and is about 4 float hrs without fishing. However for either of those you need to be a fair hand at dodging sweepers and running shallows at these water levels. The cool thing is that the water is so clear that you can see schools of up to 10-12 grayling finning in the holes.

    Yellowknife
    that trip sounds like the "cats meow" ill have to check it out on the topo. the only river ive went down up here in a canoe is the salcha, that was interesting. dont know much of that dodging sweepers or running shallows dodging a sweeper i guess is paddling around a eddy and running shallows going through fast shallow water while keeping an eye out for obsticles?
    thanks for the info, ill look into it.

  7. #7
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Default Sweepers

    A sweeper is the name used to describe a tree that has been undercut by the river and is fallen out over the channel with it's trunk and branches "sweeping" the surface. The problem is that they are typically over the faster, deeper water on the outside of the bend where your canoe will naturally want to go. If you are fishing and drifting sideways drinking beer, you will go for a swim at best. If you are alert and can do basic canoe manuvers, they can be avoided.

    The upper chena is pretty shallow this time of year, so you also need to be awake to avoid running aground on riffles. Of course the deep channel is usually the one running under the sweeper... I did end up having to hop out and drag the canoe through the shallows a couple of times last weekend to avoid logs. However, there's no whitewater to speak of.

    Good information and a map on the state website. http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/chena/river.htm

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    Default chena

    ft weinwright to riverboat on Geist is a slow run. I did a run out by the Hot springs last year and it was way cooler. A little current really makes a huge differance in the fun factor!

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Have you done the float trip yet?
    Do you have any pictures?
    What was your take on it if you have?
    Lurker.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    Have you done the float trip yet?
    Do you have any pictures?
    What was your take on it if you have?
    Didnt do it, went down to the Tangle lakes near Paxson, that was nice, caught some small lakers.

  11. #11
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Darn. We won't be doing it for a little while either. Someone stole our raft this week while we were in Denver.
    Lurker.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Do not take this wrong but I am one of those jet boats that run up the river. I run to the farthest right that I can run. This is to avoid the big boats that do not run the river on the right side. I launch my boat at the camp ground to go to the Tannana. i have to run aground to avoid a canoe that was sideways on the wrong side of the river. Yes I know that as a power boat I need watch what I am doing first but please all non powered craft stay to the right side of the river. And yes I still do use a canoe. If i could leave my truck at the Tannana launch with out damage i would wold love to to it.

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    Default 3rd Bridge to 2nd Bridge

    Did the 3rd Bridge (MP 44) to the 2nd Bridge (MP 39.5) today. Excellent float and the water level seemed about perfect. About 2.5 hours. Encountered the occasional sweeper but nothing most canoers couldn't avoid if I was able to. Only had to portage once for about twenty feet on a gravel bar and that was due to a narrow curve with sweepers I didn't feel comfortable doing. Lots of bald eagles and beavers. Lots of good grayling spots.

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Default

    Chena is high now... so if you plan to do a canoe trip, be careful... current is much faster.
    We did a trip just yesterday with 2 canoes and 2 kayaks and because I was the only adult in our canoe, I missed the landing by a few yards and my husband had to hop into the canoe after catching me. We had to paddle upstream get back to the landing/boat dock next to Pikes. (Yes... made for a very interesting run).

    If you plan on doing the Chena now, just be aware of the current. It seems as if the current is usually just a little slow, but because of the adjustment and the extra foot of water... it's just flat out faster... (and more fun).

    FYI to be careful.
    Lurker.

  15. #15

    Default Chena is gorgeous now

    Flyfished Tuesday and yesterday evening. The water on the upper Chena is clear, just the right level and absolutely gorgeous. Caught 3 grayling right around 18 inches. You'll love it!

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    Default

    Great! Thanks for letting us know. Do you know at about what mile marker you were fishing at? Were you towards Granite Tors or Rose Hip or all the way to Chena Hot Springs?
    Lurker.

  17. #17

    Default mile 49 or 50 I am guessing

    I fished at about mile 49 or 50 (I am guessing) near the Tors trail parking lot. For some reason, the fishing was super hot Tuesday and yesterday the grayling weren't quite so active. Water level and clarity were about the same both days...

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    Default whats better: kayak, canoe or jon boat?

    Moving to Alaska in a few months and need to buy a boat for fishing, hunting, camping and exploring. Any ideas? How about square back vs double ended? I will appreciate all input. Thanks.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Pops Moto

    Many possible solutions to your question. Being that you seem to be moving to Huston AK you will have ample Lake Fishing and Small Creeks to explore.

    If you plan on Creek floating / Fishing / Hunting I suggest you stay away from your standard Canoe. If you plan on Lake boating and wish to have a small motor than of course stick with the Square Stern Canoe.

    You might want to look at options such as the AIRE Traveler, Pro P by Soar, and or one of Jim's boats Alaska Series. Many options. If you look at the Raft Forum you will find many comments concerning your choices.

    Tight Lines and Happy Floating.

    www.bluemooserafting.com

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