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Thread: Chena River Trip

  1. #1
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    Question Chena River Trip

    Hi all,

    I am planning a Canoe/Kayak float with the family from the Granite Tors bridge mile 39.5 Chena Hot Springs Road all the way down to say Pikes Restaurant. I'm planning on 7 full 10 hour days on the river starting over Memorial Day. I've never done any travel on the Chena east of the Dam out at Chena Lakes.

    How difficult is it to portage around the dam? Anything I need to watch out for there?

    Any other things I need to watch out for? Any suggestions/info would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Christien & Shelbye

  2. #2
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    No worries on the flood control project. It's not actually a dam, it's just a gate, so you can canoe right under it. There may be a couple small log jams that need portaged around but nothing that can't be easily done. There are however plenty of sweepers, so everybody needs to awake and paying attention. I'd recommend at least one experienced paddler in every boat on the upper Chena. As you get closer to N. Pole it slows down and becomes really slow and easy.

    If you do 10 hr days you will be at Pikes in about 3 days +/- using a canoe, so you've given yourself plenty of time. If you want to stretch it out, the upper end of the river is way nicer that the bottom end. I especially like the area between Rosebud and Grange Hall. If you spend some time sampling the grayling holes, I imagine it would be a very nice five day trip, but seven would be a stretch.

    Have fun,

    Yk

  3. #3
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    Awesome thanks for the info!

    Suggestions on tackle for those graylings? I've always used a red lewer called a rooster tail that looks somewhat like a fly with a small spoon on it. Seems to work fairly good but I'm going to heading to the store and wanted to pickup a couple of other options.

    This should be a fun trip!

  4. #4
    Member Wombat's Avatar
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    I went down the upper chena last summer. It would have been a nice trip but our group of 3 canoes only had one good paddler the rest were newbies except for one who ran it before and said it was nice and calm. I was a bit nervous about running it without knowing but I went with what the self proclaimed paddler said. It was nice for a while but there were a lot of sweepers. The wife and I did well but the other two canoes were ill prepared. They mad a lot of mistakes and flipped often. The biggest thing for them is they didn't pull over and scout ahead to see sweepers. They didn't tie their gear down, packed items is non waterproof bags, and let go of their paddles when they flipped. I left with two spare paddles and the other two canoes had three paddlers. When we finished the trip we had our two we used the entire trip and they had a paddle per canoe. My favorite quote from the trip "What's portage?" They would have had serious problems if I went on the trip I was planning on going to. Just go with common sense and plenty of gear. Tie everything down in waterproof bags.

    It was the first river trip for my wife. I got to say she was happy we went and worries less when I go out in the woods without her. I have told her, if we tip hold on to your paddle! She did just that and even caught my hat (she's a keeper) The other two canoes had a terrible time and swore to never do it again.

  5. #5
    Member Wombat's Avatar
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    When I go after grayling with a canoe I tend to troll as I go. For that I use a blue or yellow rooster tail or a blue and silver Fox spinner.

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