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Thread: Anyone canoed into Minto Flats from... read on

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    Default Anyone canoed into Minto Flats from... read on

    If you drive up Murphy Dome road (outside of Fairbanks), there's a spur road that takes off about 150 yards from the top of the dome and heads down to the Chatanika River ...a rough road (goes into a saddle, up another hill, then down to the river). I've seen people taking flat bottomed river boats down there but have never been to the end of the road myself. According to the map, the Chatanika has a bend in the river and the road goes right to that spot, then it's only 1/10th of a mile from there into Minto Flats. I'm wondering if a guy could canoe into the Flats from there ...and back ...without a motor? Anyone?

    Thanks,
    Brian

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    River boated there several years ago. The road was nearly washed out in a few places; could have rolled my truck if the road would have caved any more when I sneaked by. Make sure you get updated info on that before you go. There was a decent mud hole near the end, too; got stuck, needed a tow. Good luck coming back up stream; doable, but a lot of work. You could also drive up the Manley Rd and float the West Fork, eventually into Minto, and get picked up there. I did that many years ago. There was a large log jam on the West Fork; probably still is. Be sure to get current info on that, too, or fly it first. Best. j

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    Is the Chatanika deep enough to use a small motor at the end of the (bad) road that comes down from Murphy Dome? If yes, how far into Minto Flats do you think the motor could be used?

    Thanks,

    Brian

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    We took a 18 ft alweld down there last year. The road was rough but not to the extreme that everyone says. You just need to take your time going down it. As far as the river being deep enough I think you should be o.k. The first three bends in the river last year were the most shallow. There was about 6 inches of water but then it was plenty deep after that. I really have no experience with canoes but I can tell you it is a pretty long way to the flats from where the road meets the chat. I would say it was 8 miles down to the slough that bends off to the left that takes you to the flats. The current wasn't that strong but I wasn't in a canoe either so thats easy for me to say. I've only been down there one time but that is what i know.

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    8 miles! Didn't know it was that far! Either way, sounds like a fun place to go exploring ...I've been wondering about going down there for a long time.

    Thanks all,

    Brian

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    If you where a Raven it might be 1/10th of a mile! How ever if you follow the Chat to Goldstream it is at least 5 miles, you can almost pass yourself as you go. It is deep enough for a small motor. My 4hp got some friends back up to the landing from the Goldstream caches on Columbus day one year pushing a 18' lowe. After the 50hp jet craped out, it took them 24 hours and had to spend an unpleasant night getting back.

    It can be done in a Canoe but you better plan a day in and a day out I would not want to paddle up stream all that way. You will be feeding lots of bugs too.
    Tim

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    I ran it in my mokai two years ago to go pike fishing. The road is easy just bumpy (people tow there sport jons down to the river). It takes a long time to get to the flats at 12 mph downstream I would estamate 1 hr. Once you get past the first couple of bends the river is very deep and slow moving. Good pike fishing though. I went up goldstream creek and fished in front of the cabins. I would have liked to go farther but time did not allow.

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    I was thinking of going in and camping ...no hurry, but would like to use a small motor for assist on the way back out if it's lotsa miles.

    Brian

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    What about putting in the Chat off the Elliot and going downstream to the flats. Anyone try that last year ? If so what's it like form there?
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    ok..I'll pipe up. I have a cabin on the chat that I get to from the top of murphy dome. I figure about 1.5 hrs to it from the top with my truck...thats chaining up to get to the lower landing too. Yes there are two landings...the upper is shallow for about 4-5 corners..mostly jets unless you want to walk it back up. The lower is 2 corners to deep water. I run a prop all year long out of it. Then its about 45 minutes to the Goldstream confluence at about 25 mph. Then from goldstream/chat to the fish caches...about 20 more minutes. There are several places you could pull a canoe over into the flats and have a ball....though. One of the first being an A frame cabin on the left...it's about 50 yds to the flats there. Personally I really wouldn't look at using a canoe without a motor. The river only cover 5-8 miles but heck the twists and turns make it 2-3 times that far. There is good fishing...sometimes at the confluence. But in most cases the good fishing starts around the fish caches. I personally don't fish there as I have better spots that I like.

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    i was also planning on starting off the elliot in a 18' with 90 jet? Anyone know approximate time to make it to good pike fishing from the elliot? For those of you that have fished minto, any must haves for fishing gear?? Thanks for any help to make it a smoother trip, we are planning on going late june for 4 days

    Sean

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    From the elliot to the boat landing behind murphy dome is about 90 river miles. About a 3 day canoe trip.

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    I use to run the Chatanika from the Murphy Dome road launch every summer when I lived in North Pole. It's a long slow ride down to the river but very doable, even towing a boat. We ran 16 foot flat bottom river boats, mine had a Johnson 60 HP with a jet and the only bad spot for us was that very first turn as it was pretty shallow. From there we would run to where Goldstream runs into the Chatanika, fishing at the confluence was usually pretty good too. Running up Goldstream we would go where there are some cabins on the right and an old canvas tent/cabin about 50 yards past there. We spent many days right there fishing and would catch pike until our arms couldn't stand it anymore.....fantastic pike fishing to say the least! You could literally throw anything in the water and the pike would attack it. With all that being said, I don't think i'd do it in a canoe but if you have a motor that might work just fine as we use to access it that way using a Grumman square stern with a 8 horse Yamaha utilizing a lift to avoid the shallows.

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    How crazy would it be to do it rubber raft?

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    New here just getn it figured out

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    I'm interested in seeing how this thread develops. A fishing/camping trip to Minto flats is going to be my first big fishing adventure when I move to AK.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    There is/was a fella that owns some cabins out there along Goldstream and he has some boats and motors locked in a shed that he rents out. He would fly people in and pick them up when they were done, not sure if he's still doing that but it's another option worth pursuing. Not sure what kind of raft your talking about, you could do an Achilles or something along those lines with a motor I suppose but a roundboat, you could go downstream but it would be tough getting back to the launch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    There is/was a fella that owns some cabins out there along Goldstream and he has some boats and motors locked in a shed that he rents out. He would fly people in and pick them up when they were done, not sure if he's still doing that but it's another option worth pursuing. Not sure what kind of raft your talking about, you could do an Achilles or something along those lines with a motor I suppose but a roundboat, you could go downstream but it would be tough getting back to the launch.
    I think you mean Bob Elliott. I heard he died a couple years back. I think someone else has his outfit now though.

    You can always put in at the village of Minto and go out to the flats from there. You won't be in the same part of the flats, but there are fish there, too. Some folks will warn you about the locals in the village, but I've parked my rig there and had no problems. However, my truck was broken into at the launch on the Chatanika off Murphy Dome. It's 13 river miles to Goldstream, then 6 more up to Elliott's cabin's, if I remember right.
    Rough road, rough river (okay, it ain't a tough river, just real shallow for the first 2 miles), and the fishin ain't as good as it used to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRoadkill View Post
    I think you mean Bob Elliott. I heard he died a couple years back. I think someone else has his outfit now though.

    You can always put in at the village of Minto and go out to the flats from there. You won't be in the same part of the flats, but there are fish there, too. Some folks will warn you about the locals in the village, but I've parked my rig there and had no problems. However, my truck was broken into at the launch on the Chatanika off Murphy Dome. It's 13 river miles to Goldstream, then 6 more up to Elliott's cabin's, if I remember right.
    Rough road, rough river (okay, it ain't a tough river, just real shallow for the first 2 miles), and the fishin ain't as good as it used to be.
    Bob isn't dead just retired and Totonduk bought Bob's business and that is in the Everts ownership now. I don't recommend the other guy that flys folks out there.
    Tim

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    Good to hear Bob's still alive and kickin'. Never met him, but talked with him on the phone several years ago.

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