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Thread: Kenai Canyon float?

  1. #1
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    Default Kenai Canyon float?

    We'll be on the upper Kenai for a couple of weeks in mid-September and have been wanting to try the canyon in the drift boat. Just wondering what is the best flow rate for doing it. We've got a kicker for the trip to the upper Skilak ramp.

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    When you say "best flow rate", what exactly do you mean?
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    I have done it when it is almost at flood stage and in the early spring when it is really low. No problem either way. You just watch for the big waves or the big rocks.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    It's better when the flows are higher. I'd rather deal with waves during high water than rocks when it's low.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    When you say "best flow rate", what exactly do you mean?
    Sort of hoping to get an idea of "cubic feet per second" from the USGS charts.

    Thanks for all the answers - it all helps.

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Sort of hoping to get an idea of "cubic feet per second" from the USGS charts.
    I understood that. I was wondering what you are wanting the "best flow rate" to provide; the best for fishing, whitewater, safe passage, etc.? You asked what the best flow rate is, and that changes for each desired outcome.

    The current flow rate is just under 6000 cfs. Plenty of water to cover most of the rocks and boulders, but that means there will be bigger waves and more powerful hydraulics. Driftboats are designed for this type of water, but the oarsman should be well practiced. The lowest I've floated was about 2000 cfs, and it was pretty bony.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I ran it at the beginning of August last year and according to the USGS web site the Cooper landing flow then was 5200 cfs. We were on a 18' cataraft, there were only a few rocks exposed that I recall. At launch there was someone asking us to keep an eye out for gear because a drift boat had capsized the day before. There were a few areas of big waves, and I'm sure my cataraft is a much different beast than a drift boat. By staying on the sticks and keeping an eye downriver it was possible to avoid anything that looked too hairy. I'd run it again in those conditions in my 12' self-bailer.

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