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Thread: The skinny on Deshka and Yenta rivers

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    Default The skinny on Deshka and Yenta rivers

    I'm picking up a 16' aluminum skiff with a old 30hp evinrude motor (because winter is the time to pick summer toys, summer the time to pick winter toys). I'm new to these waters; what is the skinny on Deshka and Yenta rivers for salmon fishing, heck for moose and bear? How far up the rivers can I /do I need to get?

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    It sounds like you have a boat for the Deshka the Yentna is going to be a good run for you. You will need extra fuel . I don't think that I would want to be in a 16ft boat at the mouth of the Yentna if you have any wind you can see 2ft whitecaps in that area. This is observed after 30 plus years running it.

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    With all due respect..
    If I were you, I'd try to research as much info first in these forums because there's literally a TON of it regarding these areas...
    Yep, there's salmon, bears, and moose over there..
    How far can you go? Till you run out of water or gas..
    Can you be a little more specific?
    Asking "what's the skinny" in an area as big as you're wanting too know about is pretty broad...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    It sounds like you have a boat for the Deshka the Yentna is going to be a good run for you. You will need extra fuel . I don't think that I would want to be in a 16ft boat at the mouth of the Yentna if you have any wind you can see 2ft whitecaps in that area. This is observed after 30 plus years running it.
    What he said! Iím fairly new to the rivers and have an 18í with a 115-80jet and feel a bit inadequate at times... doable? Yes. Comfortable? Not exactly... no one but you knows your ability. Get out and see what ya think. But use your head. The big su is big water and nothing to laugh at. My .02
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampdonkey View Post
    With all due respect..
    If I were you, I'd try to research as much info first in these forums because there's literally a TON of it regarding these areas...
    Yep, there's salmon, bears, and moose over there..
    How far can you go? Till you run out of water or gas..
    Can you be a little more specific?
    Asking "what's the skinny" in an area as big as you're wanting too know about is pretty broad...
    I expect to get broad answers

    This is to get some quick comments so I can figure out what to look up. I'm going to spend the rest of winter and a good chunk of spring reading about these areas.

    Stuff like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    It sounds like you have a boat for the Deshka the Yentna is going to be a good run for you. You will need extra fuel . I don't think that I would want to be in a 16ft boat at the mouth of the Yentna if you have any wind you can see 2ft whitecaps in that area. This is observed after 30 plus years running it.
    Is pretty darn helpful to know this early on.

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    Are you running a jet?
    You didn't say, am assuming that you are.. If you are, great. There's not too many places that you can't go. Especially with that lightweight set up.
    If not running a jet, a prop will let you run parts of the Su and parts of the Yentna, seasoned/experienced cargo barges do it all year long, but it will limit some of the areas that you'd be able too access.. You can go up the Deshka a couple of miles with a prop, after that, prepare too rototill the river bottom.
    Like BigBend mentioned, be prepared for some wind, even on a nice blue bird 75* day. Blowing sand off of a sand bar while trying too run an open boat SUCKS, especially in whitecaps.
    Lots of boat traffic, more now then ever before. Some big boats too, some running 50+mph that'll have no problem squeezing you even though there's typically plenty of room to go by or around. River etiquette seems too worsen by the year..
    Just an observation...

  7. #7

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    Nah, an old (1991?) evinrude 2 stroke propeller motor with unknown service record that was chugging along this season "just fine". I haven't work on an outboard engine, I imagine that it has to be fairly similar to other small motors. I'm looking for the service manual and plan on spending time this winter going over the engine.

    I figure I can learn on this boat and upgrade next winter.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    It sounds like you have a boat for the Deshka the Yentna is going to be a good run for you. You will need extra fuel . I don't think that I would want to be in a 16ft boat at the mouth of the Yentna if you have any wind you can see 2ft whitecaps in that area. This is observed after 30 plus years running it.
    I put a lot of hours/river miles on the Yentna with a 16' monark and a 35 horse Mercury prop and a jackass lift.. Bought a 3 bladed Bronze prop from that marine store that used to be in Mt View. when it got to wobbling too bad I'd find a suitable rock for an anvil and I'd tune up the prop with a hammer.. But your right about the wind.. I recall a couple times we had to stop, tie up and wait out the wind. One advantage a 16' boat has is, when he bottoms out, he should be able to pull the boat back into navigable water by himself. (I didt say it would be easy) But in this day and age I'd strongly suggest he invest in some kind of PLB, a sat phone, a Spot, Some way of communicating in an emergency. and DON'T rely on a cell phone because there are a lot of dead spots out there for cell phones.

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    I am interested in this as well. I picked up an older 1648 Lowe with a 40/28 Yamaha. I am planning on some spring/summer outings as well. So I hope you don't mind me following this.

    I got my boat this past fall (from a friend for a good deal) and live near the Knik so I have been up to the glacier several times and did some duck hunting out of swan and leaf lakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbcooper View Post
    Nah, an old (1991?) evinrude 2 stroke propeller motor with unknown service record that was chugging along this season "just fine". I haven't work on an outboard engine, I imagine that it has to be fairly similar to other small motors. I'm looking for the service manual and plan on spending time this winter going over the engine.

    I figure I can learn on this boat and upgrade next winter.
    I would swap out the water pump if the impeller seems good or at least decent save it as a spare. It is good to know in a controlled environment how to change it out or service it for the time you will have to do it along a bank.

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    Remember this though as well when going to the Deska/Yetna from the Parks Highway. The truck is upstream. The open ocean is downriver. You never want to short yourself on fuel. You are not going to float or paddle back to the truck if you have engine problems. So you had better have some way other than a cellphone to get help should you need it. Other than that, get out there and have fun! Each rock you hit and gravel bar you beach yourself on is a learning experience!

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    Remember this though as well when going to the Deska/Yetna from the Parks Highway. The truck is upstream. The open ocean is downriver. You never want to short yourself on fuel. You are not going to float or paddle back to the truck if you have engine problems. So you had better have some way other than a cellphone to get help should you need it. Other than that, get out there and have fun! Each rock you hit and gravel bar you beach yourself on is a learning experience!
    good advice. FWIW you can float from Lake Creek to the mouth of the Yentna in about 10 hours...

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    I made an attempt up the Yentna with all my hunting and camping gear in a 16' boat with a 50 hp two stroke Johnson jet from the late 80's. It was slow until I burned off some gas. The point where I could make it with all my gear and have enough fuel to return on was right around Yentna Station at the Big Bend.

    I had my boat lengthened to 20 foot and I put a 90 hp 4 stroke jet on there the next year. I made it with all my camping gear a long ways up past the Skwentna without having to get fuel on the river. You can buy gas at Skwentna or at Yentna Station but it's not cheap so be prepared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acg515 View Post
    I made an attempt up the Yentna with all my hunting and camping gear in a 16' boat with a 50 hp two stroke Johnson jet from the late 80's. It was slow until I burned off some gas. The point where I could make it with all my gear and have enough fuel to return on was right around Yentna Station at the Big Bend.

    I had my boat lengthened to 20 foot and I put a 90 hp 4 stroke jet on there the next year. I made it with all my camping gear a long ways up past the Skwentna without having to get fuel on the river. You can buy gas at Skwentna or at Yentna Station but it's not cheap so be prepared.
    How much fuel did you carry? Any idea on gear/fuel weight?
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    I don't remember, somewhere around 30 gallons. I don't have any idea what my gear weighs. I felt underpowered with the 50 jet myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acg515 View Post
    I don't remember, somewhere around 30 gallons. I don't have any idea what my gear weighs. I felt underpowered with the 50 jet myself.
    I was wondering about the lengthened boat/new motor trip.
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    I was wondering about the lengthened boat/new motor trip.
    I've been up there about 5 times since I did that, the first time I took only about 50 gallons, after that I took 76 gallons and then the last couple times I've taken 64 gallons. The strange numbers are because that's what all my fuel tanks add up to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbcooper View Post
    Nah, an old (1991?) evinrude 2 stroke propeller motor with unknown service record that was chugging along this season "just fine". I haven't work on an outboard engine, I imagine that it has to be fairly similar to other small motors. I'm looking for the service manual and plan on spending time this winter going over the engine.

    I figure I can learn on this boat and upgrade next winter.
    there are 3 things you need to carry at all times. 1) an adequate tool box. 2) a water pump kit. 3) a spare prop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    there are 3 things you need to carry at all times. 1) an adequate tool box. 2) a water pump kit. 3) a spare prop.
    Good advice. I would also carry a good anchor and rode. If you lose power, stopping might be a lifesaver.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    It sounds like you have a boat for the Deshka the Yentna is going to be a good run for you. You will need extra fuel . I don't think that I would want to be in a 16ft boat at the mouth of the Yentna if you have any wind you can see 2ft whitecaps in that area. This is observed after 30 plus years running it.
    I go up past lake creek almost every weekend because thats where my cabin is I run a SJX listen to what Big Bend says he knows his stuff
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