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Thread: float trips outof aniak?

  1. #1

    Default float trips outof aniak?

    I've got a recommendation that the north half of unit 18 would make a good moose hunt. Any good float trips outof aniak to be had?

  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Contact Inland Aviation in Aniak.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Member 379 Peterbilt's Avatar
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    I'll second Inland Aviation out of Aniak. We flew with them last Sept and they did us right. Friendly operation and good service. I'd hire 'em again without thinking twice.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Video...

    Not sure if this applicable or not, but the Duke brothers made a DVD of floating the Aniak River. I got it and a few others. Very good quality DVD's. Here is a link to the Aniak River float. It is for sale on the forum store under the fishing category.

    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...9b5873ba8344b1
    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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    Default Talk with Rob Kinkade @ aniakairguides.com

    Rob is an excellent resource. He will hook you up. www.aniakairguides.com

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Float trips from Aniak

    There are several river systems that can be accessed out of Aniak. Check them out carefully to make sure they match your experience level; there are some that will eat your lunch if you don't know what you're doing. Logjams, sweepers, strainers, etc. Folks have drowned out there because they made foolish mistakes.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  7. #7

    Default Good Rivers for Novice/Intermediate?

    Michael:

    Any worth looking into for Novice/Intermidate types like me?

  8. #8
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Well, yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by lundy View Post
    Michael:

    Any worth looking into for Novice/Intermidate types like me?
    Lundy,

    Yes, some of the systems out that way are not too dangerous for your experience level. I would start with a look at Karen Jettmar's "Alaska River Guide", currently out of print, but you might find one on Amazon.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  9. #9

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    fwiw...the new edition to Jettmar's book is supposed to be out next month,Feb 28th. good luck!

  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Preorder...

    "Alaska River Guide", currently out of print, but you might find one on Amazon.

    I ordered one last February from Amazon. Still no book. Good luck is an understatement.
    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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    Default Rivers Around Aniak

    Certainly respect Michael's cautions and they should be applied to any remote wilderness float trip.

    In my opinion though, there's a lot of "hype and exaggerated stories" about the rivers around Aniak. I have floated the Holitna and it is by far one of the calmest and easiest floats I have ever experienced.

    Despite the "mystical stories" about the Aniak, I find it to be a much easier float than the popular Lake Creek trip, especially if you get dropped around the Kipchuk or float the Salmon River branch from Bell Creek.

    If you have experience rowing a boat and can make it do what you want when you want - don't rule the rivers around Aniak out.

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Aniak floats

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaKings2 View Post
    Certainly respect Michael's cautions and they should be applied to any remote wilderness float trip.

    In my opinion though, there's a lot of "hype and exaggerated stories" about the rivers around Aniak. I have floated the Holitna and it is by far one of the calmest and easiest floats I have ever experienced.

    Despite the "mystical stories" about the Aniak, I find it to be a much easier float than the popular Lake Creek trip, especially if you get dropped around the Kipchuk or float the Salmon River branch from Bell Creek.

    If you have experience rowing a boat and can make it do what you want when you want - don't rule the rivers around Aniak out.
    Hi Kings,

    I'm not sure about any "mystical stories", but I've floated the Aniak down from Aniak Lake, and it was extremely difficult. The upper ten miles was a piece of cake, but once you enter the timber, the river can be barricaded with logjams, sweepers, and strainers. Many of these are around blind corners and unless you do a lot of downstream scouting on foot, you're gonna get sucked right in to them. Having said that, if one is lucky enough to follow another party down, and they have cut these obstacles out with a chainsaw, it could be a lot easier. But that was not our experience and we had to do lots of chainsaw work, scouting, and portaging. I would NEVER recommend that river to inexperienced boaters! HERE'S A LINK to some photos I took on a trip in there some time ago; they should illustrate the point nicely.


    The Salmon fork is another story. It gets a lot of floaters during summer months, and the channels are usually clear. But high water can completely change the character of the river. I remember a few years ago a well-known politician was killed on that river when his inexperienced guide ran it against the advice of senior fishing guides. The water level was really high and the river was very hazardous. Not the norm, but again, not a place for a novice boater in certain conditions.

    As to the Kipchuk, it too can be choked with logjams, and also there is a guide working that river already. Not a lot of room there without dumping in on top of someone else.

    All in all, I would not generally recommend any of the three forks of the Aniak River for novice boaters such as the individual posting the original question in this thread. The problem with questions like this is that they completely bypass the verbal discussion that really should take place with the individual involved. If I were planning a float hunt anywhere in Alaska, I'd do some research here for starters, but then I'd get on the phone with some folks who've done it and talk to them. This provides an opportunity to explain in detail important things like prior experience (of any kind) on the water, mental and physical toughness, expectations, recommended boats and a host of other factors that need to be nailed down. Making recommendations without some of that could lead to fatal results.

    The Holitna, the Hoholitna, the Anvik, and several others would be much better choices for a novice boater. These are all Class I rivers with well-defined channels, and minimal obstacles. But each has other issues. The Hoho, for example, is extremely long and slow. It has limited access points and may not work for some folks on a tighter schedule. There are of course many other factors involved, but it gets too long to post in a place like this...

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 02-01-2008 at 23:07.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  13. #13

    Default river recommendations

    Thank you o everyone who has contributed to this thread. I am learning a lot about what to look for in choosing a river.

    Thanks to Mike for his book; it's a great read. And to the others for sharingheir experiences so I can get a flavor of each river.

    I'm still researching and will no doubt still be asking questions on this forum; it's really been a lot of help.

    Cheers,
    lundy

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    379Peterbilt and I sat at the airport this fall coming home from our hunt and spoke with some guys that floated from Aniak lake down and they said it was pretty rough. Most guys on that trip were beat up and 2 were actually trying to get out of Aniak to get to a doctor. So head that advice.

    Sweepers and log jams and portaging were exactly their story and that was the 18th of Sept we spoke with them

  15. #15
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Aniak photos

    Quote Originally Posted by 375ultramag View Post
    379Peterbilt and I sat at the airport this fall coming home from our hunt and spoke with some guys that floated from Aniak lake down and they said it was pretty rough. Most guys on that trip were beat up and 2 were actually trying to get out of Aniak to get to a doctor. So head that advice.

    Sweepers and log jams and portaging were exactly their story and that was the 18th of Sept we spoke with them
    Yeah, it was the same story last time I floated it... very challenging. For those who have a copy of my book, the photos on pages 157 and 164 show us dealing with some large jams on that river (sorry, I cannot post them now, because they belong to the publisher). But I'm attaching a couple of others here. The first one shows us standing on a large jam, trying to figure out if we can skirt it on the end (the result was the photo on page 164 in the book). Just after this photo was taken (and just after I'd warned the guys about how unstable logjams are, I fell in clear up to my armpits. MAN, was that COLD! They would have helped me out of there, if they had not been laughing at me so hard...

    The other photo I'm posting shows us dealing with a pretty big log that had fallen across the main channel. That was a BIG spruce log that was permeated with sand from the river. The chainsaw got a real workout on that one.

    From reading this thread it's obvious that some folks are floating it after this trash is cleaned out each spring. If you're not sure, you should bring the tools to deal with it!

    -Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  16. #16

    Default Any more experiences?

    This is all very helpful information for me. Any one else out there have flaoted these rivers and want to contribute?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by lundy View Post
    This is all very helpful information for me. Any one else out there have flaoted these rivers and want to contribute?

    The rivers mentioned are not in Unit 18 BTW. Some of them also have a 2 mile no hunting corridor for non residents.

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    Default Salmon fork

    I floated the salmon fork of the Aniak last July. I have floated many Alaskan rivers and this was by far the most dangerous river I've been on because of the wood. We came around the corner and had a cottonwood spanning the entire channel with cutbanks on both sides. We lost a lot of equipment and nearly lost a crew memeber. This is not a river for even the intermediate floater and I would not return without a chain saw.

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