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Thread: Canning River/Marsh Fork -- Eastern Arctic Slope

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    Default Canning River/Marsh Fork -- Eastern Arctic Slope

    Does anyone have information on floating/fly fishing the upper Canning River/Marsh Fork (including air charter and other logistical matters)?

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    First of all, welcome to the forum!

    For air charters, check with Kirk Sweetsir of Yukon Air in Ft Yukon. Also, Wright Air Service in Fairbanks. Expect to pay about $3000-4000 round trip from Fairbanks with a small wt limit (750 with Kirk and 800 with Wright Air's Helio). The river is scenic and has caught my interest as well. Not as a fishing river though. For scenery and photography. I am going on the Kongakut in June for the same reasons. Some dolly fishing here and there, but go with realistic expectations.

    I got some information from a forum member, Berto. You could shoot him a pm. To do so, go to the "Member List" option up top, and find his name, then shoot him a pm. He floated this river recently. He mentioned good fishing for grayling and dollies. But remember, dolly fishing won't be good until they are back from the sea where they spend the summer. Mid August on, there should be plenty of dollies in the river.


    If you want dollies, I know a few rivers. All in NW Alaska.

    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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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    There are some good pictures from the Canning here...

    http://www.pbase.com/pbeiser/mfork

    Something I just thought of, the bush plane quotes I put above may be a bit on the high side as the Canning would be a shorter flight than the Kongakut. But not much cheaper I don't think. I got quotes from five pilots for the Kongakut trip in June. They ranged from $3100 to $5600! That is for the wife and I with our gear, one trip in, and one trip out. Point is, shop around. There are many factors. Size of the plane, where they are located, the mood they are in etc... But even considering that the Canning would be a little less air time than the Kongakut, I would still guess that you would be in the $2800-3500 range. Also, reading over a few saved emails in my "Canning" folder, I read where the fishing was very poor in the lower 10 miles of the river. No holes or deeper runs down that way apparently.
    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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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Been reading more on the Canning. If you went in mid August on, you would likely find some great dolly fishing. But going too early in the summer would change that. Trip timing will be very important if fly fishing for dollies is a priority. By mid August, they should be returning from the sea and preparing to fatten up before freeze up. They over winter in the river of course. Gravitating towards the deeper holes (that don't freeze solid). That translates into great fishing in the fall. I have done three float trips in NW Alaska fly fishing for them under these same circumstances. The fishing can be red hot if your timing is right.
    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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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Holy cow...that's a nice dolly!


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