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Thread: Lake Creek fly in, float out info.

  1. #1
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    Default Lake Creek fly in, float out info.

    I will be hosting a very important guest first week of August who wants to float Lake Creek for bows....

    Can someone give me some advice on the best fly in service and the details on where the best place to put in (Chelatna Lake I assume) and take out would be if our main target was bows. Also any info on what to expect would be greatly appreciated, I've never been on that river.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Lake Creek DVD/Book

    The book store here on the outdoors supersite sells a DVD and Guidebook for Lake Creek. It features King Salmon fishing, but it will give you a good look at the river, rapids, etc.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Put in at chelatna take out at riversong bar. I'd go in early July for the best trout fishing. My best friend guides there so pm me if you have questions.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Smile Floating Lake Creek for Rainbow Trout

    Better fly-in services out of Anchorage are... Give a call to Mike @ Regal Air, Joe @ Sportsman's Air, Chris @ Rusts, or Jimmy @ Trail Ridge. There are others but these are most prefered. Out of Willow... Willow Air (little closer can save a few bucks)

    Lake Creek is an oustanding Rainbow fishery! You'll have fun! They top out around 27". More typical is skipper 10"-16" fiesty Trout and tons of 'em.

    For most floaters - the put-in is by air on floats or wheels at the lake & take out is same on Yentna confluence.

    The river is a class II-III+. Not high volume - but can be technical if you're not a high-mileage or experienced oarsperson

    There is a video of a few yahooos on their first float livin' it up & havin' a grand time,,, nevertheless it scarcely skims the surface - covering mostly the highest impacted zones based likely on what info the Air guide told them was a fitting itinerary... that said, it does show some of the river character well worth the few bucks.

    Powdermonkey is a bit mistaken on the best timing for Rainbows. It is after the King Season and once Kings tire with other species of Salmon stacking into the spawning waterway... this is the last half to late July through Sept. Keep in mind that August trends are spiked with high water to a week here or there of flooding. The river comes up fast in downpours and drops after significant rains accordinly.

    Have a great trip -

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    I go over in that direstion most years. I'd second Jim Jensen and Trail Ridge Air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Richardson View Post
    Better fly-in services out of Anchorage are... Give a call to Mike @ Regal Air, Joe @ Sportsman's Air, Chris @ Rusts, or Jimmy @ Trail Ridge. There are others but these are most prefered. Out of Willow... Willow Air (little closer can save a few bucks)

    Lake Creek is an oustanding Rainbow fishery! You'll have fun! They top out around 27". More typical is skipper 10"-16" fiesty Trout and tons of 'em.

    For most floaters - the put-in is by air on floats or wheels at the lake & take out is same on Yentna confluence.

    The river is a class II-III+. Not high volume - but can be technical if you're not a high-mileage or experienced oarsperson

    There is a video of a few yahooos on their first float livin' it up & havin' a grand time,,, nevertheless it scarcely skims the surface - covering mostly the highest impacted zones based likely on what info the Air guide told them was a fitting itinerary... that said, it does show some of the river character well worth the few bucks.

    Powdermonkey is a bit mistaken on the best timing for Rainbows. It is after the King Season and once Kings tire with other species of Salmon stacking into the spawning waterway... this is the last half to late July through Sept. Keep in mind that August trends are spiked with high water to a week here or there of flooding. The river comes up fast in downpours and drops after significant rains accordinly.

    Have a great trip -
    What's the normal duration of a float from the lake to the yentna?

  7. #7

    Default Lake Creek Float Duration & Other Information

    Although you address your question to Brian Richardson who seems to think AK PowderMonkey is mistaken and the yahooos who produced the Lake Creek DVD and Ultimate Guide know very little, rest assured many people on this website's forums (including information listed in the forums archives) have valuable information to contribute to help you have the best experience possible on Lake Creek.

    The Lake Creek float is 55 miles from Chelatna Lake to the confluence with the Yentna River. The average flow is 3.5 to 4.5 miles per hour which means it can be floated in 13 to 16 hours non-stop. Most people who are there just to float and camp spend 3 or 4 days floating the river. Fishermen usually spend 5 to 9 days depending on how much fishing/camping time they desire.

    I have floated the river in July and done quite well for rainbows consistent with AK PowderMonkey's comment. During July, most of the rainbows will be in both the major and un-named clear water tributaries - the DVD & Ultimate Guide I mentioned that are sold here on the outdoorsdirectory/Alaska Supersite book store provides the GPS coordinates of every tributary along with the GPS coordinates of the major rapids on Lake Creek.

    During "normal" water levels, much of the river is class I and class II from the time you round the bend below the cable hole (an excellent trout fishing hole) until the take out on the Yentna River. There is one class III rapids that is several hundred yards long shortly after you enter the Rock Garden, and another class III/IV rapid after you enter the Canyon before reaching Yenlo Creek (another outstanding rainbow fishery for people willing to hike up the tributary). Both rapids provide oppurtinity to line the rafts through if desired.

    More trout hold in the main river later in the summer, but it is really a personal preference whether you want to catch them in the tributaries or in the main river.

    Hope you have a great trip!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Richardson View Post

    Powdermonkey is a bit mistaken on the best timing for Rainbows. It is after the King Season and once Kings tire with other species of Salmon stacking into the spawning waterway... this is the last half to late July through Sept. Keep in mind that August trends are spiked with high water to a week here or there of flooding. The river comes up fast in downpours and drops after significant rains accordinly.

    I'd just rather catch rainbows on dry flies than beads. Plus when the salmon start spawning the rainbows can get really really picky, especially the really big fish.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I'd just rather catch rainbows on dry flies than beads. Plus when the salmon start spawning the rainbows can get really really picky, especially the really big fish.
    Just watched the DVD and skimmed the guidebook. Good basic float information....wish there were a trout fishing version, but oh well. The Gulkana is my river, and Lake Creek looked a lot like the Gulkana....So, I assume that in the end of July I will find spawning kings farther upriver with eager bows behind them....is that a safe assumption or do a lot of the kings go up the tribs to spawn? Also, does anyone else want to way in on average trout size on this river? 10-16" can be fun, but not sure that's worth a fly-in trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    Just watched the DVD and skimmed the guidebook. Good basic float information....wish there were a trout fishing version, but oh well. The Gulkana is my river, and Lake Creek looked a lot like the Gulkana....So, I assume that in the end of July I will find spawning kings farther upriver with eager bows behind them....is that a safe assumption or do a lot of the kings go up the tribs to spawn? Also, does anyone else want to way in on average trout size on this river? 10-16" can be fun, but not sure that's worth a fly-in trip.
    late july is good in the su valley, my buddy guiding on it said that egg and flesh fishing was fairly useless though on lake creek (first and second week of august last year) which seems bizzare to me but this is the guy who won't fish for cohos with anything except poppers. In retrospect be sure to bring a lot of wooly buggers, they have saved me lots of frustration in the SU valley during egg season. I perseonally wouldn't pay any money ever to fish lake creek so many other better options in the area which I won't divulge, with bigger fish. Most of the fish in the yenta drainage are on the smallish side, something you don't seem to find on the east side.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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