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Thread: Backtrolling Kenai in drift boat with motor

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    Default Backtrolling Kenai in drift boat with motor

    Does anyone have any experience backtrolling the Kenai River (lower river) in a driftboat with an outboard (10hp)? I am wondering how this will work with the traffic in the lower river. I don't recall seeing people down there doing it. How does the drift boat do while trying to motor back up river? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    I have never done this. But, I have seen this a couple times, around eagle rock and cross over, it looked like they had no problem controling the boat. There biggest issue seemed to be wakes. Side to side movement.

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    I did it and it wasn't that great. The other boats were able to stay straight and for us it was difficult to fish and keep it straight at the same time (typical with a drift boat). I guess if one guy was focusing on that and two guys managing the rods you could do it.

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    Default motoring back up river

    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    I did it and it wasn't that great. The other boats were able to stay straight and for us it was difficult to fish and keep it straight at the same time (typical with a drift boat). I guess if one guy was focusing on that and two guys managing the rods you could do it.

    How about motoring back up river? Did you use a 10 hp or 15 hp?

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    A drift boat makes a huge wake when trying to go back upstream with a motor. I would use a motor on a drift boat to go downstream (slowly), to exit the fishery, but I would not use one to try and backtroll and then go back upstream. It is real slow going if you decide to try and go back upstream which is increasing the duration of the wake you will be leaving behind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qkayak View Post
    Does anyone have any experience backtrolling the Kenai River (lower river) in a driftboat with an outboard (10hp)? I am wondering how this will work with the traffic in the lower river. I don't recall seeing people down there doing it. How does the drift boat do while trying to motor back up river? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    IV tried both in the lower river back trolling / going upstream with my 20'x68" W/9.9 kicker, its tuff and not much fun. Trying to backtroll with a motor the bow rides high in the water which makes it unstable & hard to control, harder to see where youíre trying fish and other boats around you, as for going back up river very slow like plowing snow. I use my motor for kicking across lakes, running down river to a pull out, later in the year when the waters lower & slower i will use it to get back up to the top of a rainbow hole for another drift through.

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    Default 20' X 72" Willie...

    My boat backtrolls fabulous w/ one person and far better w/ a crew in it... As far as back up stream... They go ok, but leave a tremendous wake as the guys below have suggested.. Sadly, this is one of our biggest problems in the middle river trout fishery, drift boat motoring back upstream... In fact when the lake is rough many head up all the way from Bing's Landing!

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    Default Get on the sticks!

    Why are we worried about wakes? The powerboat crowd dont seem too worried about it My 2 hp honda works well but it spin around so I can keep my bow downstream, I have a guide buddy that does the same with an electric motor. As far as going back up, it has to be pretty froggy. Ty without getting to far off the subject, I have to disagree with your middle river statement. The the only problem with the fishery is the # of guides exploiting it. But thats probably another topic!

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    Just remember, if you're out on a driftboat Monday, you can not even have a motor onboard the boat. So you're going to have to be out there on the same days as all the power boats. Just don't see a powered db working too well to backtroll with on those days.

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    Default How did this become a guide debate...

    Quote Originally Posted by kenaislider View Post
    Why are we worried about wakes? The powerboat crowd dont seem too worried about it My 2 hp honda works well but it spin around so I can keep my bow downstream, I have a guide buddy that does the same with an electric motor. As far as going back up, it has to be pretty froggy. Ty without getting to far off the subject, I have to disagree with your middle river statement. The the only problem with the fishery is the # of guides exploiting it. But thats probably another topic!
    Persoanlly, I have recreational fished in the middle river far more then guiding and in doing so have had a great amount of time to observe what goes on up there....

    The single most disruptive thing to drifting down catching trout is a drift boat heading back upstream. Second most disruptive thing would by some recreational boat goind back upstream full speed that nearly runs over my indicater. Thrid most disruptive thing is the ppl who fight kings instead of breaking them off...

    If I where going to fish from the lake to Bings and not go back up a drift boat is the way to go... If I was going to drift and only fish few key places and fish them most of the day a powerboat is by far more effective...

    As far as overexploited by guides.... Seems to me that trout fishing is really never that crowded w/ guides... Typically is 2/3 recreational boats... However, w/ silver fishing I would aggree that it is overcrowded and especially w/ the new technique of having two backtrolling rods out and tossing spinners is very very annoying and soaks up alot of space in a very limited amount of productive silver water.

    I am sure that Iceblue can give a better historical perspective on this fishery.. But, the only conflict I see between recreational and guided anglers is w/ limited productive silver locations and skills running a power boat in congested area's such as Thompson's Hole.

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    Default This brings up a good point/

    Quote Originally Posted by akfishinguy View Post
    Just remember, if you're out on a driftboat Monday, you can not even have a motor onboard the boat. So you're going to have to be out there on the same days as all the power boats. Just don't see a powered db working too well to backtroll with on those days.
    I have observed alot of drift boat being towed back up river at the end of the day and hear that ppl are leaving motors at Cunningham Park to run out to City Dock when done fishing... Both of which are illigal if u are fishing from the boat....

    However, it is legal to run a powerboat, just not to fish from a powerboat.

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    Ty I really did'nt mean to ruffle any of your feathers, and I dont need any historical views from anyone, fished it for 30+ years. I promise you it has way more guide pressure fishing rainbows than it did just 10 years ago. And as far as the motor at Cunningham, 5 different officers (names written down at home) said as long as all fishing tackle,rods, and fish were out of the boat it was legal to motor to the dock. The towing thing is illegal for sure on any day unless in an emergency. Anyway, I know some folks that you know, and they say you are a pretty good egg, we should have a few beers around the fire sometime.

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    Default Thanks for the info

    Quote Originally Posted by fishook View Post
    IV tried both in the lower river back trolling / going upstream with my 20'x68" W/9.9 kicker, its tuff and not much fun. Trying to backtroll with a motor the bow rides high in the water which makes it unstable & hard to control, harder to see where youíre trying fish and other boats around you, as for going back up river very slow like plowing snow. I use my motor for kicking across lakes, running down river to a pull out, later in the year when the waters lower & slower i will use it to get back up to the top of a rainbow hole for another drift through.

    This is good stuff. I just purchased my drift boat this year. Looks like I will need to man up on the oars while backtrolling. This will be a tough gig if I'm trying to back bounce. I was a little worried about the head wind as well from the bluff to the lower take out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qkayak View Post
    This is good stuff. I just purchased my drift boat this year. Looks like I will need to man up on the oars while backtrolling. This will be a tough gig if I'm trying to back bounce. I was a little worried about the head wind as well from the bluff to the lower take out.
    Well congratulations on the purchase of your boat as you learn to fish it thereís nothing better in the whole wide world as to sneak up on those fish & watch your rod bend over. With time you will learn river etiquette like as not to run over tys strike indicators and so on, yes im one of those that like to fish the middle river late in the year when all the pukers are gone and its just me in the hole going back up stream for another bent rod. You will never find yourself trying to run your drift boat up from Bings Landing to the Killey unless you have paying clients on board. Motors are a good option to have you will love it.

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    Default backtrolling

    That's great to hear you can backtroll with a motor since your boat is similar to mine. Interesting to see that others feel backtrolling is not advisable from a driftboat while motoring. I just thought that a motor in the lower river would provide a little more control with the traffic in the lower river. As iceblue mentioned, it is a good way to exit the fishery. I can understand that motoring back up river is not advisable and maybe hazardous. Besides I can already feel my arms hurthing from the continuous rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    My boat backtrolls fabulous w/ one person and far better w/ a crew in it... As far as back up stream... They go ok, but leave a tremendous wake as the guys below have suggested.. Sadly, this is one of our biggest problems in the middle river trout fishery, drift boat motoring back upstream... In fact when the lake is rough many head up all the way from Bing's Landing!

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    Itís like kenaislider has said you will catch way more fish from the sticks then you would trying to backtroll with a motor no madder how well it works, your boats just not design for it. As for the head wind going to the city dock with the tide coming in will give everyone blisters. A good float is from Centennial Park to Eagle Rock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qkayak View Post
    That's great to hear you can backtroll with a motor since your boat is similar to mine. Interesting to see that others feel backtrolling is not advisable from a driftboat while motoring. I just thought that a motor in the lower river would provide a little more control with the traffic in the lower river. As iceblue mentioned, it is a good way to exit the fishery. I can understand that motoring back up river is not advisable and maybe hazardous. Besides I can already feel my arms hurthing from the continuous rowing.
    A guide friend of mine does quite well w/ this method... I am suprised that more ppl do not backtroll w/ a motor in a drift boat... It is likely that many ppl that have a motor also have a power boat... Although, some of my friends that have drift boats just don't have the skills to backtroll w/ a drift boat.

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