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Thread: Kotz to the Wulik.. How to?

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Kotz to the Wulik.. How to?

    I am floating the Wulik River next Sept and wanted to know if anyone knew of anyone that operated in that area. Do I need a bush flight from Kotz or is there someone in Kivalina. We will have two people and gear (650 lbs total weight). Any thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Nobody in Kivalina. I would get Bud with Arctic Air Guides in Kotz, if he still is flying next year. He claims to be retiring. He has a ton of experience up there, and knows where he can get you with rafting load.

  3. #3
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Retired...

    Buck is great. He took us up on the Kelly in 2004. He retired I recently heard. Been threatening for a while as you said. Finally threw the towel in. I used Eric Sieh of Hagland last Sept to get on the Kugururok. He did a great job. I am having a hard time getting in touch with him though. Emailed him 2 weeks ago. Guess he is busy. We are going in Sept. Just trying to figure out how far up we can get and trying to get an idea of what the water conditions are like. Any hazards we need to know about? That kind of stuff. Anyone been?

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    Did you try Northwestern Aviation out of Kotz? http://www.alaskaonyourown.com/

    The old owner, Jim Rood sold out but I heard the new owner wasn't too bad. There's some good gravel bars along the river I've been on, but don't really remember what the river conditions were like. That was a few years ago. I think you could access it a ways up from Lik camp strip too, if I remember correctly. You can catch scheduled flights between Kotz and Kivalina. Hope this helps....Louis

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Jim Rood...

    Jim retired from what I was told. Buck Maxson, Arctic Air Guides in Kotz, retired also (so I am told). Eric Sieh, who flies for Hageland Aviation in Kotz, is answering emails sent to www.alaskaonyourown.com . I guess he and Jim have a bond/understanding of sorts. He is the only bush pilot that operated out of Kotz full time (that I am aware of). Eric took us up on the Kugururok last August and did a great job. Nice guy and very skilled pilot. He landed us on a gravel bar that I wouldnt have thought we could have landed on. He hit the water about 15 feet before the gravel. That may be a common practice in Alaska, but being from North Carolina, I was impressed. I actually tried to contact Eric again through the formentioned website a few weeks ago, but have not gotten a reply. That is in part, why I am seaching here for any insights about getting to/from the Wulik River. Thanks for the info. Any thoughts on getting to/from the Wulik from Kotz appreciated.

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    Does anyone know jim kincaid of northwestern avaition??

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    Default A J Rosser

    First off getting a flight out of kivalina is out. This is a village of about 80 people and no charter service available. I know Buck Maxon and Jim Rood personaly and they both have retired and that is a certainty. Buck will be in and out of Kotzebue during the summers for he still has a residence there . Buck now has two Tcrafts, one floats and one wheels for playing in the north country. Jim Rood however seems to have left town . If anyone is to know about the flying services Buck would know . he had 3 phone numbers the last i knew. In Pa. 814-6982409, in kotz 907-4423030 and 907- 4428686. Buck also has a very good friend " Ken Ubben " who is a full time resident and he knows all that is of importance and he can be reached at 907-4422594. Another fellow , aircraft mechanic in Kots is Paul Buckel and phone is 907-4422637. Things are changing rapidly in the far north country due to the tight economy . Many of the white people are leaving because they are telling me that hard times are setting in . i hope this will help you make a contact . I personally fish the Kelly River up from the Noatack River about 7 to 8 miles . It has never failed me in many years. the area is know as the Wrench Creek area. just check with the Kots flight service and they will point you to it on an aircraft chart . You will be amazed the number of Arctic Char you will catch . You must use a jointed Rapala the color of a minnow and I use 50 lb. test line. this allows me to use the same bait till the fish have eaten off all the paint . good luck.
    A J Rosser

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Thanks..

    Thanks for the input. I floated the Kelly in 2004. Definitely agree about Wrench Creek. Tons of fish. I have Eric Sieh (Hagland Aviation) in Kotz taking us up on the Wulik. With Buck retired, he is the only show (full time) in town. He took us on the Kugururok in 2006 and did a great job.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Jim Kinkaid has taken over Rood's operation and from what I hear from other folks up here is he is doing a good job. No idea whether or not Buck has sold his business to anyone. Eric would still be my #1 choice though.

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