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Thread: Help on 20 mile

  1. #1

    Smile Help on 20 mile

    Help!! Let me start by saying I have plenty of experience in river running. One of the first to run jet boats in 1974. Maybe the first to run the Kenai in a jet. Anywhere from a 50 hp Merc jet to a 22 ft Yukon jet pushing 400 hp. From the 20 mile and all south to the Yukon and as far out as McGrath. Now as its been at least 20 years since I was on the 20 mile I need help. I currently have a 20 foot SeaArk with a Yamaha 115/85. Is this to much boat for 20 mile? I use to spend a lot of time on the Placer, the wide SeaArk is to much for that river. To back up a little, I have applied for a moose permit in that area for 30 plus years, never to receive one. Had a couple buddies that I told to apply and they both drew. Finally this year my younger wife drew one. My initial game plan was for the Placer, but based on my boat, I think the 20 mile would be better. Point of interest, had a friend take a 70 incher off the placer in mid 80's, going up the river with his son and shot him on the bank.
    Back to the 20 mile. How difficult is it to the fork and I am guessing that is the 20 mile and Glacier creek, about how far time wise? Can I get further up either channel without to many problems? Is there a place to tent camp at the fork?? Is the fork one of the silver fishing holes?? I have gone back and looked at all the postings on 20 mile, including the last where they had the accident. None really helped me with maybe the exception of getting a wind shield under the RR bridge. Any and all info will be appreciated, my wife will also thank you.


  2. #2


    we ran an 18 foot wooldridge xtraplus with a 150hp evinrude for about 10 years and that was a great boat for the river. Theres nowhere to fish right at the fork, or I wasn't aware of it. Further upstream from the fork theres a spot for silvers. But I don't think your boat is too big. I saw bigger boats then that in my time on the river. If you are familiar with it at all you should be fine. I did see a few larger jet boats run high and dry. They struggled a lot to get it free, most of the time having to wait for the tide to come in and float the boat. But they looked really heavy.

    Oh and as far as getting up either channel, you're going to want to take the left fork. The right fork gets pretty hairy really fast. I've never gotten very far down there. lots of logs and dams.

  3. #3
    Member chriso's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Los Anchorage


    Ed, if you remember, its about 3 miles up to that fork of the Twentymile and Glacier, thats pretty easily done in most any boat if you have a half decent skillset. But, I have seen (and done it myself a time or two with momentary lapse's of reason or focus!) folks hung up on the mud flats down low and having trouble with some of the semi-submerged logs on them last couple bends just below the forks. That gravel bar at the forks would be a killer place to camp, but its a bit unlikely (in my opinion) that you'll find any moose near there, although, if you're an accomplished caller that could make the difference I guess. I wouldnt advise going up the glacier channel above the fork for several reasons: one I haven't seen many moose there. Two; theres much more "moosey" terrain on the Twentymile side. Three; the river is faster, narrower, and much more winding than the Twentymile side. Four; the logjam only a couple miles upriver can be very challenging late in the fall. And five; you start finding boulders and bedrock which eventually will catch the best of us off guard or out of luck and tear up a boat...

    All in all, you'd probably do best to take a left at the forks and continue up the actual "Twentymile" drainage until you get in some of those larger sloughs, I think you'd have better luck locating a moose in that locale, there's certainly more acreage to find one in over there from what I've seen. Of course, we arent "permitted" for commercial activities on that fork what with the FS restrictions, so I dont have a realy current conditions update for you, but I do get over there from time to time on family trips and such and thats been my observations on those occasions.

    Of course you want to remember the old RR bridge pilings just on the upstream side of the presently utilized RR bridge. They cut them off pretty low but depending on the tide they can always be a factor, but if you are on the lookout for them as you cross under the RR bridge, you ought to be able to spot the swirls if you pay close attention.

    Also, (and this offer is for any forum members contemplating the Twentymile) please keep our office number handy (868-7669) we are a pretty decent resource in case you encounter any difficulties.

  4. #4


    Griff, Chriso, Thanks for the good info. Will let you know how the moose hunt turns out.



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