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Thread: maclaren river

  1. #1

    Default maclaren river

    looking at running thje maclaren to the su and back up the su for caribou any proplems that i shoul know about i will be running a roughneck 18 with 115/80 jet thanks

  2. #2
    Member crossfoxAK's Avatar
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    Default Low Water

    I Tried Hunting On The Su Off The Denali Hwy A Couple Years Ago. I Had A 16' Flat Bottom With A 40 Horse Jet. I Couldn't Go Anywhere Without Hitting Sand Every 40 Or 50 Yards And I Sucked Up Lots Of Sand In My Jet. It Was A Waste Even Bringing My Boat. I Will Never Try It Again. I Am Not Sure When You Are Going But I Had Terrible Luck. It Was A Very Bad Experience For Me.

  3. #3
    Mark
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    I've never been on the Maclaren in that area, but a friend has. He tells me there's a rock garden about halfway to the Susitna that can't be crossed safely.

  4. #4
    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default

    I have never been down the Mclaren, but I have heard the same thing that Mark said about the rock garden.

    I have ran the Su down from the Denali Highway to the mouth of the Mclaren and then about 7-8 miles up the Mclaren. I did see lots of caribou but the trip was miserable. what crossfox said is very similar to my own experiance.

    There is a reason I havnt made that trip since. You will tear up your equipment and the cost will be over the gain of doing it this way.

    Just my 2cents, but I think this is airboat country unless the water is unusually high.

    Good luck

  5. #5
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    Default

    Forget the boat!I was up last weekend and there were caribou everywhere running across the Denali at mi 60.Some real rocking chair bull's I might add.Sure wish I wasn't a RICH life long Alaskan sometimes.

  6. #6

    Default

    The headwaters of all the rivers on the southern slopes of the Alaska Range all have the same characteristics. Been there/done that on each and everyone. The water levels fall and rise drastically on a daily basis, due to the glacial effect. Jet boats can be used very judiciously, if you are a very experienced pilot and can navigate and read muddy water. The boat has to be in top shape, and you have to plan your movements along with the water depth. They are definately airboat rivers, and even then there opportuntity for problems or even disaster. It was two or three years ago, an experienced airboater was drowned on the Maclaren. There have been others, but most have been forgotten by now, by the general public. The rivers exhibit danger, but that is what Wild Alaska is all about in my book anyway. Just recognize the danger, prepare for it and go have fun. For anyone to advise you, as to whether or not it is doable for you and your boat, is not wise. Too many factors involved that none of us reading the forum are aware of. Lots of boaters use the river(s) and yes some have problems, while others have the time of their lives. Know your limitations and do not exceed them. Simply put, some have to find out for their self, while others are content to be talked out of just about any kind of activity involving risk. But then, what are jet boats designed and made for? Certainly not moored up in a safe harbor or marina. Every trip is different and NONE go as planned.

  7. #7
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    Smile Maclaren

    I have hunted it several times by boat and it will eat a jet foot and even though I didn't put a hole in my boat, I've seen others who have. It can be hard to read because of the mud. It fluctuates up and down ALOT! 1/2 way down to the Big Su is a dandy of a rock garden. We've sat and listened to the "other guys" trying to get through there in boats similar to yours and the sounds coming from them hitting rock after rock was almost gut wrenching. If you don't like your boat, then I say go for it. Airboats "appear" to do better then the jetboaters from my observations. My .02...

  8. #8
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    Smile Maclaren

    To protect your boat, McClaren Lodge runs people down the Susitna, possibly the MaClaren or both at a reasonable price for hunting. You might talk to them. Get their info off their website. Good luck.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  9. #9
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default

    I have run the Big Su from the Denali Hwy down to Tyone creek. You can run out of water real fast on the first 10 miles or so. Not many run this part of the river. Not a place for a big boat. 16 ft jon boat or less. Take spare parts. Expect to pump mud.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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