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Thread: Anybody wanna plan a trip to the KOBUK?

  1. #1

    Default Anybody wanna plan a trip to the KOBUK?

    Hey guys,

    Some of you have read my newbie posts and know Ill be in Anchorage for 2, maybe 3 months starting June 1st.

    I would like to plan a trip to the Kobuk to fish for Sheefish. My girlfriend most likely will not want to join me, so I was wondering if anybody would like to plan a short trip with me to the Kobuk? Hopefully, just a day. Fly in am fly out pm. (if thats possible).

    Im in my late 20's. I joke a lot, try to never ever be negative, ask too many questions, got lots of enthusiasm and love for fishing.

    We could split the costs depending how many the plane can take.

    I feel like im advertising myself in a singles ad...

    I dont care. I wanna meet some fishermen and have a good time while Im there.

    Send me a PM if you're interested.

  2. #2

    Default Kobuk sheefish

    Sheefishing on the Kobuk in the summer huh? I've done it because I was already there. It's a pretty expensive proposition unless you are wealthy. Around $500 to get to Kotzebue, another $300 or so to get to Kiana, Ambler or Shungnak. Then you need to know/hire someone with a boat that can get you to a good spot. Gasoline is probably at least $7.50/gal there now. All of this has to happen at the right time of summer. Or you could hire a service to fly you in from Fairbanks in a float plane. This is expensive also but could end up cheaper and more efficient if you got abut 4 people to go in on it. Either way it won't be cheap. Still want to catch a sheefish? They are pretty neat fish, can get over 40 lbs if your lucky. Pull hard for a little bit but then they seem to give up for the most part.

  3. #3


    4 people would be best? would 5 be too much?
    My 2 bros will visit me in July so I should go then.
    Anybody wanna join? a group of 2 perhaps? We'd be 5 that would make it cheaper.

    I cant be deterred from going. I know its gonna cost a lot, but I dont party, dont buy new fancy clothes, dont own an Ipod or a dvd player, or even a radio. I spend my money of traveling. If its difficult to get there, all the better. Others have done it before me right?

  4. #4


    oh yeah, it's done all of the time. If you can round up at least three of you I would inquire on the 'net for outfits that do this. You just have to decide what kind of trip that you want to make of it. A day or two trip, a float, a boat drop off/pick up? A lot of the flight services out of Kotz are going through changes now but I'm sure others are taking up the slack. If you end up deciding to fly to a village and then boat then I thought of another way to do it besides flying to Kotz first. I believe Warbelows flys small planes from fairbanks to the upper Kobuk villages. In Kiana, Lori Scheurch from Kiana lodge does drop off/pick up boat trips. He might even have have a skiff rental if you feel comfortable but then you won't have as much local knowledge at hand. You might try contacting Kiana lodge. I believe float planes go from the Bettles area too. Might take a little research but look at more than 1 option. good luck. One last thing, I never made it there but I always heard the HUGE sheefish were up above Ambler in late July, closer to Walker Lake.

  5. #5

    Default,one last thing, found this link at another article

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Kobuk...

    You won't likely be fishing the Kobuk on a day trip. The only possible way would be a float plane taking you in for a guided trip to a spot or two on the upper Kobuk. But if you are factoring in travel to/from Bettles, you won't be doing that in a day either. And every one of those options will cost a lot of money. One way to go is to drive to Coldfoot and get picked up by a Beaver or Otter operated by Brooks Range Aviation (In Bettles, 907-692-5444). Another would be to fly direct from Fairbanks from one of several local carriers there on floats. Aside from the expensive bush flights, the shortest trip I could imagine on the Kobuk would be a 3-4 day float. And that will only scratch the surface. I am not trying to discourage you, just pointing out some facts.

    I am sure you would love spending some time on the Kobuk. We float rivers in Alaska every year and I had picked the Kobuk last year but we changed our plans and went to SW Alaska and floated the Goodnews instead. We usually float NW Alaska rivers. I did a lot of planning on the Kobuk preparatory for that float. It sounds like a float of the Kobuk would have a lot to offer. It is on the very top of my to do list. From its headwaters near Walker Lake, the Kobuk can be a long and very scenic wilderness float. More scenic in the upper stretches and wide and slow in the lower reaches.

    It passes several villages along the way. Lots of really nice people in that area. I lived in Kotz for 6 months in 2004 and met many people from Kobuk, Shungnak, and Ambler. Some of the most decent people I have ever met. You can fly Alaska Air to Kotz, then take an air taxi (daily scheduled flight) to Kobuk for about $700 +/- from Anchorage. I have heard of a person in Kobuk that will take you up river in boat (or plane) and you can float back down to the village of Kobuk in the rented raft. Then you would just take the air taxi to Kotz, then Alaska Air to Anchorage. That would be the easiest way to sample some of the Kobuk in my opinion. It would provide you with several days to float, fish, and camp your way down river. You mention having two "bros" coming up to see you. The three of you could do this trip and have a great time. A mini Alaska adventure you might call it. Especially for someone who has never been to Alaska. Be sure to put in below the rapids near Walker Lake. Distance would keep you from being that high up from Kobuk on a short trip like this, but I had to make mention of it anyway. If you could just get put in about 20-25 miles up from the village and float down, you guys would have a ball.

    Be sure to read up on the Pah River (on the Kobuk). It is known to be a hotspot for sheefish. The best time for sheefish is in late-summer and early fall, basically late-August through September. Many people who float this time of year are on caribou hunts and happen to hit the sheefish dead on. There is also some nice northern pike around too, particularly in the lower reaches of tribs, such as the Pah. I hear the sheefish congregate in deeper mid river areas so plan on fishing from the raft quite a bit. If your trip materializes, shoot me an email and I will forward you some information that I have saved. Below is a link that may be of interest.
    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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