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Thread: Goodnews River

  1. #1
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    Default Goodnews River

    Let me start off by saying hello to everyone. I am brand new to this forum, and for that matter any forum.
    A group of 4 of us are looking at float trip in SW Alaska next Aug/Sept. We've done the Kwethluk River twice, the last trip was amazing, hitting the weather, Silvers, and Rainbows perfect. We really like that region, along with the fly-in services of Papa Bear Adventures. I've been researching the Goodnews, Kisaralik, and Aniak. So far, leaning towards the Goodnews, but am alittle concerned about the lack of solitute due to the Lodge on the lower stretch. Any info would be helpful. Also, if anyone is looking for info on the Kwethluk River, let me know.
    Thanks, Steve Campbell

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Goodnews...

    We floated the lovely Goodnews River this past Aug/Sept for 13 days. We flew into Goodnews Lake with Rick Grant (Tickchik Airventures) on a bright and sunny afternoon. The lake is very large and we had been told it had some great lake trout fishing. We saw thousands of reds near the shore and some dollies, but never caught a lake trout. We paddled the 60 miles down to the village of Goodnews Bay where we had a wheel plane return trip to Dillingham. Along the way, we caught many small dollies pretty much throughout the whole river. There were spots where we would see many rainbows but it was off and on. Feeder creeks were productive in most all cases. We floated over some that were very large. The silvers were found about half way down and fishing improved as we got towards the terminus. Bright conditions and unexperienced fly fisherman made for pretty slow action. We would find them laid up deep beside cliffs in outer curves of the river quite often. We would beach our Ally pack canoes and try to sneak back up towards the banks in order to cast at them. More often than not, they paid little attention to our flies. We had taken lots of bright pink flies and caught only a few on them. I finally got some success on a #2 olive bead head wb. The darker colors worked out well. In hindsight, I may have been better off with some smaller offerings. We found a few rainbows mixed in with the silvers. They were being very defensive darting in and out of the mix. Hard to get there attention although we did catch a few. None larger than 22". The weather was unusually nice the whole trip. Bright sunny days. Dang! We saw bears about every other day. All "good bears" at least. On the final night, it was raining pretty hard and I heard an unmistakable sound as a brown bear walked across a small creek near our tents. It was 0300 and the last thing I wanted to see was walking straight toward my tent. He was about a 7.5' bear and had got to within 20 yards of my tent when I got out to take a look. Having floated a few NW Alaska rivers, I had been around bears a little bit. But, I was pretty scared this time. He was walking right towards me when I shined the Surefire M6 in his eyes. All 500 leumen! He froze with his front left paw in the air for what seemed like 20 seconds. Then he turned away and went back to from which he had came. I slept pretty lightly the rest of the night. Luckily it was our last night. He had came across us by chance I feel. It was a windy and rainy night. The river was an easy paddle in our Ally pack canoes. No hazards to amount to anything. Just several places where mid stream rocks had to be avoided. No problems with unusually shallow areas. Some swift sections, but nothing that would classify as Class II. Beautiful mountain scenery all the way down. Wonderful camping sites that were numerous and most always provided abundant firewood. Just a few caribou where seen running the shores of Goodnews Lake. That herd has taken a decline of about 80% from what ADFG told me. They had stopped by one morning to check our license in a jet boat. Nice enough and they hung around for about 15 minutes chatting. They are true stewards of the land. We had some slow fishing for the first 15 miles or so once we entered the river from Goodnews Lake. After that, it picked up pretty good and by the mid way point, we were catching dollies, bows, and silvers. The dollies were consistent through the whole river. Including the lake even. Most our fish were caught on Dolly Dynamite, Battle Creek Special, and Olive BHWB. Caught some silvers on a Pink Marauder (Hills Discount Flies). I feel that they would have worked even better if we would not have had bluebird skies every day. And we did much better in the evening on the silvers. Locating the pods was not hard in the gin clear Goodnews. We will definately go back. Perhaps even this year. I am wanting to try for Kings in early July. After floating this river, I can see where it would be a good place to fly fish for them. Good bank access and not very deep or wide. We could wade the river in many sections and could wade out enough to cast to the middle in 70% of it. A wonderful float with great scenery and very high fishing potential. I hope that our catch rate will increase on future trips. I will also hope for more typical SW Alaska weather. Here is a link to pictures from the Goodnews trip. When you click on the link, you can select "view slideshow" in the upper right side, then toggle < or > through the images at your own pace.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7603622658629/

    Dan

    If you want more info, shoot me an email to danattherock@hotmail.com I would be happy to give you any info on the Goodnews I can. Likewise, I would like to hear about your trip on the Kwethluk.
    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.

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks Dan,

    I will shoot you an e-mail with a couple other questions.

    As far as the Kwethluk goes, I would definitely recommend it. Fly-in drop off with about a 90 mile float. No real rapids, but quite a bit of sweepers once the river started braiding. Never saw another human on two separate 10 day floats, until we got to the weir near the bottom. Floated Aug/Sept the first time, had rain everyday, with a swollen and muddy river. Trout fishing was tough, but caught tons of Silvers, Dollies, and Grayling. Last year went mid-Aug, much better weather and river conditions. The fishing for everything was off-the-hook. Rainbows and Dollies piled up behind the Silvers made the fishing fantastic. Excellent camping on the many gravel bars, bears about every third day, and a river that was easy to wade.
    Hoping the Goodnews will be a similiar experience.

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