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Thread: Safe float trip with lots of fish???

  1. #1

    Default Safe float trip with lots of fish???

    Hi guys,

    I posted this in the 'rafting' section but thought I would get some replies in here as well.

    I visited SC AK for the first time last year. I had a blast and fished until I smelled of salmon for a week after I got home. I had a great time in Alaska.

    I am planning on another 6-8 week trip to AK in 09 but I would 'like' to do a float trip with my brother and one of our friends.

    Here are my main problems/concerns and I hope you have suggestions for me.

    1) I have no clue which rivers I can float. My main goal would be to float a SAFE river, but if the fishing is good, the better it is.

    2)I have never floated a river before.

    What Im hoping to get is some info on any of the easier rivers whether in SC or SW or NW that I could float, and some 'basics' safety rules on what I need to know. Animals, currents, tools for emergencies etc.

    I will be reading up on it over the next few months, but I find the info on this website is so precise that I cant really replace it with a book or online articles.

    As I get answers, I will ask more and more questions, as usual.
    Thanks a million!
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Jonathan - I'm not one of the resident experts, but when you first get here I'd be happy to take you out on the Kenai and then the Matanuska to get you some time on the oars before you head off on a multi-day trip.

    I haven't done much floating for fish, but depending on the time of the summer you might consider the Gulkana. If you're willing to fly out, though, your options will become quite numerous.

  3. #3
    Member liv2fish87's Avatar
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    Default yea

    youll be portaging your boat on the gulkana unless you want to take the rapids... which is definenty doable... chose the right path
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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    that looks straitfoward enough, just need a nice entrance and ship the oars...

    Anyhow check out Western AK theres a bunch of rivers that are class I or II the goodnews is a good option
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I can also take you out on the kenai and let you have some time around the oars. Fish are running June till October when are you planning on comming up.

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    Default Moose Creek

    I would say moose creek. put in up by peterville road and its an EASY 4-5 day float with tons of rainbows and grayling. it comes together with kroto creek to make the deshka and there's several guide services that'll pick you up there. I've done it 3 times and its a blast.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Im thinking that I will be in Anchorage for all of July for work, then maybe plan a float afterwards anytime in August.
    I've been emailing with Danattherock and he suggested the Goodnews, and from what Ive read (a total of 2 pages HA!), it seems like a safe enough place for a beginner like me. Any other suggestions like this one? Good fishing, with no horrible rocks and rapids like liv2fish87 showed us??

    I appreciate the offers to take me out when Im in SC, and I will most likely take you up on it!!

    Brian, I will send you an email in the next few days and give you some info Ive gathered and see what you think. Rose wont be doing the float but she'll be working with me in July.

    I think
    hikes, hikes, hikes
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  8. #8
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Jonathan - Well, hopefull Rose will at least want to go on a couple of single-day float trips with us. The Kenai is mellow and peaceful, whereas the Matanuska is a bit splashy and wet. No fish on the latter, but the scenery is spectacular.

    As for the hikes, she's got a built-in hiking partner in Sara. Seriously, Sara is always itching to hike, so after work each day we should be hitting the mountains. The best part? We can combine the hiking with some fishing if we plan it right.

  9. #9
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Jonathan - Well, hopefull Rose will at least want to go on a couple of single-day float trips with us. The Kenai is mellow and peaceful, whereas the Matanuska is a bit splashy and wet. No fish on the latter, but the scenery is spectacular.

    As for the hikes, she's got a built-in hiking partner in Sara. Seriously, Sara is always itching to hike, so after work each day we should be hitting the mountains. The best part? We can combine the hiking with some fishing if we plan it right.

    Brian and Soda, count june and i in for a day trip in the kenai with you. I can turn you guys onto some bows too
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    If you want a good weekned practice run you can float the little su. I have done it several times and there is all class 1 water and good fishing. I too vote for the deshka. You can put in on moose creek and get picked up at the mouth. I was told to plan for it to ba 4-5 day float but my partner backed out this past memorial day when I intended to go.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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  11. #11
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Gulkana Option no Rapids

    You can actually thanks to the BLM not have to go all the way down through the Canyon and still fish a portion of the Gulkana up high.

    The East Fork runs about 3 miles in length from Paxon Lake little pocket water Grayling, Bows with a Splash of Whitefish and Lakers now and again. This trip can be turned into two days of fun if you fish it. The banks can be walked with ease for the most part and the fishing is fast and spot on most of the Summer.

    If you know someone with a wheeler they can take the trail behind Myers lake and pick you up at the confluence of the East Fork and Middle Fork of the Gulkana. Lots of great camping and ample fishing. The water is mostly Class I broken pocket water which makes for great fly fishing. Fish range 10-20 inches so nothing special but the quantity makes up fro a lot.

    You can also Float from Sourdough Landing down to Sailors Pit or the Richardson Hwgy Bridge. Fishing for Grayling and Trout along the way and hitting King holes in between.

    A GREAT trip is to take Sailors Pit down to the Copper and take out near the Tazlina!!!!! Lots of fishing no pressure once your past the Bridge and all the sights along the Copper River Valley. Of course you would want someone along who has been down that part of the river.

    :-)

  12. #12

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Someone else mentioned maybe taking some safety classes and maybe a rafting class could be useful. Im going to be by the coast (WA,OR & CA) until June so Im sure I can find something there.

    Also, I think Ill be looking into the Goodnews. It seems like the type of river I would like to float from what I've been told by some members and what Ive read. Im going to look into the other rivers that some of you suggested as well however. Dont want to make up my mind 3-4 days into my research.

    Anybody have any info on fishing the Goodnews for spin fisherman hoping for salmon?
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    #4 and #5 Blue Fox Vibrax spinners. Pink body with nickel blades. Take some extras. I will tell you of a few others things if you pm me, but this lure is what did all the work. So effective it was boring at times. The wife got fish after fish. I worked harder with the fly rods at times. But these spinners were deadly on the silvers.

    I like 12-14 lb line with them. Daiwa Tournament SS reels and Cabelas 3 piece 7' (medium)pack spin rods. The XML, not the cheaper ones. Used these rods on a few float trips. If you spin fish and take float trips, they are the cream of the crop. Nice hard cases too. TSA gorilla proof. Incredible outfit for what you are looking at doing.

    Lots of these on the Goodnews...



    Bring good tackle (and a spare rod)

    Below are a few links that may be of interest...

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1
    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.

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Mentioned the gear, but left out the actual FISHING on the Goodnews. Here is what I can share from our trip...

    We found silvers by the middle of the trip on the Goodnews. Usually, 10-15 fish at a time and pretty dark. Some were rather lively, but some were not. As we got further downriver, this improved significantly. Bright chrome ones where found in the last 5-10 miles of the trip. We stayed there three nights and glad we did. Basically, the lower you go, the better it gets for silvers (based on our trip timing). Silvers were spotty at first. The deeper and slower the water, the better (in most cases). Found a few at confluences, but more often in deeper water. The lower 1/3 of the Goodnews was great silver fishing. Pods of 20-40 fish in slower, deeper water. Often near the banks. Usually some nice rainbows darting in and out of the mix. When you see a deep hole, stop and take a look. You can see well from the raft of course if the wind is not blowing too bad. More often than not, the deeper holes will hold fish. These are great places to camp by the way You catch enough, they get spooked. Wait an hour or so, and catch some more. Also factor in that they are coming up and new fish will be added to the mix. The lower in the river you are, the more applicable this is. Turn them on, and off, on, and off... When you find them thick and have a nice gravel bar, it is time to stay two nights. This is why we take a few extra days than what is needed on float trips. And to allow for bad weather of course. But worth remembering. We did notice that he atypical "bluebird skies" had a tendency to make the fish spook easy. Dusk and dawn fishing would be better on days like this. For flies, take some smaller and darker offerings for these occasions. Our gaudy pink flies did poorly when the fish were spooky. Got some on an olive esl after they turned their nose up at the pink stuff. The further down river you get, the more abundant the silvers are. On our trip at least. We were there Aug 23 - Sept 3, 2007.

    Below are the other pictures from our Goodnews float if anyone is interested...

    Click "slideshow" in the upper right ....

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7603622658629/
    Last edited by AKmud; 12-15-2008 at 11:04.
    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.

  15. #15
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    I floated the Goodnews about 7 years ago in mid July for Rainbows on the middle branch (I think it was called Kukatlim lake). Starting from the lake down, the river was loaded with bows and grayling. A few miles down from the lake, the fishing was pretty good. The float is pretty easy. I surprised to find incredible King fishing once we got to the lower part of the river. The only thing I would caution you on is that the lower river close to the pickup pt. is flat and slow with minimal current. If the wind kicks up you will have a heck of a row to the pick up pt. So leave yourself some extra time at the end just in case you have a head wind to contend with.

  16. #16
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkayak View Post
    The only thing I would caution you on is that the lower river close to the pickup pt. is flat and slow with minimal current.

    Good suggestion. We noticed this on the main fork of the Goodnews as well. The last ten miles or so were pretty slow going. We were in Ally pack canoes, but if in a raft, it would take a little extra time. My suggestion would be to spend 2-3 days down there anyway as the fishing for silvers was great in that stretch (our trip was Aug 23-Sept 3).
    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.

  17. #17
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    If you want a good safe float to practice on try the knik between old glenn and the glenn. It is easy and safe.

  18. #18
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Soda,

    Go to your thread in the rafting forum. I just put some information there that may interest you.
    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 First Time Soda!

    My advice is not to greenhorn it, Soda.

    Go back and re-read the post from Moose. This outfitter will work with you with quality rates and expertise.

    Like you from the Lower 48, I had rafted there and was a little intimidated on doing it alone in Alaska, and so I rafted with Blue Moose this July and learned plenty. So should you.

    I gave you good advice before, and now I'm giving it to you again. Do your break-in with those who know the way.

    He definitely knows the way...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  20. #20

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    Thanks for all the info guys.
    Didnt have internet access for the past few days because I was traveling back to the east coast. Im here now so more researching will be done.

    Also, I am thinking of doing a few 'practice' runs somewhere in the lower 48 or in canada before anything. Also a safety class, and rafting class/course.

    Again, thanks for the info.

    in 12 months time I hope to be giving the info to another newbie
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

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