Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Lost PFD on Willow Creek

  1. #1
    Member jasen001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    23

    Default Lost PFD on Willow Creek

    I, being stupid,set my life jacket down on Willow Creek between Shirley Town Bridge and the Parks Highway Bridge (above the log jam). It is a black and gray Extrasport Sturgeon.
    I will reward whoever finds it with $100 bucks and the cash in the wallet.
    Jason Phelps
    720-519-6581 (cell)
    907-349-0033 (work)

  2. #2
    Member Trouthead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Where the wind is born
    Posts
    103

    Default

    I didnt find it, but what day did you float, did you take any side channels, do you think you left it around the log jam?....I could use an excuse to float it seeing as how it's too blown out to fish.

  3. #3
    Member jasen001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    23

    Default It's above the log jam, on a gravel bar

    We stayed in the main channel the whole float until after the power lines, it'll be on a gravel bar up from the logjam (river right) just before a narrow slot. I wish I could be more specific, any help is appreciated.

  4. #4
    Member Bear Necessities's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wasilla, formally from Michigan
    Posts
    30

    Default Lost Oar

    I had a little mishap on the Willow last Sunday and lost an oar, if some sees it please let me know.

  5. #5
    Member Trouthead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Where the wind is born
    Posts
    103

    Default

    I'll let you both know this evening, either way. I'm thinking it should be a good float and now you guys gave me a reason to do it, thanks.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    111

    Default

    I plan on doing my first rafting trip tomorrow and I like the idea of doing the Willow as it is close to home. My only problem is I don't know where to put in/take out.. I am looking at Google Earth and I am thinking about putting in at the Parks Hwy bridge and taking out at Deshka landing. Is this what eveyone is doing??? This is my first trip and I will have my 8 year old boy with me so I dont want to get into more then I am prepared to handle.

    Thanks,
    Don

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default Willow Creek Access

    Quote Originally Posted by windswept View Post
    I plan on doing my first rafting trip tomorrow and I like the idea of doing the Willow as it is close to home. My only problem is I don't know where to put in/take out.. I am looking at Google Earth and I am thinking about putting in at the Parks Hwy bridge and taking out at Deshka landing. Is this what eveyone is doing??? This is my first trip and I will have my 8 year old boy with me so I dont want to get into more then I am prepared to handle.

    Thanks,
    Don
    Don,

    Most folks put in at the Parks Highway Bridge. You can put in on small dirt road just above the bridge on river left, but most of us put in at Willow Creek Resort (formerly Willow Island Resort?) Expect to pay to park there, and to launch. The take-out is near the mouth; I posted a map of it AT THIS LINK. You do not need to float all the way to Susitna Landing (I can't imagine trying to get a ride out of there back to your rig). For a small fee, you might get the help at Willow Creek Resort to shuttle you back to the put-in so you can park your rig at the campground at the mouth of Willow Creek. The alternative is to hitchhike back to your vehicle from the campground after your float.

    A word of caution; Willow Creek has some trouble spots, mostly involving logjams and tight turns. Park your boat, tie it off, and walk these areas out on the bank before committing or you could end up in serious trouble. In some cases you can line your boat through, or even portage. Just because this river gets a lot of traffic and is accessible does not mean it is a safe place for new boaters. We don't want to read about you in the paper!

    Take care, and have a safe float.

    -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

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Don,

    Most folks put in at the Parks Highway Bridge. You can put in on small dirt road just above the bridge on river left, but most of us put in at Willow Creek Resort (formerly Willow Island Resort?) Expect to pay to park there, and to launch. The take-out is near the mouth; I posted a map of it AT THIS LINK. You do not need to float all the way to Susitna Landing (I can't imagine trying to get a ride out of there back to your rig). For a small fee, you might get the help at Willow Creek Resort to shuttle you back to the put-in so you can park your rig at the campground at the mouth of Willow Creek. The alternative is to hitchhike back to your vehicle from the campground after your float.

    A word of caution; Willow Creek has some trouble spots, mostly involving logjams and tight turns. Park your boat, tie it off, and walk these areas out on the bank before committing or you could end up in serious trouble. In some cases you can line your boat through, or even portage. Just because this river gets a lot of traffic and is accessible does not mean it is a safe place for new boaters. We don't want to read about you in the paper!

    Take care, and have a safe float.

    -Mike

    Thanks a bunch Mike!

    Ill keep an eye out for the lost pfd and oar.

  9. #9

    Default first trip

    Mike is right, lower Willow has some wood issues. If you do decide to boat Willow keep your eyes on the water.
    For your first trip I would recommend the Kenai, from Kenai lake to Russian river. This section is nice and wide, has ripples, and is low water right now. Two rapids are class II water but in my opinion much safer than wood. On this section you can practice ferry angles,( very important maneuver) and oaring around bends with less hazards. I have taken my 9 and 10 year old in IK'S there, and they loved it.
    MO

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    wasilla
    Posts
    139

    Default been there dont that.

    I did the lower willow on Saturday. There is as mike said a few section with wood problems. The worst is about the halfway point. The river splits and both right and left are trouble. River left is the main flow but is partly blocked by submerged logs with exsposed limbs. River right is not as bad but is very narrow and in my raft I had no room to keep my oars in the water. to make it even worse, the beavers have chewed the small alders and willows that line the bank. I think even the north veitnam army would have been hard pressed to lay a more effective punji stick trap. Lining this section is the best way to go. The river is high and muddy but there are still many gravel bars to walk and explore. Take along some hotdogs and a grill and pick a gravel bar for lunch. the whole float took use about 4.5 hours and that included lunch.

    Have fun, be safe and remember kids dont float. lead by example and wear that PFD.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by borderblue1 View Post
    I did the lower willow on Saturday. There is as mike said a few section with wood problems. The worst is about the halfway point. The river splits and both right and left are trouble. River left is the main flow but is partly blocked by submerged logs with exsposed limbs. River right is not as bad but is very narrow and in my raft I had no room to keep my oars in the water. to make it even worse, the beavers have chewed the small alders and willows that line the bank. I think even the north veitnam army would have been hard pressed to lay a more effective punji stick trap. Lining this section is the best way to go. The river is high and muddy but there are still many gravel bars to walk and explore. Take along some hotdogs and a grill and pick a gravel bar for lunch. the whole float took use about 4.5 hours and that included lunch.



    Have fun, be safe and remember kids dont float. lead by example and wear that PFD.

    I plan on making it a day trip. Will I have time to stop once I see the hazards. As long as I have time to stop, I think that this trip would be good training for portaging,lining,etc. Please let me know if I'm wrong! I have a significant amount of survival training/experience, but I do not want to put my children in any unnecessary danger. I feel that as long as I have time to recognize any danger and stop we'll be fine.I am going to take the raft out to Lake Lucielle tonight and get a feel for it abit.

    The Kenai lake seems like a great idea but would require waiting another week or two to get down there,as I would have to make the trip into an adventure that would make the drive worth it.

    Thanks,
    Don

    Sorry for hijacking this thread.
    Last edited by windswept; 05-06-2009 at 15:55. Reason: Apology

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default upper Kenai

    Quote Originally Posted by windswept View Post
    I plan on making it a day trip. Will I have time to stop once I see the hazards. As long as I have time to stop, I think that this trip would be good training for portaging,lining,etc. Please let me know if I'm wrong! I have a significant amount of survival training/experience, but I do not want to put my children in any unnecessary danger. I feel that as long as I have time to recognize any danger and stop we'll be fine.I am going to take the raft out to Lake Lucielle tonight and get a feel for it abit.

    The Kenai lake seems like a great idea but would require waiting another week or two to get down there,as I would have to make the trip into an adventure that would make the drive worth it.

    Thanks,
    Don

    Sorry for hijacking this thread.
    Don,

    The upper Kenai is about the same distance from Anchorage and offers a MUCH better "first timer" experience. You don't have to do the canyon to Skilak Lake; just take out at the ramp at Jim's Landing. It's a relatively easy run and much safer than Willow Creek.

    -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

    Default kenai

    Hey mate-- do the kenai- this is the wrong time of year to learn to raft on a tight Alaska river-- your taking your child?? Not sure how much experience you have- but log jams are KILLERS!!

  14. #14

    Default lower willow and

    This is a typical view, but not the bad wood sections. As you can see it is class I swiftwater with pools. If you do this trip in September the Bow fishing is superb. Try to take all left channels towards the end to reach the ramp most efficiently.
    Kids and a fishing pole what a combination.
    MO
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Member Bear Necessities's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wasilla, formally from Michigan
    Posts
    30

    Default Not Recommended

    Don,

    I'm quite new to rafting also. I'm also the one looking for an oar that I lost on the Willow last Sunday. There is a lot of logs along the banks, fairly tight turns and log jams going almost all the way cross the river. I was running an 18' cat and ended up doing something that I should not have done. My wife and I went for a swim (everyone was ok) the water is very cold, scary, and it took an hour to free the raft. Several people with experience were doing fine, but if I would have seen this thread last Saturday - I would have tried somewhere else, until I get more oar time. Now I'm looking for wider rivers with less wood.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Thanks so much guys, we will wait to do the Kenai. I already called Wildman's shuttle service and they will pick us up at Jims Landing for $40. Helping people avoid unnecessary danger is one of the best things about this forum especially when it comes to the little ones. Thanks again!

    Don

  17. #17
    Member Trouthead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Where the wind is born
    Posts
    103

    Default

    I didnt find the life jacket or the oar, was a great float from shirleytown to the mouth. The stretch between shirlytown and Friday road was a lot of fun, at this flow there is a small keeper hole. I didnt have to drag at all on the sneek around the powerline jam. There is a big tree across below the train tracks. For anyone planning from the pioneer down, I would highly recomend to stay left if it looks sketchy, or you see wood, this is true to the extent of staying in the main channel or at least strong flowing current. The sneek around the jam is river right almost as soon as you pass a big treeless beach type spot right about the time you can see the powerline and lots of wood there is a lone spruce tree, it's a tiny little channel but take it then go left when it splits again and you come out above deception creek. If you go right when it splits it gets pretty hairy with sweepers and you dont come out till almost the highway.
    Last edited by Trouthead; 05-06-2009 at 22:07. Reason: powerjam sneek locate

  18. #18
    Member jasen001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    23

    Default Thanks Trouthead

    Thanks to everyone for looking.
    Bear nec., glad to hear no one was hurt. You guys must have launched right before us, the guys that helped you out came in right behind us. Hope to see you guys on the water, so I can thank you in person.

  19. #19
    Member Trouthead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Where the wind is born
    Posts
    103

    Default

    I tried Jasen, but a grey life jacket matches the rocks pretty good I guess. Maybe one of the locals from shirlytown found it, or its still there, the folks at the Pioneer are putting the word out, so maybe it will turn up.

  20. #20
    Member Bear Necessities's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wasilla, formally from Michigan
    Posts
    30

    Default Thanks Troathead

    I agree with Jasen, thanks to Trouthead (and others out there) and I hope that everyone stays safe and has a good summer of floating; I will replace the spare oar and hope to see some of you on the rivers this year. For me it will be a little bigger river and less wood. I hope that you all fill the freezer and have fun.

    Jasen, the guys that helped me out followed me in, so maybe others also had a tough day on the river. Again, everyone stay safe the water is raising fast with the warm weather.

    It is not that Alaska gets under your skin, it just makes us unfit to live anywhere else.

    ENJOY THE SUMMER

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
  •