Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Thread: What was your first AK rafting/floating river?

  1. #1
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Question What was your first AK rafting/floating river?

    We were all beginners once. For the more experienced rafters on AOD, what was enjoyable/ educational/challenging or no-fun at all about the river, conditions, other rafters on that experience, especially surprises- good or not so good.

  2. #2
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    250

    Default chena river

    bluemoose was kind enough to loan a raft and took us out on the Chena river... bit boring except the drunks at the Moose lodge inviting us up for a beer or two. Slow water no challenges on the Chena in town, but a good place to learn basic skills.

  3. #3

    Default

    1978, floated in the Campbell Creek Classic in a seyvlor raft my father bought for me at Pay N Save.

  4. #4
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,159

    Default

    The Gulkana last summer. Previously I'd been on numerous guided whitewater trips in the lower 48 and Six Mile up here in AK. I also had several hundred river miles in recreational kayaks paddling, fishing, and duck hunting so being on the river was nothing new. However, this was my first unguided trip. After pulling over above the canyon rapids section and scouting I was nervous. Not a bad nervous, but the kind you had before making love for the first time....fear of the unknown, pressure to perform, making sure you got everything lined up just right. As it turned out the anticipation was a lot scarier than actually doing it. Running the rapids too. hahah

    I took everyones' advice and portaged the gear. A lightly loaded raft is a sportscar compared to a boat full of gear.

  5. #5
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chugiak, AK.
    Posts
    1,527

    Default

    Let me be the first to say, da Kenai.

  6. #6

    Default

    Ditto to Troutbum: Upper Kenai, Lake to Jim's.

  7. #7
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default Lower Chulitna

    Sept 1995: From the Bridge at mp132 to the Big Su bridge in a 12 foot Avon Redshank dinghy. It took me a few minutes of frantic searching to figure out that "sssssssss" I was hearing was not a leak, but the sound of gravel grinding along the bottom and reverberating through the raft.

    Overnight trip....forgot the sleeping bags. Ah the memories!

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Kasilof

    I bought a 18' AIRE Leopard this year from Ak Raft and Kayak this year. Bought it after the sportsmans show, the day I picked it up it snows 20 some inches. The first river I floated so far has been the Kasilof, went at the beginning of the King Salmon run. Beautiful day to be on the water not to fast of a current caught some trout but no Kings. My son had a great time out on the river too. The day prior to that I rowed out of the harbor in Homer and tied off to the metal structures out by the Lands End hotel and we caught more flounder and bottom fish than we could count. My first year with the boat and took it all over the place. Twice to Homer, once to Seward and Valdez three times to Whittier and once to the Kasilof river. The next trip will be the Kenai when I come back from Afghanistan, to bad the boat will sit in storage for a year. Great summer though

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Leavenworth Wa.
    Posts
    234

    Default Floating the Hoho

    My first was the Hoholitna.Lessons learned.Always have a young buck on the front of the raft, so if you had to get to shore fast, I can swing the raft in, and he can jump out with the tag line.Reading the water...so when the river split, and you have to make a fast decision which leg to take.Watch for beaver (willow)spikes in shallow water.All in all, was fun.GR

  10. #10
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    3,256

    Default

    I did the moose to kroto/deshka back in 1981 with some famlily friends. Then it was the kenai 5 years ago. Bought my raft. Never been on the oars in a cat but had alot of water experience. Was very safe. main channel. not near the shorline. Learned my boat and what is capable of doing. Now i put it in the cut banks and put the wife on lots of fish. Confident yes cocky no. The river changes each week and Im always on alert. Especially in the fall.


    Oh and I had floated the upper from sportsmans to jims a couple of times before i put my boat int he water. Now the bridge to the lake. That was a first. I love the princess chute and the rapids at the corner just past the bridge
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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

    Default Kelly River...

    If anyone is looking for a remote Arctic river, this is it. We floated the Kelly River in late Aug 2004. It is located in the Noatak Preserve in NW Alaska and about 80 miles N of Kotzebue. The Kelly is a tributary of the lower Noatak River. It is intimate in size at about 30-40 yards wide, gin clear, and free of any hazards/rapids.

    This was our first float trip in Alaska and it did not disappoint us. We caught dolly vardon and grayling primarily. Some chum salmon were seen also. We saw many brown bears, 50+ caribou in bands of a dozen or so each, and one wolf. Moose tracks were seen also. The first day or two we saw sheep. We saw satellites orbit the earth each night. The northern lights were visible on the last night of the trip camped out on the Noatak. I got drunk one night and saw an enukin trying to steal my fly rod. Ok, that is a lie, but you get the point. We saw lots.

    The river is an easy float for anyone wanting to experience the "real Alaska". The land is beautiful up that way. Many mountain views in the first 2/3 of trip. The river widens and slows in the last 10 miles or so and tundra turns to taiga. The trip was about 37.2 miles long. Shallow sections in the first 5-7 miles. Dragging required but we never had to unload the Ally canoes.

    We own Ally pack canoes and they are awesome. Made in Norway, they are the original expedition folding canoe. If you are flying in to a remote destination where weight is a concern, you must check them out. We bought them for this trip but have used them on three Alaska float trips to this point. I have nothing but good things to say about these canoes.

    The Kelly is a lovely float and the solitude is wonderful. The old saying, "The silence was deafening" actually holds meaning in the Noatak Preserve. Lots of wide open spaces without alot of faces. This would make an ideal first float trip or family oriented float. We fly fish for dolly vardon each fall on float trips up in NW Alaska. It is a truly special place. The kind of place that makes you feel lucky just to have visited.

    Take high quality gear and be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Read up on brown bears if you are unfamiliar with their behavior. We saw 21 in 7 days. One walked into camp. A "good bear" you might say, but still, 600 lbs at 23 paces is uncomfortable! Good stoves and water filter (MSR) are required. Take a gun or ear plugs. You will need one or the other to sleep well. Great fishing in late August for dolly vardon and grayling. Dollies 5-10 pounds. Grayling 16-20".

    Explore Wrench Creek (middle of trip) and Avan Creek (near Noatak confluence). Great fishing in these two spots. You will be sharing fishing ground with furry fisherman though. Orange and pink are best colors along with silver (of course). Battle creeks specials, polar shrimp, and esl for flies. 3/8 ounce spinners in nickel, gold, metallic blue, and pink all did well. Stainless for the guns.

    Photos of this August 2004 trip are available on Flickr. Click "slideshow" in the upper right. Try not to laugh too hard at the guy (me) in the yellow rubber ducky. It was his first trip after all.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7603617063514/
    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
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default The Noatak

    The Noatak River was my first float in Alaska, if I remember correctly. It was also my first float hunt.

    We did some dragging through the shallows, which I since learned is typical of many float-hunting rivers in Alaska. The worst negative was strong upstream headwinds. The section we floated, from the Nimiuktuk to the Kelly, is mostly treeless, and the wind whips across the rolling tundra unimpeded. Thankfully we were in catarafts and the wind was not nearly the problem it would have been in a conventional round boat with a bow rise.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    Other than a few times on Campbell Creek, the first real trip was three days on Kroto Creek in 1968. The water was shallow, we ripped the floor out of the cheap boat we bought for the trip, and had to walk out.

  14. #14
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Kroto Ck Walkabout

    "...Kroto Creek in 1968. The water was shallow, we ripped the floor out of the cheap boat we bought for the trip, and had to walk out"

    Looking at my Gazeteer, Jim. Were you able to walk upstream? That looks like it could have been a tough walk.

  15. #15
    Member liv2fish87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    278

    Default first float

    my first float was in a canoe portaging across a million lakes then arrriving at the little sue and floatin on down, i caught loads of fish but dont remember anything threatening. gulkana rapids were a first for me, but we didnt even portage any gear and we had some tanker 18 ft catarafts with us loaded with gear. the rapids move alot slower than they look. or atleast thats how i felt, plus the big drop at the end if you hit the channel on the left instead of the failsafe right side....... bad ass........bad...ass.

  16. #16
    Member ruckus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Petersburg, AK
    Posts
    79

    Default Lake Creek

    Did the whole thing in three days. We went in a 13 foot kataraft. What a good time. Some fish(Never enough) Good rapids, good scenery, and one bear in camp(one is one too many). Cant wait to do it again. Maybe the Kat was not the best boat now that I talk to other rafters, but me and my buddy barely even got wet little lone flipping or breaking something.
    "Next time you feel important, try telling someone elses Chesapeake to do something"-- anonymous

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Chitna River

    Huberts Landing to Chitna Aug 2001.

    We were fools and lucky.

    Still maybe the coolest outdoors expedition of my life.

  18. #18
    Member Phil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Liverpool, NY (a suburb of Syracuse)
    Posts
    494

    Default Birch Creek - 1996

    We floated for moose and, yes, I did shoot one. There were so many things happening I don't know where to start. Fortunately my hunting buddy had been a "river rat" in Colorado so the trip was easy.

    This was before "Blue Moose" and we ended up at the put-in with 2 - 12 foot rafts instead of 2 - 14 footers (which we were told we had). Watched a solo hunter putting his gear into a canoe without tyng it down.

    We were peacefully camped on a sand bar when he paddled in to camp using his hands - soaking wet. He had tipped his canoe & lost most of his gear. That night, it was 25 degrees. We saved his life (yes, we carry lots of extra gear when we float hunt including an extra tent). Sent him hiking to a gold mine a couple of days later. We know he got out because he left the compass we gave him on Rob's truck tire.

    Went through the only rapids (after shooting & caring for my moose), pulled up on shore and found a rifle laying on the gravel. It had obviuosly been in the river for over a year. Rob refurbished it and I use the rifle today - and it always brings lots of comments when I tell the story. BTW, it's left-handed and I'm the only one on the trip that shoots lefty.

    Gave some hot coffee to floaters later. All had been upside down & wet. One hunter said he wes 78. He immediately became my idol.

    Nice float - especially if the water level is high. Nothing to stress a beginner. Typical Alaska weather - it rained almost every day. Plenty of company so you are never in danger of being stranded for more than a day or so.

    We float Birch on a regular basis - always fun.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    "Looking at my Gazeteer, Jim. Were you able to walk upstream? That looks like it could have been a tough walk."

    We got out somewhere before the junction with Moose Creek, and found a cat trail that was probably 4x4 passable at low water seasons. Our map showed it headed back to the Petersville Road, so we walked that and hitched back into town. It was about 20 miles of good but wet walking. We left all the gear and came back a week later with a Weasel to fetch it all. By then it had rained a bunch and everything was flooding, and we couldn't even get there with the Weasel. Had to make another trip a few weeks later.

    It was an all around mess of a trip where we did not have adequate equipment or skill, but it was a trip I have always cherished as well. Odd how you tend to forget most of the easy ones, but a real adventure sticks with you.

  20. #20
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default kobuk

    Ambler to Kiana 7days this past summer fought the wind the whole way.
    Stop rowing we went back up the river. We caught fish though ,great trip
    would do it again in a heartbeat.

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
  •