Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Alagnak and Moraine float

  1. #1

    Default Alagnak and Moraine float

    Hello,

    After 2 years of baby break I am allowed to spent my holidays in Alaska next year. We do want to see a new area and are thinking about floating the Moraine creek and then the Alagnak unguided. Is there anybody who has experiences in these two rivers?
    It is especially interesting for us if the Kukaklek Lake is dangerous to cross. I think there is a lot of distance between the outlet of Moraine Creek and the beginning of the Alagnak.
    Thank you from Germany.

    Regards Markus

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    The wife and I float rivers in Alaska each fall fly fishing. If I could ask, what are your goals for the trip? What species are you after? When do you plan to make the trip? What are your goals for this trip? Are you renting a raft or bringing something to use? Solitude, scenery, cost, etc.. I will read up on Moraine and Alagnak in some books I have here at the house. I will pass on what I find. In the mean time, let me know what your interest are.
    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

    Default

    Thanks a lot for your efforts. We are a party of 3 and we bring our own raft. We are flying from ANC with Trail Ridge. Starting date is probably the 6th of September and we want to stay on the river for 2 weeks. We want to fish the Moraine for Rainbows and the Alagnak for Silvers. But we are wondering how to get from the Morain to the Alagnak. This could be a problem under windy conditions.

    Thankk you Markus

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    I will read up on Moraine and Alagnak and see what the books say. If you don't have your heart set on these particular rivers, I could suggest some others that would be easier from a logistical standpoint. The Goodnews and Kanektok come to mind first. Both are in SW Alaska. You would fly from Anchorage to Dillingham then fly about 80 miles west to headwater lakes where the floats would start. The Kanektok is about 90 miles long and the Goodnews is about 60. Both are world class fishing rivers. The Goodnews is known for its big silver run and Sept 6th is good timing for sure. That is also a great time for dolly and rainbows, both of which the Goodnews has plenty of. Great fishing for rainbows in the middle braided sections and tons of salmon in the lower areas. We floated the Goodnews Aug/Sept 2007 and had a fantastic trip. The bush pilot, Rick Grant of Tikchik Airventures in Dillingham did a great job. He could take your group of three and all your gear in his Beaver on floats. Round trip would be around $2,400 from what I recall. He would drop your group off at Goodnews Lake and pick you up on the river about 5 miles before the Goodnews empties to the ocean. That last 5 miles or so is tidally influenced and muddy. Tough to raft through and good to avoid. The Kanektok is also a lovely float and is on my to do list. We spent 13 days on the Goodnews and saw three other rafts the whole trip. Not the solitude I am used to with my NW Alaska floats, but not too many people. Great scenery, lots of bears, and fantastic fishing. Just thought I would mention it to you. Below are some pictures from our trip on the Goodnews.

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

    http://www.tikchikairventures.com/about.htm
    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.

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    The Moraine has some great fishing for rainbows. No doubting that. But I am uncertain as to if this would make a good float trip. For one, the lake is too big to row a raft across in my opinion. Secondly, Moraine Creek was described by one author as "the most risky place in Alaska to camp". He saw 120+ brown bears here on a weekend trip. While somewhat habituated to people, he reports common occurence of camps/rafts being trashed by bears. Even more of a nuisance to me would be all the people being flown in for the day from nearby lodges. I suspect you would see many other anglers (and bears) on the Moraine. The accessability does not appear to be that good for a float trip either. Limited options for a put in at any rate. And rather shallow water for floating as well. Perhaps you have done more research and found a way around these obstacles, but personally, I would look for another river if a two week float trip was to be planned.





    Assuming you take the trip you have planned, below is some info that may be of use.

    1. Contact some bush pilots in King Salmon and see what your options are for a drop off on the Moraine.

    2. Read up on bear behavior if you are not already familiar with it.

    3. Take an electric fence to protect your camp/raft while you are out fishing. I got one from www.udap.com It weighs 3.8 pounds and is very compact.

    4. Buy the book "Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska" by Scott Haugen. It is in the store here on the forum. Also, Amazon of course. It is a must have book. It tells you about every river in Alaska and tells you the when/how in most all cases. It also has over 100 maps.


    I assume you will be flying into Anchorage, then taking Pen Air to King Salmon, where you will then get in a bush plane. I would ask some bush pilots in the King Salmon area for some recommendations about how to float the Moraine and Alagnak. They can give you an idea of drop off points on the Moraine. Below is a link.

    http://www.branchriverair.com/

    Below is some other bush pilot info I found here on the forum...

    Alaska Bush Sports PO Box 721 King Salmon, AK 99613 Tel. (907) 246-3650 Toll Free (800) 557-4248 Internet http://www.alaskabushsports.com/ Email info@alaskabushsports.com Alaska Bush Sports is insured, licensed, permitted and experienced to provide you non-guided access to some of the best hunting for a lifetime adventure. Whether you are looking for trophy hunting or outstanding game fishing, Alaska Bush Sports can get you to the remote wilderness areas you've always dreamed of!

    Branch River Air Service PO Box 545 King Salmon, AK 99613 (Operates from King Salmon) Tel. (907) 246-3437 Fax. (907) 248-3837 Internet http://www.branchriverair.com/ Email bras@alaska.net Float plane service from King Salmon in Southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay and Alaska Peninsula regions. October thru May: 4540 Edinburgh Drive, Anchorage, AK 99515, Phone907) 248-3539

    C-Air PO Box 82 King Salmon, AK 99613 Tel. (907) 246-6318 Fax. (907) 688-3969 Email flycair@alaskalife.net Fly out Fishing, Hunting, Rafting, Flightseeing, Katmai National Park, Bear Viewing, Brooks Camp, Camping, Valley of 10,000 Smokes, Custom Air Charters, Photography, Becherof Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Peninsula, Call/Write.



    If for any reason you change your mind on the Moraine/Alagnak, let me know. I could make some suggestions for you and supply logistics and bush pilot recommendations in each case. There is simply no better way to see Alaska than a float trip. I am sure you will have a wonderful time. But the river you choose will dictate that largely. I would give that lots of thought (as I am sure you already have). We have floated three arctic rivers in NW Alaska for trophy dolly varden (got a 14 lb dolly last month), the Goodnews in SW, and will float the Kongakut in ANWR (NE Alaska) this coming June. Big state with tons of options for the float tripper. Let me know if you are entertaining other rivers. Happy to help if applicable. For fun, below is a link to some pictures from our float trips. It is a mix of the previous trips.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...27567944/show/
    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.

  6. #6
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Yellowknife, NWT
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Secondly, Moraine Creek was described by one author as "the most risky place in Alaska to camp". He saw 120+ brown bears here on a weekend trip.




    Along with the electric fence bring along one of these:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBe2Um9Om3w

    Or better yet one of these:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b29-BgRQkxU

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you for the information. It is worth a lot. I will change plans due to the fact that I am not a hero. We started our trips in the past from ANC with Trailridge air because we have our own raft and stuff. When flying with an domestic airline bagage is limited to 23kg and that is much to low. Goodnews is not in the range of ANC.
    Do someone knows if there are also so many bears at Alagnak river?

    Best regards from Germany

    Markus

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Not following you on the airline baggage. You can take up to 50 lbs/bag before incurring an overweight charge. But 100 lbs is the max weight any one bag can be. That is why I bought a 96 lb raft. We take all our gear (250 lbs) from North Carolina to Alaska each year for our float trips. Then from Anchorage on to Kotzebue or Dillingham or where ever. You just have to pay on overweight and/or excess baggage charge. They usually pop us for about $100 each way.

    Forget about Trail line or what ever that is. You fly to Anchorage from Germany. Then from Anchorage you get out to one of the bush towns where float trips originate. Dillingham, King Salmon, Kotzebue, etc... Then once you get to one of those bush towns you get the bush pilot to drop you off on the river of interest. He picks you up 14 days later at a predetermined spot. That is all there is to it.

    Now you just have to pick out a river. If you want rainbows and silver salmon I suggest you look closely at the Goodnews River. In my opinion it would be a perfect float trip for you and your group. Two weeks would allow you to really take your time and enjoy it. It is an absolute gem of a float and an early Sept float would be prime time for the silvers/bows. Shoot me a pm if you want any information.
    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.

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    The Goodnews River is hands down the PERFECT river for you. There are rivers all over the state that would make nice float trips, but if fishing is your priority, think SW Alaska. The Goodnews is a shining example. A "gem" is what Scott Haugen, author of "Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska", says about the Goodnews. That book is for sale on Amazon and the forum store. Buy it. The Goodnews would also make a perfect first float trip. Great camping, plenty of firewood on most the gravel bars, wildlife, great scenery in places, and not over used. We saw three other groups on our 13 day float in Aug/Sept 2007. Not the solitude I am used to with our NW Alaska floats, but nothing compares well to the arctic for solitude. What a perfect river for a float trip. We plan to go back ourselves. No rapids or hazards to amount to anything. We float Alaska rivers each fall and this is as easy as they come. Mid August to early Sept is prime time for silvers and the Goodnews has lots of them. Below is a brief trip report with pictures. I would be happy to talk further with you about this river. I will tell you anything I can. Shoot me a pm if applicable.


    We floated the lovely Goodnews River Aug/Sept 2007 for 13 days. We flew into Goodnews Lake with Rick Grant (Tikchik Airventures) out of Dillingham 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. A river pick up on floats was planned but bad weather called for a motor boat pick up and a 5 mile ride to the village where our wheeled plane awaited. Rick had this back up plan well coordinated with us ahead of time. Along the way, we caught dollies pretty much throughout the whole river. The wife got 13 on as many cast at one place in the upper Goodnews. There were spots where we would see many rainbows darting around under our Ally canoe. Feeder creeks were productive in most all cases. We floated over some rainbows 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 at times. Then we would catch some every cast. Like a lightswitch being turned on and off. We would find them 50-60 at a time laid up deep beside cliffs in outer curves of the river. We would beach our Ally pack canoes and try to sneak back up towards the banks in order to cast at them. 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 their attention although we did catch a few. None larger than 22" but we were not fishing for them to be honest. We were there for the silvers. The weather was unusually nice the whole trip. Bright sunny days and 60+ degrees on several. Dang! We did not get the weather we had expected (and hoped for). I would have preffered overcast days of course. 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 were 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 purple esl with pink heads, Battle Creek Special, and Olive BHWB. All in size #2. 3/8 to 1/2 ounce Blue Fox Vibrax spinners are the ticket for spin fisherman. Silver, gold, and blue/green for dollies/bows. Pink bodies with nickel blades for silvers. Also 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. Next time I will fish harder in the first and last two hours of the day. The bright sunny days really cause lock jaw. Locating the pods was not hard in the gin clear Goodnews. We will definately go back. Repeatedly I will even say. 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.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...22658629/show/
    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.

  10. #10

    Default

    This sound very good to me. Very interesting is that bringing own stuff is not that problem when domestic flying. I will suggest this river to my friends.

    Thanks Markus

  11. #11
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Happy to help. Let me know if I can be of further use.
    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.

  12. #12

    Default

    If you're still interested in Moraine Creek and the Alagnak River, I strongly suggest calling the folks at Katmai National Park in King Salmon, AK as both waters are within the park (upper part of Alagnak is anyway). They'll be able to give you some information on conditions, logistics, etc. I'm somewhat familiar with Kukaklek Lake and couldn't imagine crossing it on a river raft. It's a big enough lake that you're looking at a full day of paddling even under perfect conditions. But given the tendency for crappy weather in that part of Alaska in September, I wouldn't count on perfect weather.

  13. #13
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River/ Juneau
    Posts
    5,154

    Default

    if you are worried about bears don't come to Alaska, they are everywhere... Keep a clean camp, stay in the open and you'll be fine.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14

    Default

    But not hundreds of them! This is my 6th trip to Alaska but in this region I we floated only the Stuyahook. We saw some bears but not those nombers.

    Markus

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    But not hundreds of them! This is my 6th trip to Alaska but in this region I we floated only the Stuyahook. We saw some bears but not those nombers.

    Markus

    Agreed. Our float trips have all had some bears. But it ranges from a few to about 20 seen over a 7-13 day float. The reports from the Moraine seem exceptional. One of the several reasons I suggested that you find another river to spend 14 days on. The Goodnews for example had bears seen about every other day. That adds to the trip. But seeing 20-30/day would be more than I would care for. Especially when fly fishing is the emphasis of the trip.
    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.

  16. #16

    Default

    The Moraine / Funnel Creek area is getting to be pretty popular for bear viewing in August. While the Brooks River is more well-known as a bear viewing hot spot, the Park actually sends a fair number of season rangers over to the Moraine Creek area during the month of August between salmon runs at Brooks Camp when bears tend to congregate along Moraine Creek. As far as typical numbers / river mile, I couldn't venture a guess. If you're there in September, maybe the bears wouldn't be so concentrated. Maybe they're not even a problem in August, just wanted to note that stream is a bear viewing destination.

  17. #17

    Default

    Thank you all for your help. I quit the idea of Moraine floating. Alagniak is still in consideration but Goodnews is also a very interesting option. Problem is our own raft and its weight of 55kg. But the river an the photos (thanks Dan, beautiful) are really promising.
    We will see what my friends day. We are spread over Gemany and Austria, so it will take some time to come together to discuss the options.

    Ragrds Markus

  18. #18
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Markus,

    Rent a raft from Goo Vogt (Alaska Wildwater) in Anchorage. He is the Alaska Sotar dealer and a heck of a nice guy. Sotars are known for being the toughest rafts. If you look at the blue raft in my picture link from earlier, you will see one of his Sotar rental rafts. He sold me mine. Incredible raft. He would rent you everything (frame with cooler, raft, oars, straps, repair kit, extra oar, etc....) you need and have it waiting for you in Dillingham when you got there. After the trip, you just mail it back. We did this last month on our float in NW Alaska. Goo is a major resource when it comes to rafting Alaska/Russia. He is one of those "been there done that" types. Tons of experience rafting all over the world. The below article (link) about float fishing in Alaska mentions him. A good article too.

    As for getting your friends together to discuss other rivers, don't bother. They are from "all over Germany and Austria". They won't know if they are on the Alagnak or Goodnews. Ha ha. Make some plans for the Goodnews. They will thank you later for it


    Read the below article. It is from Rene Liemeres whom is a noted Alaska author of "Fishing Alaska" (great book) and is a contributing editor to Fish Alaska magazine where the below article came from. This is a great article and mentions the Goodnews River and Goo Vogt.

    http://www.fishalaskamagazine.com/archives/sample3.htm

    Below is Goo's contact info...

    Alaska Wildwater
    Attn: Goo Vogt
    PO Box 110615
    Anchorage, AK 99511
    Ph 907-345-4308
    E-mail: sotaralaska@yahoo.com
    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.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    Thank you for the information. It is worth a lot. I will change plans due to the fact that I am not a hero. We started our trips in the past from ANC with Trailridge air because we have our own raft and stuff. When flying with an domestic airline bagage is limited to 23kg and that is much to low. Goodnews is not in the range of ANC.
    Do someone knows if there are also so many bears at Alagnak river?

    Best regards from Germany

    Markus
    I know a couple people who have been to the alagnak several times. It is loaded with bears (as are many places in Alaska). It has good fishing generally, and people do catch red salmon there on a fly sometimes. There is a significant stretch of whitewater on one part of it, and the river flow can be high, and stay that way, in years of early snowmelt (due to the big lake); this can flood alot of the usual campsites but doesn't seem to affect the fishing, from what I'm told.

    I have floated both the goodnews and kanektok and have just one piece of advice. Go late (like early september). Weather is not as good then but you don't have the competition with commercial float-trips, lodges, biting insects, low water years, and late fish.

    The other thing is to budget enough time. Like 9-10 days. Bringing your own raft will save you some $$$ on something like this.

  20. #20
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River/ Juneau
    Posts
    5,154

    Default

    I spent 35 days on the alagnak this year and saw 3 bears...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •