I am looking for some info on the Wood River, the one south west of Fairbanks off the Tanana. I am interested in hunting moose from my jet boat. I have heard mixed reviews on the doability of it. One of my neighbors used to run it years ago and says "it is easy". Some folks say it is airboat country. Is it comparable to the Little Su? Any and all info is greatly appreciated.
Last edited by akjeff; 08-19-2007 at 06:17.
Reason: More specific
I have never been on the Wood, but many folks I know have. Others will chime in and correct what I am about to say if I am too far off.
1- It has been raining a good deal the past few weeks and rivers are tending to be high right now. That said, the Wood has a good deal of traffic of in and is usually doable in a jet boat to "the Bluffs" but it can be tricky.
A few years a go a friend did a fly-in float out hunt. They were dropped way up the Wood, had to endure some class4-5 whitewater, shot a moose, and then had to finish the float. They said they saw several bulls AFTER the bluffs on the way down stream and were kicking themselves for having taken the one they did WHERE they did. So the moral is, be patient, and stay on the lower stretches of the river. Let me know if you need a side-kick
I have flown the wood river numerous times. I will tell you that a light weight flat bottom boat will get you up the wood when the water is right. If it gets to low you are going to have some challenges.
I had a friend go about 40 miles up the wood last year with an 18' sportjon. Going in was ok, he could stay on step most of the way. But while they were in there for about a week the water dropped and they had a heck of a time coming out with gear, meat, ect. They ended up making a couple of trips to lighten the load on the way out. Good luck.
the mouth is tricky
The first mile or two up from the Tanana is tricky, but not impossible. It depends on H2O depth, your boat, and ability to read water. The channel seems to change at will and it does some funky things.
The bottom is mostly sand, so if you hit there is little chance of damage to the boat or motor. A small skiff with a prop and lift can make it, but would not plan on a big boat and prop. If you have aluminum impellors, take 2, you may be moving a lot of sand and it will wear the impellor badly.
I have only run 30 to 45 minutes up. That, except for the 1st stretch is easy. Pay attention to small boats and other craft. Some of the corners are tight, and inboards generally run faster than the rest of the gang.
I have heard different versions on whether or not to expect help. Seems like there are lots of folks getting stuck at the bottom, and the guys that know how to run it get tired of stopping to help. Take your sea anchor, winch etc. just in case.
Thanks for the input.
Thanks for the input. I have been considering the wood for two seasons now. This season I got lucky and drew an any bull permit for 20A and am looking at the Wood as a backup. My boat is a little long, but light and runs very shallow. 24' ATEC Hydrolite w/140 Jet.
Does anyone know of a river in the Matsu/Palmer area that is similar to the wood? For comparison reasons.
Wood River not worth the trouble
The place has a few moose, but not anymore than other places that are easier to reach. Plan on buying a new impeller if you go, and plan on getting stuck. If you get unlucky and the water really drops during the hunt you can get majorly stuck. I'd stick with bigger water.